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For this year’s Mother’s Day post, I wanted to focus on all of those who have become new mothers since Mother’s Day 2019 (and those new grandmothers who are still walking on air).

For the first time in my 56 years, there is a pandemic keeping people at a minimum of 2 metres distance, which will unfortunately eliminate many standard Mother’s Day celebrations.

I think, while keeping folks from becoming infected with CoViD-19, it’s a damn shame that we are unable to celebrate all the new mothers out there in a fashion to which we have become accustomed over time.

Many of us have heard the portmanteau, “humblebrag”, to brag in a humble fashion. I have another portmanteau in a similar vein, “mombrag”, a mother bragging to friends and family about her children.

Moments of joy are caused when I have the opportunity to listen to my Sis, Nat, and my treasured friends having a mombrag moment in a conversation. It is so much fun when they are excited to share news about their children. There are a number that come to mind, and I will forget a few (mind like a sieve!), these mothers come to mind when I enjoy listening to what their kids are up to; Cathy, Melanie, Jessica, Angie, Lesley, Laurie, Julie, Parul, Heather, Shelley, Kim, Giselle, Beverly, Judy, and more.

Each and every one, I have heard say they are proud of their children frequently. As the graphic says, there’s no feeling like it when you hear that from your mother. What makes me smile is thinking of how many times these moms have expressed their pride to their kids, aunts have told their nieces and nephews. That’s why I do so enjoy those mombrag moments.

We enjoyed living vicariously through electronic means of communication, as Nat’s daughter Caroline announced that Nat was about to receive a new title, Grammy Nat. I had a laugh with a few friends when I said we would have to tie weights to Nat to keep her from floating away when Caroline delivered her first grandson, Beckham. Ever seen a grandmother walk on air for a solid week? Yup, that was my Sis, her feet never hit the floor, she was so over the moon excited! I had messaged Caroline when she had first shared the news, that I was claiming the wacky aunt & story reader job once her baby had arrived.

When we have time for Nat and I to chat for a few minutes, the order is grammybrag with a photo sometimes (OMG, he’s so adorable!!), then mombrag about Caroline and Adam, fur babies update, and then we can catch up with each other. I do so enjoy how proud Nat is of her kids, I swear I get extra energy from those conversations, they are just so overflowing with joy.

There are a few mothers I know, also PTSD warriors like Nat and I both are, and every one has at one time or another expressed the same concern. Will my kids be okay, after seeing me go through what I did? I have always thought yes, definitely. I know what I overcame, and I’m still standing. I know Nat’s experiences, and both Caroline and Adam are rocking the world on a constant basis.

Over the past years, Nat and I have had many conversations, and her concern is always present about having everything as perfect as possible. I understand that, but, what will cause resilience in your kids is having a happy mom. Speaking from experience, a happy mom will overcome many things from the past.

My circle of friends know some of the stories I have shared from my past, and the adventures that my mom and I got up to over the years. Abandoned by her husband in 1965 with two babies under the age of 18 months, she became a divorcée and single mother. Suffice it to say, compared to how society has matured since then, those were like the dark ages. A single mother and divorcée? Might as well have branded her forehead. It saddens me at times, when I think of what she had to endure, while raising two kids on her own. Mom would be the first to tell you she was not a “perfect mother”. Perhaps in her view, and the view of those judgmental arseholes outside our home. She was a happy mother, and that made all the difference for me. We would spend hours talking, laughing, sometimes healing old hurts. But, until the end, she was happy, she was loved, and she is missed. I’m sure she is somewhere having a damn good laugh, playing with all the fur babies we had adopted over the years, having a coffee with my friend Laurie’s mom while they are engaged in some serious mombragging about their kids.

Besides, there is no perfect. Mom would be the first to tell you, there are no perfect humans, everyone’s arse has a hole in it. (You wondered where I get it from?)

