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Ruta Mave: Celebrating mums every day

Monday 13 May 2024 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Editorials, Opinion

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Ruta Mave: Celebrating mums every day
Ruta Tangiiau Mave. Photo: CI NEWS

Let’s not wait another year to remember mothers, let’s do it more often during the year and say Happy Mother’s Day every day, writes Ruta Mave.

Mother’s Day was yesterday and that’s it, it’s all over for another year. Less than 24 hours of special treatment, remembrance for at least a cup of tea in bed. Maybe some flowers, a home-made card, maybe Dad helped the kids remember or most likely Mum did for Aunty or Nana who did the same for the kid’s mother.

It is not like it takes a lot to please most mothers. In fact, if the dad took the kids away for the morning and let mum sleep in without burnt toast and spilt tea, it would be a long-lost luxury she would happily indulge in. It is one of those weird occurrences of life when a mother finds the most happiness celebrating Mother’s Day when she doesn’t have to be a mother in and around her children – even if only for a few hours or a day.

Oh yes, she loves them to bits but with them it is just another day with a bunch of flowers, perhaps, a special dress up and lunch out.

Enjoyment is the goal but the irritability of children wanting to move around, the irritability of teenagers not wanting to move around or the irritability of dad’s counting the cost – mum gives in and gives them all their phones, tablets and screens back, so they sit quietly and mute staring not at their wonderous mother. Easier to not have conversation and enjoy another rose while no one notices in some peace and quiet than try and make them say nice things about you. There are bound to be videos on social media that capture similar moments families enjoy – holidays, birthdays, sports events – that you could share and watch together. But no, they save the public voicing of memories of love, devotion, acknowledgement and respect for your funeral.

Fortunately, I don’t wait for Mother’s Day to get confirmation from my children that I matter in their lives. I don’t wait and expect to get flowers or cards on one specially assigned day, I take their calls, their messenger chats and their conversations they share with me throughout the year as their declaration of love and I treasure them. I listen to them and I understand they have busy lives now and they will one day have the lives of being parents themselves and then recognition and understanding will arrive and they will remember a Mother’s Day card or organise a family gathering without prompting. I can wait.

What it is not acceptable is when I hear a husband say offhand to avoid any part of contributing to making his wife – the mother of his children – feel special on Mother’s Day, “She’s not my mother.” Firstly, I was always told she is the cat’s mother. Secondly, if she ain’t his mother then the best thing she can do when she hears those words is to agree. Once she agrees she is not his mother then she can stop running around after him like his mother.

No more stopping everything to look for his car keys, watch, wallet, sunglasses. No more making his lunches or favourite meals no one else likes. No more washing his clothes, making his dentist appointments, reminding him of his friend’s birthday or his business meeting. No more playing receptionist to his work stuff and no more buying him more sports equipment before buying the children theirs.

That will get him talking, asking what is going on? From personal experience they don’t like it. When you ask them for the tenth time – nag them to pick up their clothes from the floor or not eat all the biscuits to save some for the kids, or tell them they can’t spend all day watching sports on TV because the lawns need cutting – again you act like their mother they will say “you’re not my mother”. Then reply “stop acting like a child.”

There are some lovely men who fully appreciate their wives who by default mothered them first as practice for when they have a child to mother. There are men who realise what a woman wants is to get away and have girl time for Mother’s Day where everyone talks at once and talks nonsense or day to day details of girl stuff and scenarios. They get her.

There are also many single dads, stay at home dads, who are deserving of a special Mother’s Day treat. Plus, aunties, nana’s, neighbours, teachers, coaches, and guardians of cats, dogs, goats, pigs, chickens, horses and any number of furry feathered creatures that are just as important mother figures to be celebrated and appreciated.

Let’s not wait another year to remember mothers, let’s do it more often during the year and say Happy Mother’s Day every day.

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