For All The Sacrifices

The sacrifices ©FrogDiva Photography

Mothers´s Day is one of the most unnecessary holidays that the modern world has conjured up, and this is why: a mother, and all the mothers before us, should be honoured every day and thanked for every breath we take. Nobody, absolutely nobody enters this world without a mother, so you owe her your entire existence, no matter how tough, harsh, or confusing she may have been. This is the same woman who taught you about life, generosity, kindness, and above all, the sacrifices that need to be made in order to survive.

I come from a long line of strong women and am humbled by my heritage. I have suffered, as a woman, mother, and daughter; am still suffering, as a mother, and daughter, and will always suffer as a woman, mother, and daughter because of the roles, the commitment, the concern, the responsibility and the love.

As mothers, we take on roles in our lives that are often unwanted, thrust upon us by nature and society, and are left with no choice but to rise to the challenge and overcome the hurdles one way or another. We are the most powerful creatures on earth, because we give life, and mould our children into who they become, good or bad, and at the end of the day, we bear the burden of responsibility.

Make no mistake, mothers are not faultless. We are perhaps the most imperfect of beings, and I will not apologise for it. Motherhood makes perfection impossible when you have to run a household, raise the children, keep a marriage together, fulfill your roles and duties at work, school, church, and everywhere else we get dragged into. Perfection can only thrive in an environment when you can be 100% focused and there are no outside forces to disturb.

Yes, we are prone to failure, in the most disastrous manner. Our human inability to do everything at 100% each moment makes us fallible, vulnerable, emotional, volatile, temperamental, frustrated, exhausted, and sorrowful.
Why?
Why can’t we be the perfect managers or CEOs or be driven by ambition to reach the top?
Because we are too busy caring about the family, the children, the spouse, the friend, the sister, the mother, the grandmother, the grandchildren. In between balance sheets, project deadlines, surgeries, lesson planning, presentations, we are wondering what we will serve for dinner, whether we packed the children warm enough, did little Johnny take his soccer stuff with him? Did I remember to give Mary her medicine? Did I call the plumber to schedule him for Saturday?

Acceptance is the first lesson we learn, and the last thought on our minds before we fall into an exhausted sleep. We embrace gratitude by surviving one day after another, and still have the energy and willpower to do it all over again the next day. But there are also lessons on self-sacrifice that we learn and never really volunteer for, and hence the buried dreams and unfulfilled ambitions.

It is the mothers of this world who will skip a meal to stretch the budget, who will pinch from the household allowance here and there so there are gifts to open on birthdays and Christmas, ice creams on holidays, and some magical moment. We are magicians, teachers, laundry service, cooks, drivers, escort service, disciplinarians, counsellors, disaster managers, risk takers, and the most difficult part is that we can never switch it off.

So yes, I object to Mother´s Day per se, because every day is Mother´s Day in both the positive and negative sense. Perhaps not all of us were raised by affectionate, generous and kind moms, and tough love was all they knew how to dish out, but make no mistake in thinking that you were never loved. Maybe you are like me, who was spanked generously and lived by strict conservative rules that I resented all my life, but the driving force was love, mothers love.

Motherhood is a lifetime condemnation to sacrifice, sorrow, pain, disillusionment, and frustration. It makes us fierce, protective, warrior-like, interfering, and manipulative beings, but it is only a mother who can love unconditionally and forgive the mistakes and shortcomings of the children, being such an imperfect being herself.

I hate the idea of having to live up to a certain standard of motherhood, because each woman is different, and so are the children. What works for one mother will be an utter disaster for another. And all the corny cliches you will read on cards, Pinterest and Facebook today are probably true, there is nobody quite like your mother.

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