The need to recast this special day
Cast in a New Mold
Being a Mother in our contemporary world means something vastly diverse, dynamic and vibrant compared to the previous decade. The role demands endless balancing, being stretched to limits even as the awareness exists that it is not possible to give a hundred per cent. For most it is a vocation that teeters between the traditional and modern, always defying characterization. For the vast majority of Mothers, mired in the throes of the “sandwich” generation, serving the cohort preceding and following them, the sensation of falling between two stools never quite goes away. Yet Motherhood is the most precious, sought after, treasurable, unpaid job in the whole entire Universe.
The expectations on parenthood are vast, but the burden on Motherhood is immense. In every culture through the ages, this role has been sanctified, glorified and even deified. The umbilical cord that sustains life between the mother and the unborn child, lingers long after it has been severed at birth. Mothers have to be superstars, but we forget they are humans too.
The messaging for women in this generation is that she can have it all, including Motherhood. That they can be anything they want to be. Regrettably that is heaviest burden to bear. Because for many the real struggle is believing that they don’t have to be everything, even though the subtle expectation is the opposite. With the advent of technology, internet, social media and shifting gender roles, Motherhood has altered significantly and women are endeavoring to level the score. They need a village, an army of nurturing systems in place to keep them buoyant.
Being a Mother in 2023 means mustering every ounce of empathy and emotional brawn to hold together the family’s very big feelings and buffer them through stormy times. Keeping the household safe from a long list of challenges can be exhausting, scary and demands every ounce of strength, courage and resilience. Gun violence, social and academic pressures, deficient childcare, the weight of two income families, digital era – each contribute their share of pressure.
Rudyard Kipling famously said, “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made Mothers”. Without an ounce of doubt, it is the best job in the world. It gives the most joy, it is fulfilling beyond words, allowing one to shape a human being’s emotional character, create a family – a pod of light, kindness and love that can sustain through generations. Aided by intuition, Mother’s cruise with the ebb and flow of the demands of their role. Fierce when they need to protect, filled with pride when milestones are achieved and ready to fade into the background when their young ones have matured and ready to fly upwards and onwards.
Being a Mother comes without a Manual, even though there is mountain of advice, information and guidance coming your way. It is a task that demands part intuition, part knowledge, part creativity, part wonder and dollops of love to accomplish. It is to be cherished, but above all, the first step is to support, cheer and appreciate the Mother herself – the mainspring fountainhead. This is to be done every day, all the time. Not once in a while on a special Holiday. Otherwise we are not illuminating a better world, a brighter tomorrow and a more prized future. Remember once a Mum, forever a Mother.
As always, I want to hear from you. What does motherhood mean for you in 2023? Lets gather a snapshot of our views and thoughts, so we can generate a downstream of societal understanding that can sustain us all.
We are stronger together