Some thoughts on motherhood

With Mother’s Day fast approaching I have been giving the whole motherhood thing some thought.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching I have been giving the whole motherhood thing some thought.

Your mothers are like super heroes when you’re little. They know how to bake cookies, drive a car and when it’s safe to cross the street with a single bound. Unfortunately when you hit puberty their brains fall out. They become total idiots. They start developing questionable fashion sense and take to doing humiliating things like talking to you in public. They are constantly losing keys, glasses and remote controls.

You show them how to reset the clock or email a picture and the next day they’ve forgotten everything you taught them. By your mid-teens you seriously wonder how your mother ever managed to raise you in the first place. It’s a wonder she didn’t forget to feed you or leave you at Wal-Mart or something.

Fortunately, just as you exit your teens your mother’s brains make a miraculous comeback.

Suddenly she knows how to do her own taxes, make her own pasta, what a variable mortgage means and the difference between bean sprouts and baby chickweed. Things you never thought you’d want to know about, but now you do.

I don’t think you fully appreciate your mother until you are one. For example, prior to becoming a mother yourself you believe teenagers should be allowed to stay out as late as they want, with whoever they want and be given the keys to the family vehicle whenever they need them.

Why do mothers need vehicles anyway? It’s not like old people have anywhere important to go. Well, other than the grocery store and to get gas.

A nano second after thinking such thoughts, there you are shaking car keys in your own baby’s face in an effort to entertain him while you finish grocery shopping.

About a mosquito breath after that, you’re shaking car keys in the same baby-turned-teenager’s face and telling him old people do so have important places to go and would it kill him to fill up the gas tank once in awhile?

With Mother’s Day approaching I have reached the stage where I realize I have an awesome mother. She’s a woman who sees her glass as half full even though her thirst for living life to the fullest continues to drain it to the last drop.

My mom was one of those young teachers who came to take on a one room school house in a remote agricultural community and ended up staying and marrying a farmer. One minute she’s strolling along a paved city street and the next she’s hip deep in cow slop with an angry bull on her heels.

While there must have been times when it felt like a nightmare for these young school teachers turned farmers, you have to admit it was a dream recruitment scheme for the farmers. Imagine the courage it took for these women to leave behind family and often things like electricity and running water to venture into the unknown.

Chances were good that if you had the daring to do all that, you certainly had what it took to be a partner in making a living off the land.

My Mom was a “Super Mom” before the phrase was even coined. She raised three children, drove the tractor, picked rocks, grew enormous gardens, canned vegetables, sewed our own clothes and worked a full time job outside the home.

She even went back to university at one point and got her librarian degree. And yet, she always managed to be there when we needed her.

When she finally “retired” she took up travelling and gardening with boundless enthusiasm, while still finding time for her family which now included six grandchildren.

As my sisters and I came of age in the 1970s, my mom was already a living example of what the liberation movement was telling us women were capable of. My sisters and our children are all fortunate to have her indomitable influence in our lives.

Being a mom is just about the greatest job on earth, but as the saying goes, it can also feel like being slowly pecked to death by a chicken.

So to mothers’ young and old, this Sunday I hope you sleep in, demand roses, and let them do the laundry. You deserve it.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from the Peace River country. She can be reached at

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