The fourth Sunday of Lent, the start of British Summer Time (BST) and of course Mother’s Day – Sunday 27th March is a busy date this year. But which of these events will you be celebrating? Observing Lent may depend on your faith, but BST is pretty mandatory and the same can be said for Mother’s Day. Or can it? While devoting a day to mums may be lovely for many, for others it is a time which brings sadness and pain. As more companies offer the chance to opt out of Mother’s Day marketing emails, is it time for us to follow their lead? Whether you celebrate or not, Mother’s Day is returning, so get ready to do it your way.
The mists of time reveal that originally, Mother’s Day was in fact not about mums at all. In centuries past when many children and adults were employed ‘in service’, the fourth Sunday in Lent became the day when they could return to their families and their home or ‘mother’ church. This traditionally became known as Mothering Sunday. As servitude decreased, American influence helped the day evolve into the celebration we know today. Mother’s Day in the UK was born.
Today, it is nearly impossible to avoid all the shop displays, TV adverts and social media posts that put Mother’s Day merchandise, offers and gatherings in our line of sight on a daily basis. But Mother’s Day is not for everyone. For foster children who won’t be living with their birth mother on the special day, feelings can become very complicated. Some will have contact, some will be estranged, some will only have a grave to lay flowers at, some will have even more, unique circumstances. As this Sunday approaches, they may be feeling sadness, guilt, anger, apprehension or guilt for not feeling guilt. Or they may be happy to have a foster mum who cares. So, how to play Mother’s Day?
If you’re a foster carer, first have that little conversation with your child. Find out how they are feeling about the day, if/how they have marked it before and what they might like to do this year. Once you know where they are at, do your usual amazing thing, be adaptable and take it from there.
For those who don’t want to participate at all, it is important to reassure them that their feelings are valid and ok. For those who will miss being with their mum, or a loved mother-figure, CBBC have some simple ideas for handmade gifts that could be given at a contact session, posted or just made to honour that person. These can also be helpful for those whose mums have passed away, as can the opportunity to light a candle or buy a bunch of flowers to leave in a special place. For those who are happy to celebrate a foster mum, the handmade gifts above are again a great idea as are yummy homemade biscuits or a family day out where memories can be made.
As Mother’s Day returns, play it your way as you support any children in your care through this challenging celebration. If you want to discuss anything specific, please contact us for a chat. If you would like to find out more about fostering in general, come along to our Footprints Information Day on Tuesday 5th April – we’re very friendly and we’d love to see you!