As Mother’s Day looms, I’m thinking less of flowers and chocolates. And more what it means. To be a mum. Alongside other mums. (Aside from the tantrums, sleep deprivation and nits.)
Mums are unique.
No one understands a mum like another mum.
Motherhood can transcend everything. If we let it. It leaps across class, ethnic origin, geography and the choices we make as mothers. If we let it.
It bonds us in a unique way. Unlike any other social group.
Through empathy. Love of our kids. Despair.
(And my, some days the despair is palpable).
Twinkle, twinkle, little stars.
I count my lucky stars every day to be a small part of so many amazing communities of mums. School mums. Nursery mums. NCT mums. Playgroup mums. Twitter mums. My ‘original’ friends who are now mums. All of you lovely mums who read my ramblings here on the blog.
All of these mums, scattered far and wide, have saved my life many, many times over. And I absolutely know that I could not get through the days without them.
With who else can you exchange a look which says a thousand words? A look which says, ‘It’s been one of those mornings. The preschooler is whingy. The baby clingy. I haven’t had time for breakfast. Or to brush my hair. I just want to lie down and cry a bit. Because I’m exhausted.’
With who else can you get a look back that says, ‘Tell me about it. I know. I know SO much, it hurts. And I feel exactly the same.’
It’s so reassuring to know we’re not alone.
To know that some days we’re all just hanging on by a thread.
I’ve witnessed kindness and support between mums who have nothing more in common than being mums.
I’ve seen them go out of their way to help one another. Share a kind word. An honest word. Drop a meal round. Do the school run. Rally round and help a mum in need.
All because they get it. The relentless demands of being a mum.
They get it so much, it hurts.
‘Where are their socks?’
Some days it drives me nuts that Daddy Pig doesn’t get how tough being a mum is.
When he asks me where the socks are kept (again). When he says, ‘I can’t take them both,‘ when most days I have to cart all three wherever I go. When he comes in from work and gets the kids fired up before bed, when I’m just desperate for the day to end.
Deep down, though, I know it’s not his fault. And I don’t blame him (mostly).
Because us mums experience something so intense. So contradictory. So blooming hard that how on earth could anyone else get it, unless they’re a mum? That emotional bond with your child is beyond rationale.
I mean, we love our kids so much that we’d do anything to protect them. Yet some days they push our buttons to the point that we dream of running away. Back to our 20s when we were carefree and irresponsible. With less wrinkles. Obviously.
It can only be another mum who gets that, right?
Thank you, Mums.
So this community of mums? It’s precious.
And I hate to sound so trite, but we need to reach out to one another. (Yuk. Did I really just say, ‘reach out’?). Because it’s the only community we’ve got. And we need to nurture it. Every single day.
So this Mother’s Day, I will be thinking of other mums. Mums I admire. Mums who have supported me as fellow mums. Mums who are having a tough time. And my own lovely mum, of course. Thank you. You’re all amazing.
Remember, motherhood can transcend everything.
If we let it.