Mothers. By physical definition, a woman whose body morphs out of shape, stretches, recreates itself to adjust to the new born growing within. A far from simple definition and in no way the sum of the whole. This Mother’s Day is not only about celebrating the women that carried us into existence. Motherhood, as many would be startled by, does not begin and end at procreation. It is not a bond forged only through blood and placenta or in service to flourishing humanity. It is about a selfless unconditional love, a nurturing protective instinct, a pure joy that comes from only besetting your eyes on your child and an uncontrollable need of wanting only the best for them.
This Mother’s Day we celebrate all mother figures, from office mums to mothers in law, to adoptive mothers and everything else in between. This relationship between mother and child is by far the most important relationship of a human being’s existence. It is a relationship both complex as it is beautiful. And when surrounded by the best mums in the entire universe it comes naturally to assume that every other is like that. We are who we are because of who our mothers are. Not to say we are photocopies of our parents but that we are a product of our upbringing. Some might argue but studies will show that there are differences between children of attuned and unattuned mothers.
You hear tales of mothers that turned their backs and never returned, of mothers that despise their dark-skinned children over light skinned ones, of mothers that call their children ugly, of mothers that allow their daughters to be raped by their lovers in a ploy to preserve the relationship, of unmaternal mothers! I recently watched an episode of a popular American modelling show and on it was a girl broken by the relationship she had with her mother or rather lack thereof. All her life her mother told her she was ugly and not good enough for anyone and she had believed it, so she came on to the show to prove her mother wrong but she was haunted by memories of her childhood and distracted by the ever-menacing need of her mother’s validation.
We are inflicted, affected and moulded by the relationships we have with our mothers, we are broken, detached and strengthened by it. It is a delicate relationship that calls for sturdy heroism. To all the mothers that understood that the job of unconditional love was never an easy one but still came effortlessly natural to them and to all the women that play the part of mother without the blood connection and do it so well; the world would be unbearable without you in it. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums that build and never tear down, to all the mothers whose love is a beacon of hope of strength. To all the mums both present and gone, whose light continues to shine through the darkest times, thank you for loving us.
By Yvonne Mateko