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Mother's Day

08
May
2013
 

By Jessie

In case you weren’t aware from the junk mail catalogues clogging up your mailbox, this Sunday the 12th May is Mother’s Day in Australia. While regular readers of this blog will know I’m usually no fan of ‘Hallmark’ holidays, I have to confess I’m kind of OK with Mother’s Day. I like the idea. Mothers ARE pretty spesh, and in my opinion, deserve at least one day of hero worship each year (yes, yes, fathers are also great but we’ll talk about them in September).
 
It’s true what they say – you never appreciate your own mother until you become one yourself. Since producing a sproglet of my own, I look back in horror at my Days of Teenage Depravity™ for what I put my poor mother through - and tremble in fear at what’s in store for me in about 12 years or so.
 
(And by the way, if you’re a mammalian creature who has given birth, in ANY way, to any THING, well, all I can say is R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Why mothers are not presented with a diamond tiara and the keys to the city after childbirth I will never understand.)
 
Motherhood is amazing, but frankly, if I saw the job description advertised by a recruitment agency, I’m not sure I’d apply:

 

Seeking:  Mother - female preferred. 
Hours: Full time (We really mean it, we’re talking 24/7) 
Salary: $0
Holidays: None. Well, maybe a short break after 18 years’ continuous service. But it won’t be fancy! (You’ll be broke)
Bonuses: Hmmm, do wrinkles count?
 
We’re a progressive company with ‘old-fashioned values’ looking for a team player to do… well, everything! This exciting and challenging position will suit a candidate who can demonstrate flexibility, reliability, excellent time-management skills and the super-human ability to keep working through illness (even if it’s man-flu!)  
 
The position entails:


  • Coordination and management of all domestic events, activities, rosters and obligations
  • Ability to miraculously stretch a tight domestic budget
  • High-level psychology and mediation skills with at least 10 years’ experience in crisis management
  • Daily execution of all domestic chores and retail/grocery purchase acquisitions
  • The production of at least two, usually three, chef-standard, nutritionally balanced meals per day. Every day. Forever.
  • First-class educational entertainment geared towards junior team members. If they don’t succeed – it’s your fault!
  • The ability to apply first aid when required (including but not limited to treating burns, bites, gashes, sprains, scrapes, scratches, food poisoning, choking, removal of small items from ears and nostrils, projectile vomiting, tackle injuries, etc.)
  • The potential to also simultaneously juggle a second, unfairly remunerated  position without succumbing to guilt/fatigue/depression/insanity
  • A bright and bubbly disposition at all times 

And in all seriousness [soapbox moment] the description above doesn’t even come CLOSE to representing the DEPLORABLE conditions that mothers must endure in other parts of the world. Gross gender inequality, violence and abuse, neglect, poor levels of education, unsafe birth conditions, the list of horrors goes on; an unspeakable reality that I think should be publicly recognised on a day such as Mother’s Day.    
 
But before you start thinking I’m an angry, fist-waving harridan, I should say at this point that despite all the challenges: the sleepless nights, the cleaning up of vomit, and yes, the guilt of being a working mother, I wouldn’t swap being a mum for anything. My son has gifted me with strength, determination and humility and increased my capacity to care by the power of infinity (in fact I blush when I think about what a self-absorbed, indifferent, wine-glugging time-waster I was sans child).

 
Mother's Day Card - Etsy 
Source: Etsy.com
 

And [SPOILER ALERT] when my second child comes into the world in about ooooh, five weeks, I am ready to embrace the sleepless nights, the nappies, and… did I mention the endless, sleepless nights? Because I know that it’s the hard work which makes the rewards of being a mum so very, very special.     
So YouPlayers, this Sunday, celebrate your mum! Or the memory of your mum! And yourself if you’re a mum! And all the other mothers in the world. Because we rock. And there will hopefully be a nice lunch involved. 
 
But I couldn’t end this blog without sharing a quote from the actual inventor of Mother’s Day, American Anna Jarvis. Way back in 1912, Jarvis was a feisty lady with a no-nonsense attitude and a sharp tongue who decided to hold an annual memorial for her mother. The idea quickly spread and soon became a national – then international - event.  
 
