Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mothering Sunday

Today is Mother's Day in the UK. Or, for the more traditional, Mothering Sunday. I learnt something new about this occasion today - although it is now a celebration of mothers, Mothering Sunday used to be a day where people returned to their "mother church". This was generally a cathedral or large local church. It was one of the few times that servants were given free days to see their families.

I quite like this. I have a slightly ambivalent relationship with Mother's Day. Obviously it brings me a lot of joy now that I am a mother, but there was a time when it was a painful reminder that I wasn't a mother yet. And I know that there are so many women who will feel the same way today, and who will feel isolated by the celebrations going on around them.

I think whether you are Christian or not, there is something comforting about the idea of being called back to a community. The early Mothering Sundays were opportunities for people to reconnect with their roots and to be part of something bigger. Wouldn't it be nice if the occasion was something similar today?

An occasion to celebrate communities.

Communities including women who want to be mothers, but aren't yet, or maybe never will be.

Communities including people who have lost their mothers, or who have a difficult relationship with their mothers.

Communities including mothers who have lost their children, or who are estranged from them.

Because while being a mother is a wonderful yet difficult job, communities have a part to play in raising and guiding children and young people, and in supporting parents. Or at least they should. I feel that we are losing that sense of connectedness in our society, which is sad. Everyone (parents, children, none of the above) fares better in a society where people are connected.


  1. I think we definitely need more connecting with communities in our lives, especially as so many of us are far from our families and could do with a bit of extra help every so often, and to help others too. We're not religious so don't have that kind of community (although there is a Humanist family-friendly volunteering group in Edinburgh we might go to when Bagl is older) but we do live in a small village where everyone seems to know Bagl as we are always out walking. It would be nice if we could make a further connection though, I could sometimes do with a granny on hand and I know he brings much joy to people when we are out and about. I know of one blogger who moved to another city recently and invited all her new neighbours to an open house at christmas, such a good idea and many of them had never met properly before. I don't know if I'm brave enough for that though!

    1. An open house sounds like a lovely idea but yes, not sure I'm brave enough, although maybe that's the whole point - we need a bit of bravery to connect! We moved six months ago to a very "family" area, I keep seeing children of all ages in the street and it would be lovely to know more of them but it's how to make that first connection that stumps me. Community definitely needs more celebration!!

  2. Is there a toddler group you can go to? That's how I've got to know people, although it's a bit like school, I'm not in the 'in crowd'. I may not know people in my village well, but I do like that they all seem to know Bagl, I suppose you can't forget him in a rainbow striped snow suit!

    1. I know quite a few mums in my town, but would love to know more of my immediate neighbours, whether they have children or not. I suppose it's just hard when people are so busy, which is perhaps why more community events are the answer.