Matt Knutson: Honor the mother figures in your own life

Published 7:04 pm Thursday, May 10, 2018

Things I Tell My Wife by Matt Knutson


“Did you know that Mother’s Day was started by a woman who was never a mother?” I asked my wife, knowing she would have never heard the fact before. A quick read online revealed that the day was created 110 years ago by Anna Jarvis to honor the important role mother’s play after her own passed away. Another interesting fact: Jarvis pushed for this day to become a national holiday, but would later lobby the government for it to be removed from the American calendar because of how commercialized it had become.

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Of course most holidays exist these days to feed the commercialization machine. It’s a bit hard to imagine a holiday without gift giving of some sort, but there are lots of ways for that to be done authentically. The gift we’re giving to Sera this year probably falls under the “commercialization” category, but it’s a good combination of heart-warming, practical and feminine. Hopefully she’ll appreciate it.

This will be Sera’s first Mother’s Day since Maeva was born. When you add another daughter, does that mean you add another present? I’m not quite sure of the rules. Day care normally takes care of an arts and crafts gift, so I’m fairly confident I won’t have to do anything in that realm. It’s probably for the best, as I’d likely create a mess that would take far too long for me to clean up. I’m sure each of the girls will create something fantastic that will hang on the fridge for a few weeks until the next holiday comes around.

This Mother’s Day, I’m coming to appreciate the very natural form of motherhood that my wife has embraced. I firmly believe that my wife developed a sixth sense when she became a mother. Like many other moms, she is acutely aware of pending disaster. It’s almost as if she can somehow predict when our daughter is about to accidentally hurt herself when in theory she’s not doing anything remotely risky. I’m consistently amazed by those abilities. Sera is also a natural nurturer, always insisting Gracelyn has a coat and Maeva has a blanket. Those don’t seem like a big deal, but they’re the kind of things I don’t think of until we’ve arrived at our destination, always far from home.

Speaking of home, there’s a song by Christian artist Matthew West that I love called “Becoming Me.” In it, he writes “I’ve never had to find out what it’s like to be alone, and as far as I know ‘mom’ is just another word for home.” It’s a touching sentiment, right? Sera and I have both been blessed with phenomenal mothers who have done simply the best job at raising us. My mom has always brought laughter and fun into the mundane activities of life, coupled with unbelievable perseverance during challenging times. Wherever we may be, when we’re together, it’s truly home. I hope Sera and I are able to instill that quality into our relationship with our daughters.

Mother’s Day is an acknowledgement of the wonderful ways moms are building up their families as well as the rarely recognized sacrifices they make in order for their children and partners to succeed. It’s so important to see both sides of that coin. There’s a lot of give and take when it comes to being a parent, and a lot of days if feels like you’re giving a lot more than taking. I know this feeling well, and I also know that it is exponentially higher for the mother of my children.

With the big day within reach, don’t forget to take some time to appreciate the mothers in your life. Whether it be with a gift, a phone call or some other way to reconnect, people should always take advantage of an opportunity to express gratitude. We celebrate Mother’s Day one day out of a full year, but we can celebrate it a little bit each day if we were intentionally about it. Honor the important motherly figures in your life — their contributions have likely forward improved who you are and your future path.

Matt Knutson is a communications specialist in Rochester.