My mother is an amazing woman! How many times have we heard that description of a mum? There is no doubt any of us believe our mothers are not special and deserve all the credit bestowed upon them.
Mother’s Day is celebrated in most countries across the globe on the second Sunday in May, after US President Woodrow Wilson on 8 May 1914 signed a Joint Resolution designating this Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
The tradition soon spread across most of the globe and now it stands alone as a day when we all pay tribute to mothers for all their love and support, and to make them feel special.
There are different kinds of mothers.
The career minded professionals, full and part time workers, the full time homemakers, single and retired mothers – they encompass a wide spectrum of ages.
There are many varying adjectives used to describe mothers: strict, fashionable, easy going, loving, conservative and in today’s terminology ‘cool’ and ‘switched on’ are used.
When I started to write this story my thoughts centered on my Mum, who is approaching a century on this land. Mum is reluctant to receive recognition for her deeds, telling me to write about mothers who have endured many changes in society the past 20 to 30 years. She believes times are tougher now, and living in a different society, the role of a mum is different from years ago.
The activities of running a family are more demanding today – with pressure on keeping pace with their children’s daily life such as schooling, sports and hobbies.
There seems an endless list of alternatives for children to occupy themselves as they head towards being adults. Focus interviewed several mums this month who agreed to tell their stories on the condition they remained anonymous for privacy reasons. Judy, 46, is a stay at home mother who considers she has the best of all worlds, as her family do not have any financial pressures.
She admires mothers and families who overcome adversity and hard times, and due to her concern and compassion, assists with a volunteer welfare agency every week.
“It is essential to help people who are less fortunate than yourself. It gives me a great feeling when people come and thank you.” At home with the usual chores mothers are subjected to, Judy has kept her love of sport alive through her four children (all under 17 years of age) by joining them in several sports they’re involved with.
A known competitor in triathlons around the state and several overseas, Judy is relishing competing with two of her children. “We compete in different levels of triathlons but it is the joy of watching the children which gives me a thrill. I am lucky all my children like sport, so it is easy for me to help. Recently my daughter and I started playing netball on the same team. Must admit, they have my competitiveness.”
Judy admits she can be tough sometimes, particularly when it involves education, as she believes to progress and have a future in the modern world it is essential to do well at school. “School comes first, so we have to balance training with the homework. My husband is wonderful, he is full of support. He does not play sport and handles juggling sports venues very well.”
Judy’s children all believe they are a close family due to her dedication and her mentorship during the year. “Nothing is any trouble to Mum she is so supportive. She can be strict sometimes. We think she is the best.” Pamela is a single working mum who has raised five children for 20 years, with her only relief being the eldest four leaving home the past five years to pursue their careers.
Being a full time mum since her marriage folded meant tough times in providing the basic needs and nurturing, that saw little sleep for several years. “Having four children a year apart and one a couple of years younger was very demanding, it was just a constant battle to survive. My children were no different to any others, they wanted to play sport and enjoy hobbies like their friends. Making sacrifices was always on the agenda however somehow we got through.”
Pamela believes the support of her mother and a small band of friends helped to give her some respite. “My Mum was so helpful. Without her support it would have been tougher.” Spending a decade at home and with her children growing up, Pamela rejoined the workforce – a move she did not regret.
“It was good to have extra money – it allowed me to give little extras. Working and looking after the children was a little easier.”
Looking back on the days she lived on ‘struggle street’ she has many memories, good and bad, but it’s the joy of seeing all her children make something of their lives which makes her stand tall. “I wanted to help them as much as possible within my means. Some of their hobbies were at times over the top. All now have careers of which I am proud.
My life today is good. It has been a battle and today I appreciate what I’ve got now.” All Pamela’s children admire and respect her input into their lives, and they have never forgotten her loyalty and support. “Mum has had to endure plenty over the years. She has been a great assistance in molding us into a close family and guiding us to enjoying our life at work and socially. Without her times would have been tougher.”
There are thousands of stories about mothers across Australia, of their heartaches and successes. If, for some reason, you have an estranged relationship with your mum, it may be time to renew your association. Remember we only have one mother who is a special loving person, so send them a card, phone them or call in to celebrate their day.
For me, as each Mother’s Day passes, I truly hope my Mum will still be around for a few more years to attain her goal of reaching the magical 100 years. Mothers are truly amazing women. They have to endure many trials and tribulations, and have a great tenacity for life.
Happy Mother’s Day to all.