Caroline (Mac) McMahon tells us how she plans to spend her Mother’s Day
I remember when my children were very young, thinking the perfect Mother’s Day gift would be to be left alone to sleep, read and just simply relax. There was an aching that I had to not be needed for a few hours to recharge my batteries and and just be me. Not needing to prepare or serve a meal, settle a baby to sleep or change a nappy. Wistfully dreaming of the day when as much as I enjoyed being a mother and loved my children, that the relentless and exhausting rhythm of being in a busy family would go from being frenetic to slow. Would this always remain a dream?
Well that day has arrived. My children are now grown and finished school, both at university and one even recently moved out of the family home to live independently. There is a music festival on this weekend down south, and my music loving sons bought their tickets many months ago before realising that it would be the same weekend as Mother’s Day. Each of them have come to me and asked if there is anything planned for Mother’s Day this coming Sunday? I have truthfully told them that I am not expecting them back home early to see me and am sure we will catch up later in the evening for an early meal and share the news of the weekend. To see the look on their faces that they won’t have to conform to an expectation of being there to make me breakfast in bed, or take me for lunch just because the date dictates they should do was priceless. Both have promised to call in when they return to Perth, which I am looking forward to. It looks like my long ago wish is about to come true.
My gift this Mother’s Day will be two fold. Firstly that my children are confident and independent enough to move away from me and to be honest with what the situation is without being fearful of my reaction or hurting my feelings. That we could hold an open and calm conversation about what everyone’s expectations were for the weekend. I know if it had been really important to me for them to spend the day with me, they would. My joy is in knowing my sons want to be with me, not because they have to.
Secondly, is that despite my mother’s ailing health with Alzheimer’s disease, she still recognises me and we continue to enjoy each other’s company. It has been a big year of needing to move her to 24 hour care as I simply can’t manage to provide the increased care that she needs and deserves to keep her happy and safe. My mum has never complained or made me feel bad for not being able to continue her care at home. She is grateful for the small moments in her life that bring her joy and comfort. I was lucky to be raised by such a strong, independent and supportive woman, that is just happy for me to spend precious time with her. I look forward to being able to have the freedom to spend time with my mum, knowing this may well be the last year that she will know it is Mother’s Day and that she is my much adored mother. The gift of each other will be ample for both of us.
I will miss that breakfast in bed of lumpy and possibly burned pancakes, looking up to see my children watching me eat each mouthful with pride of what they have created with minimal help from my dear husband. Of the too milky coffee as they insisted on pouring the milk themselves and the dandelion in a vase to make my tray look beautiful. For the home made gifts from daycare and school that I know were made with love for just me. And I will really miss the biggest, longest kisses and cuddles that came with that breakfast tray. Their chubby, sticky little fingers tightly wrapped around my neck as they kiss and squeeze me. Now as men, there is a quick hug and a kiss but not with that brutish gusto that once they used to have for physical affection with me.
To all you beautiful and caring Mother’s, your love and nurturing of your babies does not go unnoticed. That despite your exhaustion and worry, your children and loved ones do appreciate you and I can tell you in years to come it will be a much more relaxing Mother’s Day than now. That you too will look back with pride to the young person that you have created and raised, and feel the fullness in your heart from this wonder. Enjoy each kiss, each time they ask for one more cuddle, even though you have just given them seven in a row, because one day in your peaceful Mother’s Days, you will miss the little things that used to make them so special.
Happy Mother’s Day from The Caroline’s Angels Team.
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