Or, rather, began way, way back then. If I’m honest it’s been months. I thought about ‘it’ when I was still fudging my way through those early days of parenthood, carting my little boy around like he was a split bag of sugar I feared spilling.
I thought about it in those breathless rare moments of respite from being simply ‘mum’. I thought about it, guiltily, when I let CBeebies do a spot of childminding.
You know how those things about best intentions go however and moreover if you’re a mum yourself, what babies do to any sense of time scale. What I didn’t know, and no-one told me about motherhood was what becoming a parent does to your sense of self. When your days are mapped out by a relentless and repetitive pattern of brown-hued stuff (from both exit points), feeding, settling, changing, pushing, carrying, bathing, peekabooing and raspberrying, life becomes bewildering. It isn’t surprising that it is easy to lose sight of the things that make you tick, that you think important. Then there’s the fact that being focused on a small, demanding, smelly and often grouchy person for whom your love is supposed to be unending and transcendental isn’t always the joyful experience it is made out to be.
The past year has turned out to be something of an unwitting house-arrest. It has been at times ridiculous, silly and occasionally humiliating. But more than anything my wilderness year has been an awakening. I took the uncharted road not taken, according to Robert Frost’s usually happy-go-lucky optimist’s chant. And as much as I resented it and was bummed out about my new baby-heavy life at times, giving far too much credence to that recent article in the New York Times about housewife mums vs. the career women and their effect on children’s happiness and life-chances, I need to credit what my life became with who I am now.
The truth is having a baby is a wonderful self-edit. A human-formed Satnav if you will, that takes you directly to the most meaningful, vital and often carefully hidden parts of yourself. For me, this is why.
There’s simply no time for faffing, for worrying about what others think, about trends, about mess. There are no free moments to waste reading that article you think might make you feel more intelligent and informed about what’s going on in the world besides what your child is currently doing to the cat. Getting things done quickly to the best of my ability, and sometimes bodging them so they are passable rather than letting my old perfectionist streak run rampant has translated into the benefit of proper, efficient time-management. Surprisingly often, the bodges have worked.
The baby has made me organized: it started the day I packed the hospital bag (five weeks in advance of his due date no less) and carried on with planning out what I needed to fill the gaps in his inherited hand-me-down and gifted baby paraphernalia for the coming months. I bought a calendar for the first time. I took the perspective that the less time I spent trying to find things or scramble to get out of the door on time for a forgotten playgroup, the more time there was to spend with my son ensuring his first year was a happy experience with adequate baby wipes/sippy cups/change of clothes to hand.
I had to forget about anything design-related. All I could care about was finding patterns and colors that could withstand abundant baby-messes (answer: grey), and occasionally I would do some fraught online shopping to find clothes that didn’t make me look quite to still pregnant when not, actually, pregnant. My life was not remotely attractive, exciting or from outwards appearances I imagine very desirable other than the sweet-looking baby part. But I now run on instinct and gut, preferring simpler things made to last from nice, natural materials. I now like marble, floaty dresses and corduroy. Give me some more time, and I may come round to concrete.
I stopped doing things because I felt obligated to. I decluttered many engagements from our lives, finally able to release the part of me that always wants to please everyone and focusing instead on activities that we found enriching or plain fun. I learnt to say f*** it. I’m still trying to stop being so fearful of treading on the eggshells my anxiety think are there, or is panic-stricken at the mere thought of. Collectively over the year I have wandered further and further down this often strange path and found my feet again. Yes, I have experienced weariness unlike anything I’d ever encountered before, or knew about before postpartum thyroiditis – but the effect of running on this reductive version of me is that I am now in possession of an identity I know is truly me. The pre-baby, intricately constructed version that in all likelihood would have burned out, messily, at some point anyhow has long gone. And as a result, I began this.
As most of us know it, Mother's Day is a special day for letting our dear Mums knows that they are so critical to us, usually by lavishing them with Mothers Day presents.
In any case, do you know why or how this day appeared? When it was first observed? Who commended it? On the off chance that you don't, then read on and pick up an insight into the mind blowing history that surrounds Mothers Day. Trust it or not, the starting point of this day harks back to the time of the antiquated Greeks and Romans. The Greeks used the occasion to respect Rhea, the spouse of Cronus and the mother of all gods.
Besides, Romans commended a spring festival, known as Hilaria, committed to Cybele, a mother goddess.
All the more as of late, the convention of giving Mothers Day gifts and cards dates back to the 1600′s in England. As of now, Mothering Sunday was praised every year on the fourth Sunday of Lent to respect mothers. After a petition service in Church to respect the Virgin Mary, youngsters conveyed flowers and gifts to pay tribute to their own particular Mums.
Be that as it may, the festival of this date as it is seen today is another wonder – not even a hundred years old! The existence of this day is to a great extent inferable from the diligent work of the progressive ladies of their times, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis.
Conceived in New York, activist, author and writer, Julia Ward Howe, proposed the official thought of Mother's Day in 1872. In the wake of witnessing some of the devastating effects of the Civil War – demise, disease, starvation and destitution – she started crusading for a yearly festival of Mother's Day, which would be devoted to peace and overall agreement between all ladies.
Julia even made a speech to ladies, encouraging them to rise against war in her surely understood 'Mother's Day Proclamation':"Arise then, ladies of this day! Arise, all ladies who have hearts! We, the ladies of one nation, will be excessively delicate of those of another nation to permit our sons to be prepared to harm theirs."Like Julia, Anna Jarvis was a colossal force behind the formation of this festival. Anna was inspired by her own particular Mum, Mrs Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, an activist and social specialist, who passionately trusted that someday, someone must respect all mothers, living and dead, and perceives all that they do.
A gave girl, Anna always remembered her mother's fantasy of having Mother's Day, and when her Mother kicked the bucket in 1905, she chose to make this blessing from heaven.
In the first place, Anna passed out 500 white carnations, her mother's most loved bloom, at her mother's Church in Grafton, West Virginia, one for every mother in the assembly. Anna felt they symbolized a mother's immaculate adoration.
Soon after, Anna, alongside her followers, composed a letter to individuals of force, battling for the official revelation of a holiday. All her diligent work paid off; by 1911, Mother's Day was commended in almost every state and afterward in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution, establishing Mother's Day.
Nowadays, the custom of purchasing gifts for mothers, cards and composing poems for this special day is commended the world over. Thanks to these two ladies, Mums all over the place are given the respect they deserve. So now you've heard the historical spiel, ideally you'll wish your Mum "Cheerful Mother's Day" and would not joke about this!
Let your dear Mum know how imperative she is with a personalized Mother's Day blessing.