Mother’s Day. You have to do something for Mother’s Day, don’t you? You have to, to show you care to display your love. It’s not that you love your mum any more on Mother’s Day, or that you love them less on other days, it’s just a way to show it, a day to encourage you to say thank you to your mum.
So, I’m going to say thank you, and I’m going to say it here because I know you’ll read this. And sometimes, a public thank you is better than a private thank you. It proves that you want everyone else to know that you’re saying thank you. It might sound a bit backward from the start, and it might not sound like your usual Mother’s Day thank you (I can guarantee that, in fact). In fact, you might even think it doesn’t sound like a ‘thank you’ at all, but it will, by the end. I promise – so stay with me.
My mum doesn’t really cook (in fact, she burns a lot of things), and she doesn’t really clean, she never has done, much. She was never a stay at home mum; she went back to work relatively quickly. I didn’t grow up in what I’ll call a ‘traditional’ household. It wasn’t mummy at home and daddy at work household. It wasn’t old fashioned at all, in that sense. You might be thinking this makes her a bad mum, you might be thinking it wasn’t the ‘right’ way to do it. And, yeah, sometimes I found it a bit difficult, sometimes I wondered why my mummy didn’t do the laundry like other mummies did, or why my mummy often burnt dinner and no one else’s did. Maybe it was a bit different, a bit odd. Sometimes I felt like things weren’t done right. And maybe they weren’t, maybe they were – I’ve no idea.
But what this did do, and what she did do, was teach me how to do things for myself and a lot of valuable lessons. She taught me that a woman wasn’t defined by cooking and cleaning, and she taught me that a man wasn’t defined by going to work and providing for the family. She taught me that jobs should be split. Household chores should be fair, everyone can do something, everyone can do everything. Work should be fair; everyone can go to work. Women aren’t limited to the home and men aren’t limited to the workplace. The family should be equal. An equal and fair place, where there weren’t ‘blue and pink’ jobs, where if you hated hoovering or cleaning the lime scale in the bathroom, that didn’t make you any less of a woman.
We had fun, so much fun when I was a kid. Hosting tea parties, making tents out of blankets in the front room, having picnics on the floor inside. You don’t forget things like that. Ever. Those memories stay with you forever and ever. My mum taught me it was alright to be silly and just a little bit weird. She taught me it was alright to be myself, that it was good to be myself. That I was good, just right, just the way I am. Even though I worried a lot as a kid, and I still do now, that’s alright. It was always alright. How I was, was how I should be, and I learned that from her.
And, when you think about it, these are good lessons to have learned, even if you didn’t realise you were learning them at the time. So, thanks mum, I owe you one. You’re the best. Oh, and happy Mother’s Day.