With Mother’s Day approaching all of the focus typically turns to mothers and their impact on our lives. Gift ideas start popping up in newsfeeds and the race is on to find that one perfect gift for that special mom. Regardless of your relationship with your own mother it seems that we are inundated with products and things that will make the day even better.
When I was younger I don’t think I really “got” all that my mom did for me over the years. I would like to think that I have matured and grown up a bit and now have a better understanding of the sacrifices that my own mom made. Sacrifices that she said nothing about but just did. Because she loved me.
So does motherhood have seasons? I think so. Like any relationship I believe there are different phases that a mother and child experience together.
In the beginning there is the season where the mother is the primary provider and care giver. Being able to actually carry a child is such a gift and those who are unable to do this often feel that they have missed out on something pretty special. While it is not the only way to become a mother I am very grateful that I could experience it first hand. I do emphasize with those who are unable to and always try to be careful with my words especially around Mother’s Day. Infertility is such a painful experience and words casually thrown around can make that pain even worse.
I find myself in a new season as of late. If you have followed It’s Just Life recently you have read that my own mother is going through a new season. After a hip replacement she moved to an assisted living apartment at Copeland Oaks. Since then a fall has necessitated a sling for her fractured shoulder and more care and help from the staff is needed. Her memory is spotty and some days she has difficulty with certain tasks. So I, along with so many others, find myself in that awkward position of trying to be more of a caregiver to my own mother than I ever anticipated.
It is a very difficult position for a child. I want her to be independent and I want her to be able to do things on her own. But then I also want to step in and just do for her so that things get done quickly and without confusion. I want to make things easier for her. I want to explain things to her logically but the things that “I” want are not the best for her.
So I continue to love her and try to allow her to work at her own pace. I watch as she moves piles of papers from place to place. The routine of sorting and looking through things is comforting to her and honestly who really cares about piles of papers around the apartment? I am thrilled that she is using her new craft area to look at her cards and create when she feels like it.
Our roles have changed somewhat these days. I see myself more as a caregiver at times than a daughter but I remind her of all of those years and sacrifices she made for me. She continually says that I “do too much for her”. I tell her that that is rubbish. I could never do too much for this woman who gave me life and encouragement throughout my life. It is my honor to do what I can do to make her life better.
My role has changed and the season that I am in right now seems to be the season of advocacy. I want everyone to be taking care of my mom’s needs like I would if I was there 24 hours a day. That is the best gift I can give her right now. If I can not be present I want those who are there to love my mom and care for her just like I would.
So on this Mother’s Day I celebrate my own mom, grieve with those who are missing their own mothers and empathize with those whose desire to be a mother eluded them. So many emotions swirl around on this day. But I embrace them and thank God every single day for my own mom.
Tell me one special thing about your own mom in the comment section. I would love to “meet” her through your words.