Let us give thanks to mothers

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IT comes once in a year, but can be celebrated everyday. This month Zimbabweans are urged to show love and care to mothers since the first Sunday of May was Mother’s Day. The celebrations of mother’s day can be traced from ancient Greece. It is believed that the day emerged from the Greek’s custom of mother worship in honour of Rhea, the wife of Cronus. Early Christians in England also celebrated the day to honour Mary, the mother of Christ. The religious order in England extended the holiday in its scope to include all mothers and was named as the Mothering Sunday. It was celebrated with a special cake called the mothering cake to provide a festive touch. Christianity spread its wings throughout Europe hence the celebration to honour ‘Mother Church’ also spread. In the United States of America, it was also inspired by the British Day and was first suggested by a social activist, Julia Ward Howe. By 1911 it was in almost every state. Different celebrations of Mother’s Day in Zimbabwe are done to show progress of women in society. From the pre –colonial era through the colonial to post-colonial era, women had often been regarded as second class citizens. Therefore, they struggled to make their way through some difficulties in the society and were able to create space for themselves in order to be recognised in the society. In so doing, they paved a way for their emancipation. In Zimbabwe, Mother’s Day is celebrated widely with the buying of presents, sending flowers as well as sending messages through the radio to mothers. It is celebrated to honour all mothers and express gratitude for the hardships they encountered in bringing up a child. The most remarkable thing about Mother’s Day is that the feelings of celebrating it are the same regardless of one’s origins. The love and caring which mothers show does not differ so are the feelings of their children. A mother is defined as ‘the person in whom life receives a form suitable for living this world’. This means that she plays a pivotal role in everyone’s life. Men seldom live their lives without being aware of the numerous tasks their spouses are involved in. The tasks include raising children and taking care of households among others. Mothers can be labelled in different categories. There are mothers who can be labelled as business mothers, home mothers and community and health and fitness mothers. Business mothers work for six to eight hours and still have to carry on with their duties of being a mother. Women therefore play the role of mothers, spouses and workers. Mother’s Day celebrations are important because there is need for one to appreciate tasks such as raising children ,meeting demands of the spouses and of the household and nowadays, some have actually become bread winners in many households. To their children, mothers have a special place in their lives because of the bond that begins from pregnancy. Mothers also play an important role of comforting members of the family. When the family is in total chaos, both emotionally and socially, it is the mother who creates peace and harmony in the house. Even in a failed relationship or divorce, the mother is needed for comfort. Mother’s Day celebrations hence become a mandate for everyone to celebrate. Mother’s Day should be celebrated despite the mother being alive or dead. It is the gratitude and memory of a late mother’s deeds that should be celebrated. A mother can be someone who offers comfort, advice and even help in the community. The importance of a mother is seen in the sense that “behind every man there is a great woman”. If there is also a great unmarried man, then there must be a great mother.

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