It’s that time of the year again, where restaurants are booked out (well, maybe not during the CMCO), florists are busy delivering bouquets, and tiny hands get creative with homemade cards and attempt to make breakfast with close supervision from their dads – all this to say, “Thank you Mom for everything, I love you!” To be honest, I used to stress out about what to do for my own mother on this day every year (I still do). How does one pack an entire year’s / lifetime’s worth of appreciation into ONE day? One doesn’t. The idea is to appreciate our moms everyday, isn’t it? But for formality’s sake… we’re still reminded to do so especially on this significant day. So what would really make moms feel appreciated? I thought it’d be interesting to ask a friend of mine to share her thoughts on what “Mother’s Day appreciation” really means to her as a mother. The following words are by Samantha Yeoh, mama of three amazing kiddos!
What does Mother’s Day and “appreciation”, in the context of a being a mum, mean to me? In all my five (going 6) years of being a mum, I’ve honestly never stopped to think of this.
Although I am big on affirmation and giving gifts, Mother’s Day is that Sunday in church, where I awkwardly get to stand from where I am seated to be handed a gift and to be touched by strangers because I get to be prayed for.
You’ll be surprised that while my biggest love languages are the perfect combination for a celebration (I mean, “YOU’RE THE BEST MAMA!” or “HERE’S THE ENTIRE URBAN DECAY MAKE UP SET!” would make total sense here), we’ve hardly done anything special to commemorate this day before.
For one, we’re already doing five birthdays a year now. We don’t exactly need another reason to spend more money.
And also because it’s really not a big deal but at the same time… too big a deal if you really want to do it proper.
There’s just more to that than presents and wishes..and because of that, there’s no perfect gift.
- You could get me a cake, but I would rather make one with you. Only, I really don’t want the extra mess and clean up on what is meant to be a special day.
- You could buy me a day at the spa, but I would rather have a good, fulfilling day with you knowing that I won’t go back to a throng of people who only wants my attention now (and probably to a house turned upside down and at best, I will still need to redo some clean up).
- You could buy me flowers, but they die and I’ll need to figure out how I can preserve it forever so that I avoid that sad question of “You threw my flowers away already?”
- You could give me a day off all my motherly responsibilities, but I also need a sound proof room so I don’t hear the chaos and feel the need to step back in. And I still insist on making all the meals, because the kitchen is my sacred ground. And if you were thinking of sending me away, re point no.2.
- You could buy me a box of chocolates and I’ll offer them all back because I know how much you love them.
This might sound silly, but if I were to be most honest, the best way to appreciate me is just to really appreciate me. (I say most honest because having said that, I still wouldn’t mind receiving gifts on this day! Haha!)
But there are times I wish the kids knew how hard it is to be a mum, to carry all this and to make sure the family forges forward regardless of the season we’re in. For them to be able to feel how heavy it can be and to see through my eyes.
But that’s not possible, neither is it fair. It takes that privileged other who have walked in my shoes to feel me and know the sacrifices I’ve made (yes, this is the moment when it comes full circle and I understand what my mum went through). And despite the painful moments, I still pray that my girls will be blessed someday to have their own littles to call them mama.
It is impossible to truly define what we do as mothers and even harder to pin-point what Mother’s Day means because of that.
It’s not just that I’ve gone through the most painful (physically and emotionally) times after becoming a mother,
I’ve also never understood love like this until I had my own children. Never knew that I am capable of loving so hard and never understood that joy is also as deep as it is high. It has been an amazing experience to say the least.
So, on Mother’s Day, in whatever way it will be celebrated (or not), I will take a moment to thank God that I have been chosen for this. Being alive like this is more than a blessing, it is sacred. And as they say, the days are long but the years are short.
If you are a mama reading this, while there’s no perfect gift to appreciate you, can I offer you this: That I see you mama, I know some of the prayers you’ve prayed when it’s too difficult and you don’t know what to do. I know some of your highs and some of the lows. And I appreciate you for holding your fort and for keeping your family a safe place for your little ones.
So, Happy Mother’s Day from a mama to another. I know how rocking and awesome you are!
Samantha Yeoh is a mother of three young children. She loves cooking up a storm, spending time with her husband and kids, and dancing! In 2019 she started sharing her journey as a mother to encourage a community of support for other young moms. You can follow her at @realmumscry on Instagram where she often shares her easy-one-pot-recipes, creative home-made activities for kids, mom-hacks, and just very real stories.