Happy Mother’s Day

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On the 30th March here in the UK, Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day as it is commonly  known, is celebrated by families spending time together and giving gifts.

The tradition started sometime during the 16th century when people returned to their mother church on the fourth Sunday of Lent, a Christian celebration leading up to Easter.

This was the only time that domestic servants were given a day off, therefore joining their mothers and families at their mother church, or cathedral was an important and cherished time for them. Servants and their families rarely had a day off that coincided with each other, making their time together very precious.

imageThe religious tradition of young people and children in service collecting wild flowers on the way to church to meet their mothers, evolved into the Mothering Sunday tradition of giving gifts and flowers to Mothers. Mothering Sunday, is still practiced in the Church of England but over the years society has merged it with the imported Mother’s Day celebrations that was started early in the 19th century in the USA.

By the 1950’s Mother’s Day celebrations had spread across the UK and so began a very lucrative commercial enterprise. Each year the price of flowers rise considerably on the day, and people are encouraged to buy more and more expensive gifts, to show their love for their mothers.

Because the two days, Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday,  have been mixed together people wrongly assume they are the same thing. Mothering Sunday is still part of the church calendar, and during the service the children are given small cards and posies of flowers to give to their mothers.

Internationally, Mother’s Day has been adopted as part of the culture of many countries; it has been incorporated into existing religious and traditional celebrations, held on a variety of different dates.

Mother’s Day however can be a very negative day for some people. It can leave them feeling sad and resentful that they haven’t experienced the kind of love portrayed by the media. Every child deserves the protection and love of their parent but as we know not everybody has that experience growing up.  The closeness they crave is out of reach, leaving them bereft of and on the outside of  society’s happiness bubble of motherly love.

There has been many song written about mothers some good, some bad, but one of the most poignant  I know was written by John Lennon when he was undergoing therapy.  His father, a seaman, was absent for most of John’s childhood and he was left to live with his aunt.  His reunion with his mother was short-lived after she was killed in a traffic accident.  The lyrics of  the song “Mother” written and performed by John Lennon expresses the hurt and detachment he experienced as he grew up.

Mother
Mother, you had me, but I never had you
I wanted you, you didn’t want me
So I, I just got to tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Father, you left me, but I never left you
I needed you, you didn’t need me
So I, I just got to tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Children, don’t do what I have done
I couldn’t walk and I tried to run
So I, I just got to tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Mama don’t go
Daddy come home

Mama don’t go
Daddy come home

Mama don’t go
Daddy come home

Mama don’t go
Daddy come home<

Whatever your feelings about Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day, whatever your feelings about your own mother, have the best day you can have, spend it with those you love and who make you feel good.   And if you have children, be the best parent you can be, give them the best memories they can have and give them all the love you have to give.

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Happy Mother’s Day

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