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Like a mother to me: mothering, Mother’s Day and what it’s really all about

mother mothering

For someone to say ‘she’s like a mother to me’, it’s a powerful thing. It’s a compliment that denotes, care, support, protection, safety and love, and that’s something worth celebrating in all its different guises on Mother’s Day.

‘Mother’ can mean different things to different people

Anyone who has born children will tell you that being a mother is one of the most rewarding (as well as challenging) experiences of their lives. For those of us who are lucky enough to have, or have had, our mothers in our lives (in the traditional sense), we hopefully have many happy memories and maybe more to come.

However, despite the traditional narrative, not everybody has their mum in their life. Some of us have/had bad relationships with them. Some of us lost them too young. Some have lost them as adults. Perhaps you have another person who has been a mother figure. Perhaps you have the memory of the mother you lost. Meanwhile, others may be lucky enough to have an additional person who has been ‘like a mother’ as well as their own.

Equally, from the other side of the story, many women have not had the traditional experience of being a mother. Some are not there yet. Some want to get there, some don’t. Some women never wanted to have biological children of their own. Some never had the opportunity, and some very much wanted children but for one reason or another were not able to have them.

A deep and complex relationship

What on the surface seems like such an obvious concept is a myriad of complex emotion, both happy and sad. However, at its root, mothering someone is really about embodying love and care. No matter what our personal circumstances, we find that support in many people around us. Perhaps it’s a friend, a neighbour, another relative, a colleague, a mentor or even a boss.

This emotive world of thought, feeling and discussion comes to a head this month with Mother’s Day. It’s a day that’s become synonymous with cards decorated with dried pasta, bunches of daffodils, breakfast in bed and Sunday lunches with the family. However, regardless of all the trimmings - and we do love the trimmings - it’s ultimately a day about love and care. And for that, you don’t literally be someone’s mum.

So whoever you want to dedicate Mother’s Day to this year, treat it as an opportunity for quality time. Naturally, we recommend a spa break for the occasion, but the most important thing is finding space to spend time together.


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