Mother’s Day this weekend. I remember, as a child, the big production it was to make sure something good happened for my mother that day. We took commercial promotion of Mother’s Day with a grain of salt in our family. Nevertheless, when a Day is named for a particular group, it is too cruel to ignore that group, particularly on the Day itself!
I don’t envy mothers their job. They’re one category of people frequently “damned if they do and damned if they don’t”! Most mothers care for and worry about their children for a lifetime. This is acceptable to the child at some stages of their lives, but can be positively hated at other stages! Mothers work hard to ensure family and home run smoothly, then people wonder why they don’t look as attractive as an heiress with a houseful of servants! Mothers juggle many demands between society’s expectations, work commitments, community involvement and relationship maintenance. They must seldom feel they’re keeping all the balls in the air at the same time. When something goes wrong – a death, addiction, tragedy – their hearts are cut to the quick.
The strength of mother-love is legendary. Isaiah used this to show how great the prophet believed divine love was. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15.)
We might understand demands on mothers and applaud in gratitude when all goes right. However, it is still OK (and can be really important) to acknowledge that for some children, the child-mother relationship was (and maybe still is) problematic. It may have been no one’s particular fault, it could be circumstances for both mother and child; it could be incompatible personalities. Either mother or child could be mentally ill or downright contrary. Whatever the reason, it is also important for it to be OK, even on Mother’s Day, for both children and mothers to grieve a little for what we feel could have been – whether we are a mother looking back on our mothering experience, or the child of a mother regretting what we think we could have had, (which we dream, of course, would have been much better than what we got!)
It’s never a good idea to make a flesh and blood person into a saint – mothers are not saints, and neither are their children! We are all fallible human beings. Usually we do the best we can, given our own traits and the circumstances in which we find ourselves. This Mother’s Day let’s celebrate any good times and forgive/let go any bad times, holding it all together with understanding love. (Or, at least, let’s try to begin to do that, anyway!)
On Sunday we will be reflecting on Miriam who, (like Judy Bailey?), could be called the mother of a nation for her leadership in the Exodus from Egypt. Then will follow a brief meeting of those involved in planning the 2020 celebration of St Andrew’s 180th anniversary. I hope you all have a satisfying and authentic Mother’s Day weekend,
Susan P.S. Alert people will realise that in last week’s e news, a zero was left off the total for Sponsor-a-Pipe. My apologies. If every pipe is sponsored at the prices given, we can raise $120,000, which is over a quarter of the total needed. To sponsor go to https://www.standrews.org.nz/all-organ-pipes/
To view the full e-news click here: https://mailchi.mp/16782c29f079/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-1478205