Mother’s Day is well and truly underway, and if you have forgotten, there is still time to grab a bouquet of flowers, quickly purchase a card or that cure-all Dinner to say how she is truly the Mumsie-Of-Life. In Africa, motherhood is often held as the pinnacle of womanhood, you are blessed because you have a mother, you are double-blessed because you are someone’s Mummy. But what for those, and there are many who do not fit either script? I neither have a mother (she passed away over 15 years ago), or in spite being married for some years, am a mother (yet I hasten to add, hey, I am a faith-filled, God fearing Bella Stylista, so I wait in hope). What do we do in the interim? And why has our society been so quick to put us to the sidelines of such celebrations. Not wishing to host a pity-party I present an Alternative Mother’s Day for you. Bring some glamour (everyone LOVES a glamorous Auntie), add some stylish celebratory flourishes (we are still in International Women’s Month after all) and give any one of these ideas a go and you’re immediately ‘part of it’.
Yippee No Sleep Deprivation! Or limbs clambering over you, or several people to organise before you try and make it (for the umpteenth time) on time to church service. Sleep is a serious matter, and one that many of the new and not so new mothers I know talk of at length. If you know a mother who is in this situation, you know, not fully rested, never having a chance to get her beauty-fix, or do anything more than bung on a lick of lipstick and be on her way, be the thoughtful Mum-Free friend who lends a hand and holds the fort so Mummy can get some invaluable Me-Time. It will also get you in some practice – if you can entertain the under-5’s for more than 45 minutes you are already a legend!
Help a Mum Up her style-game! Let’s be frank here, many a woman quietly let’s her style game go to pot once she’s had one or more kids. This is where you, the one who still has time to source sick ensembles comes into play, because let’s be real for every Zoe Kravitz and Lisa Bonet or closer to home Ozinna Anumudu and Nkiru Anumudu duo, there are a whole bunch of women navigating this new season in dated- not quite there pieces.
Sometimes, it’s a simple confidence trick; I know one Mum who just couldn’t get her head around a post baby non-flat tum, until your’s truly showed her the wonders of focusing on her bust-line and legs which were still legendary. She might not have a red-carpet invitation, but that doesn’t preclude the need for any woman at whatever life-stage to feel fabulous! Make today the day you commit to a day where you will properly get involved, go on a shopping date or an online search together (bottle of vino to accompany an optional extra) and assist Mumsie-Of-Life on her Slay Queen return!
If you are feeling blue about a mother now in the heavenly realms – celebrate her today by channelling all of her favourite things. For me this would involve wafting around in a cloud of Oscar De La Renta scent, eating protein only (Mummy was Adkins/Dukan/Paleo before they had become a thing), and keeping the music locked on James Brown classics and the dancing equally as intense! But whatever it is that your late Mother was into, enjoy it celebrate it and add a big dollop of joy to a poignant moment. She’s with the angels now, but you remain her earthly legacy.
And finally, if you do find yourself feeling somehow – reach out and connect with someone! Loneliness and depression are silent killers and it is often on dates such as Mother’s Day, and other seasonal holidays that those who don’t belong to a conventional family unit can feel out of sorts. If you are one of them plough through the ‘awkward factor’ and share how you feel with trusted friends, you will probably find yourself inundated with invitations and in the bosom of love and laughter, and isn’t that what, at its root, maternal energy is all about?