This is wisdom from my second mum, Irene Miller. After losing my mom to brain cancer 10 years ago, in those moments when I needed a mother for advice, or an ear, or a shoulder, Irene just stepped in and was there without needing to be asked. I’m sure the number of people that Irene has been a surrogate mother to over the years must be in the high hundreds. Much of my being a surrogate mom (or CityMom) over my lifetime has been modelled on my late mother and Irene. For those of us who wished to have children but couldn’t, we can still mother.

Here are Irene’s thoughts, sent to me on my birthday some years ago:

“Mothering has nothing to do with giving birth. In my opinion it is about genuinely caring about others; being nurturing, encouraging, and supporting. It is about being there when your instincts tell you that someone needs something … a word, a smile, a hug, an ear, or a voice, and you just respond without thinking. It just happens, and in those moments mothering happens. People either have it instinctively or not. You’ve got it my dear. I find myself mothering others, sometimes not much younger than I am myself, but it feels natural. You have that ability too. Perhaps we got it from our own mothers? Mine certainly showed us by example, that family goes beyond blood.”

Nat and I had a conversation a few years ago, sharing her hopes and dreams for her kids. That concern about her battle with PTSD came up in the conversation. I said, “Nat honey, mark my words, one day, some years from now, Caroline will become a mother. Trust me on this one, I’d bet every penny I have ever earned, that she will be a natural. Your kids are not going to take on what happened when things were hairy, they have watched, learned, and will put in to practice the lessons and the gifts you gave them. I am looking forward to the day she becomes a mom, because it will be a privilege to watch that transformation happen.”

My mother gave me many gifts over our life together. I outlined them in last year’s Mother’s Day post (love, laughter, music, performing, reading, writing, singing, and more – the seeds all sown, tended, and watered with love). All of the mothers reading this are doing exactly the same thing. Might be a fun conversation during a Zoom call or FaceTime, what gifts have your kids received/learned from you? Not just genetic inherited traits, what have you planted in their souls to grow. I’m sure it would be an enlightening and fascinating conversation.

Cathy, Melanie, Jessica, Angie, Lesley, Laurie, Julie, Parul, Heather, Shelley, Kim, Giselle, Beverly, Judy, and more … Happy Mother’s Day! It will still be an amazing day, no matter what is needed to connect everyone. I am honoured to know all of you, I love those mombrag conversations, and I am proud of every one of you. ❤️❤️

Caroline, just in case, you might want to store that bit of wit above. You never know when that flash of hilarity might happen. Seriously, I’m still taking that wacky aunt job, the teller of bad jokes, and reader of stories. I’ll be sure to practice so I can get through The Wonky Donkey without laughing too hard. I am so massively proud of you. I’ll never be prouder than your own mom is, but, darn close! I do enjoy when Nat does a grammybrag about you and Beckham, and a photo here and there. I send you much love, I have always known you would be an amazing mother. Happy Mother’s Day, Caroline! 🙏🏼💖

Nat, Sis, Grammy Nat, I am eternally proud of you. You are truly an inspiring mom, all the proof I need is to look at Caroline and Adam (who is going to be a superb uncle, I can’t wait to hear tales and see photos of the adventures he and Beckham get up to). Every mother worries and fusses over if they have done a good job in raising their children. You have. You will be an excellent Grammy as your family grows in the future. I do love your mombrag and grammybrag moments, there is so much pride, joy, and love in them. I think we should upgrade that promise to fulfill your vision board next year (a delayed Mother’s Day celebration) to the vow level, that would be a fun adventure. (Level 1 is Promise, Level 2 is Oath, Level 3 is Vow – spoken to the universe to bring into existence). We always end our conversations with this, and I’ll wrap up this post the same way: I’ll love you forever and a million days more. Happy Mother’s Day, Nat! 🙏🏼❤️❤️

Happy Mother’s Day to all the new moms since Mother’s Day 2019, and to all moms reading this!

Love, sunbeams, and kitten dreams.

Christine 💙💙