Standing together for Mother's Day

As we approach Mother’s Day, I know that as a parent myself I will reflect on what it means to be a mother. It is of course the most privileged role there is and this remains the same when you have a child who is seriously or terminally ill - and also when you are a bereaved mother. Being any one of these changes the meaning of Mother’s Day a great deal.

The mothers I work with as a Family Support Worker at Rainbow Trust face huge challenges on a day to day basis. Many are juggling the needs of their unwell child with the needs and time of their other children who also require attention, understanding and love. Many have not spent any quality time with their partner, friends or family for months. Some have even spent weeks in hospital away from home and their other children to spend all their time with their unwell child.

Some Mums I work with don’t even have the time to shower or eat throughout the day, let alone think about choosing what they will wear or doing their hair. They may have had to give up a job or a hobby that they loved to make time to care for their child. As a Family Support Worker, I try to give them some of this time back by understanding what each mother needs and making a plan with them to allow them to have that time.

On Mother’s Day we celebrate the female carers in our lives with breakfast in bed, flowers, wine, chocolates and things that make them feel loved and special. Ask a mother with a dying child about Mother’s Day and she will tell you that all she wishes for is for her child to live, or to be free from pain and suffering. The same as every desperate day.

Speak to a mother who has been bereaved about Mother’s Day and she will tell you that this day is a pain-filled reminder of everything she has lost but she knows she will smile through it for the sake of her other children, because they are still here and she is their Mum too.

Each year I count my blessings and enjoy the day with my children but I also take the time to send a message to all the mothers I work with to remind them that they are superheroes every day and to send them my admiration, respect and care on this special day.

Mother’s Day is a day to think about all mothers. Join us this Mother’s Day as we stand with all those mothers who are caring for a seriously ill child, who are grieving or who find this day difficult for many reasons.

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