Mothers Day

by Martin Murmel

The word mother is loaded with a sense of belonging, protection and love. It evokes archaic, fundamental emotions and brings us back to our childhood. Mothers devote a large part of their lives to their children. They often sacrifice their ambitions for the sake of the family. We grow up with their hopes and dreams for a better, safer and more comfortable life. Mother's Day is an occasion to give something back.

There is nothing like a mothers love

It is always there and unconditional - like a law of nature. Giving birth and nursing creates a powerful connection between mother and child. We don't have to ask for it -the bond between mother and baby is instant and forever. Maternal love is such an essential part of our upbringing that it becomes a point of reference for the rest of our lives. 

Being a mother can be a thankless job. She rarely gets the praise and gratitude she deserves, and her actions and devotions tend to be taken for granted. Especially in our rebellious teenage years, we find mothers annoying, restrictive and sometimes overbearing. It is almost baffling to see that they still care for us even if they receive very little in return. Such is the nature of unconditional love.

It is the help and support we need to gain the self-confidence growing up and becoming independent adults. Without the love of a mother, our ability to interact and build relationships with other people might be diminished. It is food for the soul that sustains us through difficult times and gives us hope and strength.

Where does the word Mother come from?

The word reminds one very much of the first babbling sounds babies make. It doesn't mean anything yet, but the "ma ma" sound becomes synonymous with the person that looks after the baby. The root for the word mother is the same in Indian Sanskrit as it is in Persian (Iranian), Latin (and all Roman languages), Greek, German, English, Russian, Armenian, Hebrew and most modern European languages. It goes back to one original Proto Indo-European language from which all the above developed.

It clearly shows that the significance of the mother figure that is as ancient as thinking and speaking. As a giver of birth and an integral part of natures cycle of life, the mother figure was always revered and worshiped. The terms "mother nature" or "mother earth" are expressions of her role as a giver of life.

Today we speak in our 'mother tongue', and when we travel abroad we always come back to our 'mother country'. There is no science fiction space opera without a 'mother-ship'. In this sense, the word mother goes well beyond the person. It roots us to a place, a time and a family for the rest of our lives.

Why do Mums dishes taste better at home?

Most of us adore the dishes of our childhood or particular ingredients that remind us of home. It can be just a jam sandwich with a glass of milk or elaborate dishes for holidays or special occasions. When we reproduce food away from home with the same ingredients, it often doesn't have the same magic and taste like the meal your mother cooks for you in the home kitchen. In our later years, we realize that maybe this particular dish is nothing exceptional. Still, with our memories and emotions as ingredients, it becomes unique and special to us.

Comfort food is not about great ingredients - it is about how it makes you feel. This is the magic ingredient in Mums cooking.

Do we need Mother's Day?

In the United States, the second Sunday in May was first celebrated as Mother's Day in 1908 by Anna Jarvis. It took her another six years of campaigning to make it an official national holiday. As early as the 1920s, Anna Jarvis already criticized the commercialization of the occasion and even boycotted the day she helped to bring into life.

It is not about making money - it is about sentiment and giving something back. As long as the original idea is observed, spending money on the right gift can be a thoughtful gesture.As soon as the presents replace true feelings and appreciation, they become meaningless. A handwritten card or a child's drawing is more heartfelt and genuine than a box of chocolates delivered by courier.

It shouldn't need an official day to remind us that we should be kind and respectful to our mothers. On the other hand, we need this day to bring the efforts of our mothers into focus again, to acknowledge their work, their dedication and their love. Mother's Day is an occasion to celebrates the social significance of motherhood and everything it entails.

Go out and show your appreciation!

Maybe a heartfelt hug and a bunch of flowers would be a good start. Make sure your gift shows that you understand and respect your mother. A new vacuum cleaner or a novelty apron is patronizing and shows very little consideration. It is important to give something your mother wants for herself and not something you want her to have (unless it is the same thing).

Maybe the best present is to spend time with her, listen to her and take an interest in her life. Let her know that you love and cherish her.

And don't just do it for Mother's Day.

Be there for her like she was and is there for you.

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