Tag Archives: children

Why I Hate Mother’s Day

I hate today, especially that churches make this commercial circus worse. I know lots of Christians who don’t go to church and who generally avoid places with large points of sale – from shops to cinemas – inviting you to spend more under the guise of being a faithful child.

What churches do worse is that they have now realised that parents’ days are hard for lots of different kinds of people – unlike commerce. So the godshops publicly list all the reasons why anyone might be suffering, making pews uncomfortable places, even for those who are happy with their offspring situation.

I don’t want to repeat that list here and hurt anyone who has already struggled through today. But I want to remark that there’s a wide range of reasons why Mother’s day is difficult, and not all of these are understood.

The worst that a church can do is expect a public display of affection from children to mothers; and then  – for the childless among them – to get a kid skipping up to often someone they don’t know with a flower they’ve no use for. No, it’s not inclusive, it’s patronising and thoughtless. It says to the recipient, you want to be part of this money and baby making carnival and you’re not but we’ll make it right for you by going through the charade. We’ll be your surrogate child. Aah.

It feels like a fertility rite, boiling one’s use down to whether one has sprogged.

I think many feel: if they don’t have children present, they don’t want someone’s else’s pretending. Perhaps to some people, it feels hard to be reminded of their childlessness, whether they be a young person who hasn’t thought about children yet, or a mature person reflecting that (especially for women) their childbearing days are over, or running out. Perhaps that approach of middle age is attached to other thoughts about singleness and physicality, life achievements etc and that well intended posy can bring on a whole load of issues. Perhaps even to one well known by their congregation, there may be situations (including absent children) and private hurts that are being contained – until the flower pots come out.

If we wanted our issues all brought up, we’d be with a counsellor, not in church.

Many of us feel we’d like to make a fuss of our parents on their birthdays, which is a day special to them, not to jostle with everyone else with overpriced set menus and specially (often ill) chosen films. Something for retailers to consider.

I’d also encourage people to be thoughtful about asking what one is doing on a parents’ day, or getting (especially in a chiding/expectant way) and for those leading church services to think that sermons on the women who nearly didn’t get fruit of their loins – at every service – along with long prayers ‘on this mother’s day’ constantly repeated and then family issues being listed – might be just what some worshippers do not need to hear.

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Battersea Park Road vs Georgy Girl

I’ve read about two modern women living in this area last week – divided by 40 years. Georgy Parkin is the creation of Margaret Forster who co wrote the screenplay of the film with the famously catchy theme tune, though with rather negative words and a view of life. Isabel Losada is a contemporary  presenter and actress whose two books on the Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment and Paradise were published ten years apart – the last coming out in 2011. Isabel was also (like Georgy) perhaps in a rut, but taking various courses and retreats became not only a book to help her career but an inspiration to others. I can see why some reviewers likened her to Bridget Jones. Sometimes, like Dawn French’s autobiography, I feel Isabel was playing to hard for laughs when wisdom and pathos should be allowed to stand on their own. Isabel’s book has the potential to inspire and enlighten, and the frankness is about herself – unlike Forster’s character where an omniscient third person critiques some other hapless person’s life, leaving her with little hope. “At least you’re rich, Georgy Girl” sing the Seekers at the end of the film. You got to be a mother, you got your stability, you’re not on the shelf. But you don’t love your husband and his paternal perversion and obsession are not healthy for either of you. There’s  a little more hope in the book: Georgy’s parents are forced to move out of their sycophantic dependency on their employer, but no more love or respect has grown for their daughter. Jos has left, unchanged and rejected for his own baby. The theme tune’s lyrics suggest – ironically I cannot tell – that confidence and conformity to what is nice and alluring are the ways to get along in life, and there’s the notion of being left behind, of having a sell by date, and that worthwhile goods are already taken.

This would clash with the tomes such as The Soulmate Secret, and Calling in the One. These wisely see to find a partner, one needs sorting of yourself first; and that is is unnecessary and unhelpful to cling to an unhealthy unhappy compromised relationship. By letting go of the need to find someone and by being happy alone, one creates the right place for a healthy and special love to grow. So the authors say and have testimonies – including their own – to show how they manifested their dream love using the law of attraction. I rejected that idea some years ago and have written about it elsewhere www.associatedcontent.com/article/1149172/the_secret_reexamined.html but the principle of what they say other than the visualising and cosmic ordering part does make sense.

Isabel never mentions the law of attraction – I might ask her what she thinks of it – and it was pleasant to read a modern spiritual writer who didn’t. I admire her willingness to grow, to try new things and her honesty about herself which includes some quite stark realisations and feedback that I wouldn’t have printed about me – unless in the guise of fiction. Isabel is firmly for narrative non fiction and using real people and situations. The fact she endeavours to answer all personal correspondence is also impressive and I shall be glad to hear and read more from her.

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