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Mothers Day for Mothers without Mothers

As featured in the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Post:

Mother’s Day was borne out of a desire to honour and support grieving mothers in post-World War I Australia. Mothers who were thrust violently and abruptly out of their beloved role of motherhood.

Mother’s Day may have been commercialised in the 1920s but it has evolved into a much-needed excuse for busy families to carve out time together and express gratitude for all that mothers do for them.

It is also an opportunity to reflect on this uniquely personal and precious relationship.

As Mother’s Day approaches, my mind wanders to the mothers who have difficult relationships with their mothers; who are geographically distant; or who have no contact, either through estrangement or death.

I wonder how they will honour their role as a mother while sitting with the painful reality of another Mother’s Day without their mother.

As a woman who lost my mother before having my children, I speak personally to the overwhelming chasm left behind by mother loss.

When a woman loses her mother she not only loses a ‘motherhood model’, she also loses a uniquely safe place to land throughout life as a ‘daughter’.

As Mother’s Day advertising begins to appear I am reminded that families will gather in May and while the mother in me will relish time with my boys, the daughter in me will feel sad and a little lost. I look a lot like my mother. It is a gift that bears fruit for me daily when I look in the mirror and see her in my eyes. Her legacy of nurturance, generosity and loyalty live on through my mothering and my hope my boys will carry this into their experience of fatherhood … and so the mother lives on.

Margaret Sanger put it beautifully: “The mother memories ... closest to my heart are the small gentle ones . . . of mother drying my tears, reading aloud, cutting cookies and singing as she did … tucking me into bed … They have carried me through the years and given my life such a firm foundation that it does not rock beneath flood nor tempest.”

If like me, you experience Mother’s Day without your mother, create rituals that foster feelings of connection to her. Her legacy of motherhood lives in and through you.

If you are fortunate enough to be physically with your mother this Mother’s Day, squeeze her a little longer to show her just how precious she is.



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