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Mother's Day

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Celebrating Aussie Mums

The role of a mum is unique, says Emmylou Brasser, from the Salvation Army’s Oasis Youth Services.

Emmylou, and other case workers and social workers, support young people to learn life skills and assist with other practical needs but, she says, she would never presume to replace the relationship a young person has with their mum, no matter how complex it is.



Mother’s Day is an important date in our calendar.  On Helping Hands, Emmylou Brasser, Brett Ryan (from Focus on the Family Australia) and Jenny Blok (Aged Care chaplain) celebrate mums and discuss how we can all recognise the important role mothers and mother figures have in our lives.

“We want to celebrate the ideal," Brett says, "and mothers should be thanked and appreciated for what they do – the things that are seen and the things that aren’t seen. But we (Focus on the Family Australia) also acknowledge that there are those who are struggling, and we want to be able to provide those (people) support.”

It’s important to acknowledge, Brett adds, that motherhood doesn’t come naturally to every mum. And motherhood can be a difficult experience for many who try their best to fulfill the role amid complex family struggles, perhaps never having had a nurturing, loving mother figure in their own life on which to model their own role as a mum.

Life can also turn a little pear-shaped and bring unexpected blows, Jenny says. Overwhelming feelings of Mother guilt for mistakes made or missed opportunities, and grief for the loss of a loved one can be difficult for mums on any day, but even more so on Mother’s Day, when some mums feel they simply don’t deserve to be celebrated.

Jenny’s advice for those who feel this way on Mother’s Day?

“Be kind to yourself. It’s a special day … Let’s try and set the day up so we can be successful, not put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. But particularly for those who are grieving … (try to) own the grief, not push it down. Try and be with people who will support (you) in that grief”.

Emmylou agrees. Although celebrating mum on Mother’s Day is not a simple task in the face of difficulties and relationship strain, she believes it is still important to encourage the young people who she works with to always aim to preserve and celebrate the relationship they have with their mum if they can.

The key to making this possible?

“Communication. Communicating how their mums make them feel, how they feel about their mum … It’s so rare in this society to tell someone how you really feel, and to tell someone how much you love them, and it should be something we all tell our loved ones, no matter how complex that relationship is. If there is room to repair, then it begins with just saying, ‘I care about you and I appreciate you’”.

Among the many insightful thoughts the Helping Hands panellists share about celebrating mums, they all agree that Mother’s Day is an important opportunity to set aside the busy pace of life, gather together and take time to let mum know how thankful we are for who she is and all she is to us.


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