Let's celebrate all mothers
From Granny’s to teachers, to aunties to social workers, there are many women who deserve your £3.99 hyacinths this weekend, and it is OK if that is not the one who brought you into being.
The ideology of Mother’s Day is an unblemished annual celebration of all things cosily maternal. Yet, for many adopted children and adult adoptees across the country Mother's Day is a recurring reminder of rootlessness abandonment, dragging all stickiest, least answerable questions to the surface.
Of course, they love their adoptive parents, but with complicated, dislocated and perhaps distressing experiences of mothers, a whole day devoted to their marvelousness might just be one of the worst days that could have been invented.
Our children are still at the age were having two dads is ‘cool’, which we understand as they get older and become more aware of our family make-up that this may not always be the case, so Mother’s Day, for us, is as an opportunity to celebrate the incredible women in our lives. The non-biologicals. The grannies, the foster mothers, and the teachers. The mother hen friends and benevolent godmothers. The world is packed with mother figures, so lets celebrate them.
Grandmother, grandma, granny, nanny – these are the names of love, care and wisdom. It’s the place where our children are always welcomed. In our case, it is granny and nanny. Both dote on our pair and having gained experience in the upbringing of us, they are more patient, wiser and, at the same time, a lot more fun and forgiving.
Then, of course, there are the foster mothers. We are still in contact with our children’s foster mother and she, and her family, have become an extension to ours. These women choose to apply their mothering to some of the most vulnerable, most challenged, most in-need young people, both from Britain and abroad. As one such woman put it, their job is simply to “love someone back to life”. Let’s hear it for them this Mother’s Day.
Not to mention the casual mothers who weave in and out of our lives like silk. My best friends Mum, who I stayed over at regularly throughout my teens, treated me as one of her own, despite me and my friend arriving home past 04:00 AM on a Sunday morning, blaring music while insisting on a night cap before bed. My work mum who at 17 let me have a hungover nap in the storeroom, while covering for me on the shop floor. My university Mum who supported me in writing my dissertation on Britney Spears and pushing me to achieve a first. I have been mothered by women without number all of whom have played a pivotal role in shaping me.
So, here is to the caretaker who tucks in your child’s label in the canteen; the woman who knits you a hat for winter; the woman who shows you where the kettle is on your first day; the woman who walks you to your first class in a new building; the woman who swearily, hilariously berates your ex.
This Sunday, hand over those £3.99 hyacinths in a woven basket or that box of Hotel Chocolat to the women of your life. Take this as an opportunity to celebrate all the mothers; the biological and elected, the blood and the chosen.
*I respect, that for some, this is a lot easier said than done. I write from my experience. This works for us, for now, but as our children get older who knows what the future will hold. If you are grieving, then allow yourself do to so, and no-one will judge if you keep the hyacinths and eat the Hotel Chocolate to yourself. You deserve it!