Mother's Day began in the early 1900s as a celebration of all the special women in our lives – mums, grandmas, step-mums, and other mother figures – the superheroes that go unnoticed but often hold things together!
Some say it’s an excuse for commercialisation and yes, like any celebration I guess that’s true, but bringing a smile to someone's face who does so much costs nothing right?
How often are we asked “what do you do job wise?” and reply “Oh I'm just a mum”? Probably the longest shifts any of us do and often with no thanks or appraisal,. Throw in home schooling this year, juggling a career and job titles of cook, cleaner, counsellor, personal assistant, family memory bank, financial wizard, IT guru, peace keeper, taxi, decorator and comforter and you're getting near to the varied day in the life of “just a mum”. But would we have it any other way? No, has it changed since 1908? Maybe in terms of the gadgets and how easy we have it now (some would say!), but really our love for our children no matter how old remains the same - unconditional.
In Scotland, depending on where you are, we are called different things and some of these words are best shouted as if you are miles away rather than metres. Try Mither, Midder, Ma, Mammy and in Gaelic Mathair, but wherever you are in the word we all have or had one!
Mother's Day falls on a different Sunday between March and May every year (I've never quite understood this Lunar date change!). It always arrives in Spring and, for us in rural Scotland, in lambing season, which marks the start of lighter evenings. The snow slowly retreats to the high ground and little pockets of green shoots appear as if they have hibernated, throwing off their blankets to reveal snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses adorning the banks and adding a pop of colour to the parks. It feels like a bud of fresh hope, a new year and new beginnings. I always think it's nature's way of saying “look at me bright and alive, good things are coming”. Let's hope so!
For me personally with a toddler and a teenager Mother's Day is celebrated like a birthday as any excuse for cake is always welcome in our house and it marks the start of a season of foraging and gathering gin ingredients.
The barren gorse bushes are already showing signs of first bloom and soon their vivid yellow flowers will cover the landscape around the Bothy. We gather gorse flowers for our Stirrup Cup gin and it’s the start of our season before the fruits grow.
It makes me think of the seasonal cycle and how amazing Mother Nature is, and how grateful we are for the little things from a daffy to a homemade card or a thoughtful gift (gin!). Even though our lives aren’t changing that much nature doesn’t stop and it will guide us into its next path.
I hope this year you can socially or virtually or spiritually say thank you to whoever you call mum and let's raise a toast to Mother Nature and spring!