Thinking out loud by Ronel van Wyk

Not a title I believed I would ever have the honour to add to my name. I was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic when I was 15 years old and since then, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to have any children.

Today, I am blessed with three amazing little humans that call me Maaaa, or Mamma.  Depending on the grade of frustration, need, or tenderness.

My blessings are a very emotional but responsible and loving 13-year-old daughter, a very creative yet challenging 11-year-old daughter that can kill with looks or hugs (it’s a lucky draw on a daily basis) and an 8-year-old boy that is insightful beyond his age and knows who he is and what he is meant to do in life.

The past few years have become increasingly time deficient. My day starts early with a shouting session until I finally get the children stuffed into the car and wave them a kiss goodbye. Off to school they go. I head to work and before I’ve blinked twice, it’s time to fetch them from school.  I really enjoy the lunch drive conversations in the car from school to home (I should write a book about those conversations!). Then a change of clothes, a bite to eat. Wait, no, first fight about the healthy crap we make them eat, then maybe one small bite of something or an apple.  Then it’s the afternoon drive. I have never liked the afternoon drive because it’s a mother buffer of forgotten to-dos and should-have’s! The afternoon drive mostly ends after six and then the evening rush is on; shower, get schoolbooks and various other “stuff” ready for the next day. Eat dinner (again the debate on healthy crap) and then we would watch a show on TV together and off to bed they go. In a nutshell: asking, begging, screaming, and I end my day feeling like the Wicked Witch.

And this is life… my life.  Every year (and increasingly so each year), my only wish for Mother’s Day spoils was to be left alone! I do not want to hear bickering. I do not want to hear about the crap you do not want to eat. I do not want to listen to your stories or read a book with you or be called MOTHER! For this one day, that’s my wish. It came to a point about two years ago that I was so disappointed about not being granted my peace and quiet and solitude for this one given day that I lost it.  I cannot even recall the events leading to the loss of myself on that day, but I made sure I got my solitude.

In that solitude, the question came to me.  What do we celebrate on Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day to me was always a celebration of my mom and to thank her for everything she does for me and my sisters. It was a day we would make special cards and buy things that we knew she loved.  The excitement of making her breakfast in bed and watch her expression carefully as she opened her gifts.

I guess my expectation of Mother’s Day spoils and treats is based on my childhood experience, but I only experienced Mother’s Day from a child’s point of view.

Now, being a mother and mostly a tired and “gatvol” one, I expected a whole different scenario. One of a childless mother.

Needless to say, I was pretty upset with myself.  I was completely missing the point of Mother’s Day! 

God showed me that it is indeed I that should celebrate the honour and blessing of being a mother.  

I am to celebrate the fact that God entrusted these human beings to me for guidance and mentoring to be the best version of who God has created them to be.

I have been so self-centred and caught in my “punishment” of motherhood, that I failed to see the blessing of motherhood.

I should smother them in love and kindness and cherish every unique characteristic each of them has.

Mother’s Day to a child:

Get up early, make breakfast for Mom in bed and leave a very dirty kitchen behind.  Give mom hugs and gifts and tell her how much I love her.  Go and play.  That’s it.

Mother’s Day for me as a MOM:

Pretend to not know what is cooking.  While pretending, thank God for this huge responsibility to raise and help these precious souls in becoming who God created them to be.

Happy faces shine into the room with a beautiful mug of coffee and some kind of breakfast. While taking in the little faces beaming with pride, I thank God for the privilege of witnessing greatness before my eyes.  I thank God for healthy bodies, minds and strong wills. I open and read (some still picture format) cards made from scratch.  I thank God for the privilege to educate them.  I thank God for sound minds filled with imagination, ready to be called to life.  I thank God for a universe of possibilities.

And then I steal some cuddles from my husband.  I get up and we make our bed.  I wash up and get dressed.  I then clean the kitchen and wash the dishes and listen to them squabbling over the unfairness of life and I feel like I am the best mom ever.

I would like to just send each and every mom, mamma, maaaa, mother, moeks of any age so much love and understanding today.  It is not the easiest title to maintain and yet so easy to feel like a total failure. Our biggest and most important job as a mother is to share the love.  The rest will sort itself out.  You can entrust that part to God. You are loved!  You are amazing!  You are blessed! You are the best mom ever!