Yesterday I walked down the Mother’s Day card aisle in the supermarket. I realised something.
I need to tell you a secret.
The day I became a mother I changed. I was no longer the same woman as before.
I don’t like all the colours anymore. Only pale pink, mauve and lemon yellow. Nothing bright, nothing bold. Just subtle and understated. Pastel. Muted.
I’m no longer drawn to strong design or classic style. No clean lines or statement pieces. Just illustrated animals holding bouquets. Or cups of tea. Rabbits and teddy bears, hedgehogs and mice. The quiet and the meek.
No more cool blooms of youth and romance for me. My table displays fussy, frilly pink arrangements. Carnations and chrysanthemums bedecked with cellophane and ribbons. Or better still, in a basket.
My appreciation of poetry has been replaced with a love of saccharine rhymes and sickly sentiment. Forgotten are my years of reading beautiful words. Of plays, prize winners and world-renowned classics.
When I became a mother I was reduced. Stripped of my intellect, my capacity to appreciate culture. Looked over and sidelined, marked harmless. Quietened. Belittled. No career, no representation, no voice. Looked past, looked through. Muted. Made small and weak.
I am no longer the woman I was.
That’s what my daughter is told. That in making her I became less. Generic. Soft and sweet. My life summed up with teddy bears and flowers.
Cards and gifts exist that tell a truer story, that represent mothers in all their glory. But my daughter doesn’t see the independent online shops, the etsy makers representing modern motherhood. She see’s the adverts and the displays in the supermarket, and on the high street. And they all paint exactly the same picture.
That’s not the Mother’s Day we celebrate. Nor the motherhood we honour. I want Bee to see me for the woman I am. To know that mothers are more. That I became more.
Mothers are strong. And bold. They breathe fire.