Sunday is Mother’s Day and this week we have the opportunity to celebrate at school with the Junior School and Senior School Mother’s Day Breakfasts and the Mother’s Day stall in Junior School. This is a time of year to pause and pay homage to our mothers, step-mothers, grandmothers, substitute mothers and all those women who have mothered us. When I reflect on the qualities of good mothers I think about: love – of the unconditional variety (reassuring when we mess things up); forgiveness – a willingness to always give us a second chance; honesty – a capacity to tell us the truth, even when it is hard to hear; encouragement – to give things a go and not to give up; selflessness – the capacity to put others first, and finally; industry and the demonstration of hard work (whether in paid employment or in the home).
Mother’s Day provides us with the chance to show appreciation to those who have demonstrated these qualities to us and to think about how we can emulate them. When we are little, many of us want to grow up to be “just like my mum” – and if this means putting these motherly qualities into action in our adult lives, I can’t help but think that the world would be a very good place.
For some, Mother’s Day is challenging, and my thoughts are with those in our community for whom Sunday will be a difficult time this year. And of course even the best mums aren’t always perfect – sometimes they disappoint us or let us down. These are the times that we need to show our best daughterly qualities – some of those we have learnt from our mothers or other motherly role models: love, forgiveness and encouragement.
As teachers, although we aren’t the mothers of our students, they provide us with many mothering opportunities. We get to love them, encourage them, put them ahead of our own desires and invest an enormous amount of hard work in their success and growth. Fortunately, this is an incredibly rewarding experience and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.