Did you know that for every human being alive today another 30 have lived. That is over 200 billion. That’s a lot of mothering!
The theme of this post is ‘mothers day’ and I can’t help thinking of all those women in history who have given their lives over to motherhood. Who were they? Most of us don’t know much beyond our own mothers and perhaps grandmothers. And yet their history continues on in our bodies and lives and that of our children and grandchildren. Take me for instance. I am called Grada, after my mum’s mother.
I have often wondered if names have a powerful influence,
because I have always had urge to have a large family like my grandmother. She had her first child at 18, I had mine at 19. She kept going till she was 50 when she had child number 14 and I stopped at age 31 thanks to Peter who could see the writing on the wall and had a vasectomy.
My grandparents lived in the inner city of The Hague in Holland and my mum, who was the eldest, was born in 1930 – the start of the depression years. Oma, as we called her, continued having babies even during the war, when she had twin boys. The bigger twin died a couple of days after he was born for reasons unknown. There was probably an element of malnutrition, because a lot of people died from starvation during those years.
She had her last child in 1959 when she was 50 years old. For all those years she had to cart her children and her prams up and down 3 flights of stairs to go outside.
Life was tough and as good natured as she was, she had to be tough as well.
There were stories of her wrapping stray-cats up in newspaper and throwing them off the balcony saying that a cat always lands on 4 legs. She couldn’t feed any extra mouths.
She was a larger than life person, the Mama of a big noisy family of giants (we were the ‘dwarves’). Everybody was welcome and there was plenty of food and happy memories to share. The last I heard of her was a postcard that she had written to my eldest son for his 7th birthday. In it she had written: “take it easy, then the string won’t break” but she used to post her mail to Tanzania instead of Tasmania and by the time it reached us her string of life had broken and she had died.
Unlike my grandmother I loved cats when I was young. My father had a breadcrumb factory next to our house and there were always lots of stray cats. I saw it as my mission in life to save as many as I could. These cats were my babies and I protected them like a mum.
My cats grew up on leftover milk, porridge and breadcrumbs over which I used to empty the teapot after breakfast. The factory was housed in a centuries old building and in order to reach the cats I had to climb up lots of stairs and weave my way through bags of flour and machinery till I got to the loft area where they had set up home. It was dark, spidery and spooky and the cats were always hungry.
Being a child I had no concept of such thing as cat food, these cats had to live off old tea and milk with breadcrumbs and whatever they could catch in the way of mice and rats. This all ended when my fathers factory went up in smoke in the middle of a hot summers night. After that life changed, we grew up and a few years later I migrated to Tasmania and had real babies. Now my children have grown up and I have time to mother my clients and my grandchildren.
Looking into our own past we start to understand more about our own behaviours and reactions and we realize that we are an important link in the line of generations.
A little bit of history goes a long way in bonding families together and giving us a sense of belonging. In a world that rockets ahead it is good to have times like mothers day where we celebrate the mums who are still with us and remember the mums who have moved on and who might still be hovering over us with their caring and nurturing spirits.
Mother’s day is the ideal time to relax and slow down. As time stands still our histories become more vivid and we feel more alive. It’s a great time to reconnect with family and friends and to dig up dusty memories, have a laugh and a cry, and to make sure that we have something to pass on to the next generation.
It’s also a good time to reflect on any legacies of trauma or pain that have been passed down through generations, and to come to the decision to heal those legacies. Bring your mum to Surge to Success on May 18th & 19th, where you can work together to bring to the surface all the repressed emotional baggage that is holding your family back. The two of you can join for just $999.
The mother is (usually) the heart of the home, and what’s more important than a happy home life?
Find her the perfect gift in Forth; one of our beautiful pamper packages, or quality health products. Grada’s book is powerful story of a mother who survived it all! Available at gradarobertson.com and also linked here:
Or gift her the best of both worlds: a Gift Voucher for a luxurious massage (time to herself, being pampered!) finished off with a delicious coffee from freshly roasted organic coffee beans across the road at Alchemy Cafe (quality time spent together). Alchemy Cafe is open Wed-Sun from 8:30 – 4pm and is also full of amazing art, handbags, clothes, jewellery and more all made by local creatives!
Enjoy your mothers day! Grada