Reflections: What does Mother’s Day mean to me?

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By Argyro Vourdoumpa

Mother, mama, mum. Μαμά.

Can you see my cape? It came with motherhood.

May 2011

My Georgie was only five hours old when the nurses brought him into the room, where I was lying exhausted and in pain as the epidural had just started wearing off.

“Would you like to nurse him?”

I looked at Chris, my husband, terrified.

It was the very moment I felt like someone has thrown a bucket full of responsibility on me. Because, I’m telling you now, no book can prepare you for this journey called motherhood.

The little creature that yesterday was moving around in my tummy was now lying next to me waiting to be fed, burped, changed and comforted.

Bye, bye sleep! Welcome baby blues, dark circles and nappy changes.

Carrying George when he was 5 months old, Athens, Greece     Photo: Argyro Vourdoumpa

May 2020

‘Mama I want to sleep in your bed’

It’s 3 a.m in the morning and my 5 year-old Ariadne comes to our bed.

I instinctively move over to give her space, trying not to wake up Chris. Cuddles are something I can’t refuse to my kids, but there goes another night’s sleep. I’m now officially squeezed in my bed like a pickle in a cheeseburger and it’s not the first time.

Banana-tastic!

Ariadne arrived in late 2014, after Georgie was potty-trained (=a very important milestone in the parenting dictionary).

The second time around, things were easier.

Well, kind of but I’m not going to scare you, who are reading the article and are about to have your first kid. Oh yes, congratulations by the way!

So what does Mother’s day mean to me?

It’s another day of me learning and evolving alongside my kids. And thinking about mothers who are not as lucky as I am, or women who want to, but can’t become mothers.

Mothers refugees and mothers who are doing it tough. Mothers who have to be fathers as well. You see, motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes, like mothers themselves do.

This is what my mum and my grandmother taught me. Then my mother-in law joined in. To look past the flowers and cherish the drawings and the soft cuddles.

Every single day. Not only today.

For ‘mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are’.

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