Tag Archives: Mother

Making the Best of It

Happy..Happy.. Mother's Day :-)..
Happy..Happy.. Mother’s Day :-).. (Photo credit: Thai Jasmine (Smile..smile…Smile..))

So it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow and all you procrastinators and excuse-ridden forgetful people who are too lazy to get out of their own way better rush out and get a card, some flowers – even if you have to steal them from someone else’s yard – and then make your lunch reservations.

Lunch reservations?

Fuuuuck!

Probably too late for that now!

Now what are you to do? Standing there with a card that used to say “Happy Birthday” and to which you’ve applied a liberal amount of  Wite-Out while your stolen flowers droop for lack of water and and your face resembles that of a robber’s horse?

Hah! I guess you’re just going to have to make the best of it and do what we used to do years ago before the commercialization of everything under the sun, including Hang-Nail Day. Ohhh, wait a minute. I think they forgot that one.

Nevertheless.

Here’s what we used to do – and I would do now if I still had my mom:

1. Make a card. When we were kids we used to make these really goofy-looking cards that were supposed to be endearing during the Friday afternoon art class before Mother’s Day Sunday. After my mom passed away, I discovered that she had kept a whole stack of these from me and my siblings.  It’s not hard to go find a craft store, get a few simple supplies and make something that’s much better than you can buy.

2. Grow some flowers. Kidding. Actually, I did do this a couple of times when I was a child but I got the idea back in February. However. If your mom is into flowers or gardening, you could buy a plant that will bloom later in the season. In this hemisphere, our greenhouses are all just getting going and there’s lots of choice. There might even be plants available that have some blooms on them already. And don’t buy those tacky ones that they sell in the grocery store.

3. Make lunch. Or dinner. OH. MY. GOD. Make dinner? But I burn water, you scream silently to yourself.  Don’t stress. If necessary, you can always buy something ready-made and just heat it up. Remember, the whole idea is for your mom to have a day off. And be sure to do all the clean-up. She’ll probably appreciate that more than anything else.

4. Last but not least. If all else fails, go to your mom’s place and do her cleaning or her yard work or her laundry for her. I don’t think that there could be a better present.

Happy Mother’s Day, moms, stepmoms, and all you people who have endeavoured to raise us and give us a good life!

In Praise of Stepmothers

In Praise of the Stepmother
In Praise of the Stepmother (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There once was a horrible woman who treated her biological daughters better than her step-daughter. In fact, she treated her step-daughter like the most lowly of servants. Then a rich guy fell in love with the servant girl, married her and took her away from her bad situation. The end.

Sound familiar? Other than the fact that this silly story suggests that marriage is the answer to a woman’s dreams, it has historically been the bane of every stepmother in at least the last 200 years.

The wicked stepmother. By now it has become an archetype. I’m not sure what its origins are but it certainly has had staying power. It encapsulates the notion that if  children are not your own, that you can’t love them, and worse, that you actually hate them and will carry out that hatred in nefarious and crushing ways.

What an image for women to have to cope with! Not only do they have to deal with a ready-made family but they also have to overcome these ridiculous fairy stories.

Most stepmothers try to do their best. I know, because I used to be one. It’s difficult, demanding, and requires the sensitivity of a professional diplomat. And there are few rewards for getting it right, but lots of condemnation for getting it wrong.

Yes, lots of step-parents are crap. But lots of biological parents are crap, too.

Mother’s Day is coming. Its popularity did not come out of the idea of honouring one’s mother. That came out of war. Out of the heartbreaking losses of sons that women had to endure because a government decided to send them to die. And there were lots of stepmothers among them.

Hallmark and other companies have commercialized and capitalized on Mother’s Day and it has become a colossal money-maker for florists and restaurants and the makers of cards. Its founder, American Anna Jarvis, was disappointed by this. It has been turned into flowers and hearts but that’s not really what it was supposed to be about.

It’s supposed to be about work. Hard work. And love and tears and worry and sleeplessness. And lots of people, not just mothers, have done that for us.

So, this Sunday, we should perhaps honour the fight that our mothers, stepmothers and others have carried out for us. For many of us, it was the struggle that saved us, not the flowers.