But what does that have to do with vitiligo?
Happy #Mother’sDay to all Mums out there! If you live in the UK you will know that this Sunday mothers across the country will be waking up (far too early probably) to a very well-intentioned, but possibly unappetising, breakfast tray, which will be duly admired with much ooh-ing, aah-ing, thanking and feigning surprise. The contents of said tray – with the exception of the single daffodil in a jam jar – must then be consumed with enthusiasm, even if the cornflakes are a bit soggy and the toast has had a layer of charcoal carefully scraped off over the sink. Of course, if your children are too old, or too sophisticated, for this scenario to ring true you are just as likely to be presented with smoked salmon and eggs, scrambled to perfection, served with a glass of bubbly at exactly the right time in the morning and will not be allowed to do a stroke of work all day. You will almost certainly have cards to read, telling you that you are the best Mum in the world, and maybe gifts to open too. (Do I hear anyone muttering “yeah, right!”?)
Whether the day is a delight or an ordeal depends on too many variables to mention here but one thing is for sure: Mums everywhere deserve to be appreciated and spoiled. Ideally, every day of the year would include some appreciation for everything a mother does for her family day-in and day-out. But, of course, we all know that familiarity breeds … well, hopefully not contempt but certainly being taken for granted. So setting aside a particular day in the calendar to make a special fuss of Mum is definitely something to celebrate.
I have to admit, though, that I do find the #over-commercialisation of this celebration a bit sad because its simple and touching message is often lost amid the hype and mounting pressure to spend hard cash on doing absolutely everything the TV ads tell us we should. And, BTW, if you think Mother’s Day has become over-hyped, take a look at this website which lists some of the other commemorative days the retailers would probably love for us to celebrate - like International Ask a Question Day (I can think of one… Why?) While I am on the subject, there are some really wacky commemorations that you might want to surprise your friends with, like National Two Different Coloured Shoes Day (May 3rd, if you were wondering). You’ll find 75 of these silly special occasions here – definitely worth a laugh.
Apparently Mother’s Day has been celebrated since the days of Ancient Greece and Rome. So it's certainly nothing new. Here in the UK Mother’s Day started out as a date in the Christian calendar (it falls on the 4th Sunday in Lent) and usually involved nothing more than the pastor extolling the virtues of motherhood in his sermon and all the children in the congregation being given a flower to hand to their mother on the way home. I know the world has moved on several billion light years since those days but I do feel some nostalgia for their sincerity and simplicity. For example, back then, the commemoration took place on one day. Now, I notice that advertisers are referring to “Mother’s Day Weekend”, obviously hoping to encourage an extra day’s spend on treats, outings and gifts. I certainly don’t begrudge any Mums the VIP treatment but it does seem to come at an ever-increasing price.
Interesting though this all is, you may be wondering what it has to do with vitiligo which is, after all, my usual blog topic. Well, my mind set off along this train of thought earlier in the week when I received an email from a #vitiligo sufferer in her early 40s who had visited my site looking for an effective treatment. This person, a mother herself, told me that her mother blames herself for her daughter’s vitiligo. Apparently she had her daughter at a very young age, was not able to look after her properly and didn’t feed her as frequently as an infant should be fed. When I read this, my heart went out to the daughter and the mother. I felt for the daughter because I know from personal experience what it is like to grow up with vitiligo and the distressing psychological effects this can have. I felt for her mother who must have had a very difficult time trying to look after a new-born at such a tender age herself. And what struck me was the fact that, like most Mums, she took on a huge burden of guilt for the fact that her daughter has suffered. Rightly or wrongly, she evidently feels that total responsibility for her child’s welfare and happiness rests on her shoulders - even now that her child is a mother herself - and this seems to me to be not just part of a mother’s job description but part of her DNA. I can remember my own mother telling me she often wondered if she did something wrong either during pregnancy or afterwards that led to my vitiligo. I am not a mother myself but I have noticed that Mums are often quick to give their children the credit for the things that go well in their lives and equally quick to take the blame for anything and everything that goes wrong. Perhaps that is one of the many reasons we love them so much.
Anyway, back to Mother’s Day… if you would like to know its history or the different dates it is celebrated in the various countries around the world take a look at this site which seems to contain everything on the subject you could possibly wish to find, including some lovely quotations and poems for those home-made cards that are no doubt being crayoned, daubed, glued and glittered as I write this.
So, I will end this post by saying again "Happy Mother’s Day" to UK Mums for Sunday (and, coincidentally, "Happy Quilting Day" too) but before that day dawns, please don’t forget that tomorrow (March 14th) is International Fanny Pack Day… yes, really!
My name is Caroline.