Clearly, cynicism was around in olden times too, because by the 1920s Anna had become disgusted by the commercialisation of the holiday and together with her sister Ellsinore, spent the family inheritance campaigning against the travesty that the day had become.
 
According to her New York Times obituary, Jarvis was embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. As she said:
 
A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.
Wise words, Anna, and on Sunday I shall take a minute to toast your legacy (with a pregnancy-police approved, non-alcoholic beverage, no less!) 



SHOW BAKING UPDATE
 
Red ribbon

Some of you may recall that I entered the bake-off at our local ‘Country’ Show last weekend. I am overjoyed to announce that – despite my fears of ruination – I won second prize for my light fruit cake and received a fetching red ribbon and certificate. 
 
And that’s ALL there is to this story, no more to tell, no details left unsaid.
Err, OK there’s one small thing. Teensy really.
 
The fact is, only one other person entered the competition – so technically, I came last. 
 
Jessie  x
 
Share your favourite Mother's Day tales or memories in the Comments section below!

 

13 Responses to

Mother's Day

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May 08, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Jess congratulations on the upcoming reentry into motherhood. The second doesn't come with a manual either despite writing it for the first yourself. Your cake must have at least passed inspection as they can award no prize if it's not good enough. Sometimes it is worth asking the stewards what the judge's comment was if you really want to know. I remember getting a first out of one. The steward was keen to pass on that the item was outstanding! So my one out of one technically last was actually up there with the best of them! Such is the fun of little country shows.

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said:
May 08, 2013 at 5:49 PM

congrats jess on the new arrival to come and on your cake can you send me some please as to mums day will remember my mum and take some flowers out to her and dads grave say hi tell them the goss and come home

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nan_j said:
May 08, 2013 at 5:51 PM

lol Jess I once came 1st and I was the only one in that group but please do support our country shows we need your help to keep them going

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May 08, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Congratulations, Jessie on your second round of motherhood - although it's not round, is it, it's never-ending! Lucky bubs to have such a caring Mum as you.

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relle said:
May 08, 2013 at 9:59 PM

All the best Jess with the 2nd arrival, I'm lucky to have both my Mum & Mum-in-law (in their late 80's) coming for brunch on Sunday with all the extended family! I wish I had your 2nd prize winning cake to feed them all! lol

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Mojito said:
May 08, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Congratulation Jessie on winning the baking ribbon and Happy Mothers Day to you and all the mums and grandmums at youplay.

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said:
May 09, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Great blog Jessie...having spent a bit of time in South-East Asia, I can only agree entirely with your comments on the difficulties mothers have there, quite apart from the "normal" hassles of being a mum in a lucky country like Oz....and no, I certainly don't think you're any sort of harridan. Happy Mother's Day to you and all the Mums out there!

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Mo said:
May 10, 2013 at 4:11 AM

I once came 3rd in a class for piano duets. When asked 'out of how many?' I like to explain that there were 6 (pianists) I don't know about inventing Mother's Day, but we have Mothering Sunday in the middle of Lent in England. Have done forever (well maybe not, who knows)

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richey90 said:
May 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Good luck with impending arrival of your new bundle of joy. Happy Mother's Day to all the mums out there. I will be thinking of my beautiful Mum. To Mo I do know what Mothering Sunday is too.

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said:
May 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I was born on Mothers Day (this year today). My mum said that after 4 boys, I was the best present ever (though she worshipped her sons). I think I lived in pink till I was 10... Good luck with babe no. 2 Jessie, it does get easier...

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Minxie said:
May 11, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Wishing all mums a wonderful day tomorrow - especially mine who is soooooo far away - she is not only my mum but my very best friend and I miss her like crazy each and every minute of each and every day ... congrats for your new arrival Jess x

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Catchpat said:
May 12, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I had four big boys, and it doesn't get easier because each one is so different. Today is special because it is the third anniversary of the death of my firstborn (he was thirty-one). Yet when I think of mums in third world countries, what have I got to complain about?

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said:
May 12, 2013 at 4:42 PM

On this Mothering Day let's pass on our secrets to good mothering! In a nutshell, my two hints for a contented baby are lots of gentle movement (preferably in a capoose, or a swing will do) and massage (firmly, the way you like it). A contented baby every time!!!