Mother’s day: special treat or sneaky trick?
Mother’s day: special treat or sneaky trick?
For 30 years I arrived at Mother’s Day with an expectation of how it should be a special day for me, and every day for 30 years I was inevitably left feeling disappointed.
Wondering if this was the case for other mothers, I ran a snap poll at my work. Without question, every woman said that although they enjoyed the mother’s day presents, the pampering and the sometimes burned breakfast made for them, by the afternoon this was long forgotten and they each felt that the family expected them to be back in the role of ‘mother’ as they’d had their Mother’s Day special treat. And without fail the women I spoke to stepped back up to the plate (literally) and got back onto caring for the family, putting themselves aside.
What I also noticed in these women and in myself was a sense of acceptance of “that’s just the way it is” as well as a tinge or, in my case, a truckload of resentment.
This got me thinking as to why we as women accept that having one special day out of 365 is all the ‘reward’ that is required to keep us engaged in caring for our families, sometimes without regard for ourselves, over the other 364 days of the year, all resulting in various levels of resentment and/or dissatisfaction.
Have we fallen for a sneaky trick that we haven’t quite been willing to see? ...
Over the last few years, I have had my eyes open to how this sneaky Mother’s Day trick has played out in my own life. Firstly, as a mother of seven children who used to be pretty keen on a spot of self-sacrifice, I felt that I was definitely owed a pretty special Mother’s Day treat. Unfortunately my picture of what this Mother’s Day special treat should be like and my family’s picture of what it should be never quite matched up and I would often end up feeling angry and hurt that no one truly appreciated all my efforts.
In the end, I just felt Mother’s Day was totally fake and that my family was just completely self-centred and selfish.
I have also realised from my poll that not every woman may have this reaction, some just may try harder at giving to others or even feel that they don’t deserve anyone to do anything at all special for Mother’s Day.
In making the choice to delve a little deeper into what I felt about Mother’s Day, I discovered that by looking to my family for appreciation of all I had sacrificed and done for them in the previous 364 days, I was actually avoiding the fact that I did not truly appreciate myself.
With this new found awareness I started to address the pockets of lack of self appreciation that lead me into patterns of ‘doing for others’ before considering myself and perhaps doing things to feel worthwhile. This has been a slow process – one which has been greatly supported by what I have learnt from Esoteric Women's Health presentations, workshops, women’s groups and Esoteric Healing modalities. Addressing this hasn’t always been easy as the patterns of behaving this way are strong. The commitment to be more aware and honest about what motivates me to do something and actually choosing to take time to care for me and appreciate myself first instead, has changed my experience and understanding of mothering.
The commitment to change my patterns began about 4 years ago and the first Mother’s Day after my epiphany was approached with the intention not to have any pictures of what it ‘should’ be like. The day started well but fell apart when one of my kids forgot it was Mother’s Day. After getting over my initial reaction, I realised this just showed me there was more to develop. The next step was to actually begin to appreciate me for who I am and not for all the things I do for others.
"Women need to feel and honour who they truly are and not define themselves by ‘we can do anything’."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations p 543
By the next Mother’s Day I had begun to develop more appreciation for myself so I made it clear to my children that I didn’t need a celebration or any Mother’s Day presents. Again the day started out well, but eventually a little bit of my missing the celebration and pressies snuck in. This time there was no outward reaction, just me asking myself what I felt I had actually missed for me to feel this way. On reflection, I realised I was trying to control the day so as to not expose the possibility that any of my children didn’t appreciate me.
Again I took this as an invitation to bring more self-appreciation into my life. I did this by actually clocking the small things that I appreciated about myself, such as the care I took to get ready in the morning, how I did things and observing my body and checking if there was any feeling of rushing. I also kept an eye on the time I spent offering loving support to those in my life, and checking that I was not looking for recognition in the doing and most importantly taking time to look in the mirror to see the beauty in my eyes.
With this foundation of appreciation, my last Mother’s Day was completely different and I did not have any set agenda of what anyone should or should not do. The family did however organise a lovely breakfast (no burnt toast in sight) and I simply enjoyed being with them all.
The day was not the old Mother’s Day special treat where I was looking for my family to appreciate or recognise me for all I did, it was just about being me and enjoying being with my children as my self-appreciation cup was well and truly full.
All women have the opportunity to blow the lid off this age old sneaky trick if we are simply willing to see that having one day in 365 of appreciation is not actually a Mother’s Day special treat and that our own self-appreciation is something to give ourselves and celebrate every day of the year.