Mother's Day, like lots of holidays, has become gift-obsessed: the flowers, the meal deals. And while mothers most of anyone deserve thoughtful gestures, it sometimes seems like it's more about ticking a box than about showing true appreciation.
But it's easy to forget that Mothering Sunday was originally a much different occasion. The fourth Sunday of Lent became a day to make a pilgrimage to your 'mother' church, which also meant that domestic servants returning home could see their mothers. The tradition evolved from there to focus entirely on mothers themselves (and the modern gift bonanza).
First of all, luckily times have changed and I can see my mother more often than a few times a year! Secondly, a much overlooked but essential practice should be to reflect on upon its roots. There is something quite evocative about the idea of returning to the place where you came from. In a figurative sense, Mothering Sunday is about re-centring yourself.
I'm of the opinion that this concept can only be a good thing, for mothers and for children. Think about it in terms of your own childhood. So much of what mattered to me growing up was not what my mother and father provided for me in the way of material possessions, but how they centred me. They gave me a loving and amazing home to grow up in, taught me the value of money, and showed me I could do anything as long as I put my mind to it.
Mums form the bedrock of Zaggora's clientele - many of our first customers and supporters were mums, and they are very loyal. I've noticed that so many of them respond to our message because they want to be healthy for themselves, more so even than for their children and families. I've heard from more than a few women who have started getting back into shape after 'losing themselves' in the all-consuming job of being a mum for so many years.
So as wonderful as a dinner out with the offspring can be, consider something a little different this year. Give your mum a gift that she can use to re-centre herself: a meditation class, a massage, a weekend away (yes, from you!).
Rediscovering Mother's Day's original spirit can teach an invaluable lesson: never pass up the chance to centre and rejuvenate yourself.