Happy Mother’s Day

Snip20160609_6Today is Mother’s Day. It is a holiday I don’t celebrate. Why? Because I am not a mother. We chose to not have children very early in our marriage. Now 47 years later we have no regrets. I worked with children for 35 years in my career as a speech pathologist.  When I came home at night there were other things to do. Also we wanted to travel all over the world and that costs money. Children cost money. Our choices were made. We travelled. We did other things. We do not feel empty at all for not having had children.

Instead we chose to care for animals and have done so for a very long time. We are mother and father to rescued animals since 1977 when we bought our first house in Florida and acquired a dog that had been abused. We had him for the next nine years.

When we moved to Australia we adopted cats and dogs and they have been cared for since 1989 when we bought our house in Tasmania.

Odie and Molly who both had very rough starts to life.

We have cleaned up accidents all over the house. We have scraped up hairballs and spit. We have paid enormous amounts in veterinary bills for the previous abuse they received. We have loved them to death.  They have loved us to death. We have taught a brain injured cat how to use the litter. We taught him how to walk in a straight line when after his head injury caused by an uncaring man he could only walk in right hand circles. His right eye was saved with help from the vet.

Uncle Buck who was stomped on as a three week old kitten, survived and is now 12 yrs. old.  Our late dog Wally, always looked out for him. We had him 16 years.

I have rescued countless animals that have been hit by cars or acquired toxoplasmosis from feral cats for Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.  We’ve driven them to vets, checked their pouches for joeys and had them humanely euthanised.  The world is full of animals to be cared for.

There is a great deal more to life,  for us, than caring for children when we feel there are far too many in the world already.

This morning when I turned on facebook I saw numerous posts for mother’s day and I was looking at my bookshelf and wondering if I had any books on the shelf with the word ‘mother’ in it.

I lost my own mother in February of this year.  It hasn’t really sunk in yet but I am happy she is finally at peace.  She had difficult times in her life and she went out peacefully and I believe happily.

I booted up the Library Thing app and searched my lists of books for the words ‘Mother,’ ‘Mum’ and ‘Mom’.  Not surprisingly I only found two books out of the 1200 books on my shelves.

Snip20180513_2The first one is The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio,  How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less by Terry Ryan. I saw this on a shelf years ago and it caught my eye.  It is about a woman who enters contest after contest in America and wins money for her entries. There are many contests one can enter, especially in the United States. One must discuss a certain topic in 25 words or less. I have no idea how the winners are picked. Are the entries read? Or are they just picked at random and the winners think they wrote the most clever entry?  I have entered a few myself. I thought my answers might be amusing or different and the prize would be winging its way to me. I thought they would certainly stand out. They didn’t. Or my number was just never picked.  I’m still waiting to win the prize.

The second novel on my shelf is The Glass Mother by Rosie Jackson.  This novel is the Snip20180513_1personal story of her academic success and career at the University of East Anglia, her separation from her son when he was three, her travels, spiritual journey and ultimate reconciliation and reparation with her son. This according to her publishers website. I have not read this book but I think I will take it off the shelf today and begin it. I was wondering what book to read next. This sounds interesting and it is definitely one I haven’t read yet.

So to all of those mothers out there who do have children I’d like to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.  I hope your experiences with your children have been all you wanted. I hope you have a wonderful relationship with them and they bring you the happiness. I think motherhood is one of the hardest jobs on earth.

And to all of you who don’t have children but are mother to fur kids, I hope those relationships bring you satisfaction and happiness and not too much sadness.

Whatever choices you have made for yourself throughout life I wish you a glorious spring or autumn day (depending on which hemisphere you live in) and it all goes to plan. There is so much to enjoy in life whether you have children or not.

By the way- what books do you have on your shelf with the words, ‘mother’, ‘mum’ or ‘mom’ in the title? I’d love to know.

Odie with his favourite toy, the very dirty frisbee.

21 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day

  1. Lovely post, and so heartwarming to know how many furry lives were made better with people like you and your spouse out there. Love the shot with Uncle Buck and Wally (also Odie!) 🙂


      1. You’re right, you can’t. 🙂 It’s really hard though, to put our hearts out and risk all the pain and heartaches involved with animal rescue works. But then it’s even harder to not do anything about it. :/


  2. i married a lady with two kids and we raised them together… we’ve seen thirty some years together and i wouldn’t have it any other way… ditto on too many children in the world; adults, also… we’ve always had dogs and many off and on when we picked up strays and took care of them… lovely picture of Odie: he looks really intelligent…


  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother in January, so this is the first Mother’s Day without them for both of us. I always got my mother flowers for her flower boxes for Mother’s Day, so I got a bit weepy out shopping this week. A book I have on my shelf is MOTHERS AND OTHER MONSTERS, a short story collection by the marvelous Maureen McHugh.


  4. Your post could have been about my life. We decided not to have children just a year or so after we got married, for all the same reasons you did. We’ve never regretted our decision either, not once during 44 years of marriage. There are far too many people in the world, far too many children who are not wanted, or who are wanted for the wrong reasons. Most of the problems in the world today are because there are more and more of us. We, also, chose to make the lives of many dogs and cats and other animals better. There are too many of those who are unwanted and abused.


  5. I am a mother, but I have never liked mother’s day: I have told my son he can give me presents any time he likes except on Mother’s Day. Like Valentine’s Day it has been ruined by commercialisation and it has become an obligation instead of an expression of love. My inbox has been swamped with Mother’s Day ads for things I buy from various suppliers – books for mum, clothing for mum, DVDs for mum, even holidays for mum – and all wildly inappropriate things that she would have hated if she were still alive to receive them.
    We know also that not all mothers conform to the images we see on TV. Today at a lunch with my mother-in-law, I could see from the body-language at an adjacent table that there was outright hostility between a mother and daughter (or daughter-in-law) and I felt sorry for them both. They were doing what they felt compelled to do because Mother’s Day is so invasive now. They would both have had a happier day if they’d stayed home.
    But mothering rescue animals, that’s a wonderful thing to do. I love the photos:) I don’t understand how people can be cruel to animals, but then, I don’t understand how people can be cruel to humans either…

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    1. I think the main benefactor of Mother’s Day is Hallmark Cards. There are so many different forms of mother/child relationships and I’ll bet a great deal of them aren’t happy. I have always thought if I was a mother and getting gifts on Mother’s day I’d rather have the Father’s day gifts. The ads always show kitchen appliances or perfume or body lotion for mothers while fathers get iPads, stereos and really nice electronic or garden stuff.


      1. Yes, and these days, *ugh* stuff that’s pink…
        At school, we used to run a mother’s day stall as a much-needed fundraiser, and the kids could buy things for mum that cost $1-$5. The mums on the committee (it was always the mums) would make up the little gifts themselves, so they were useful things like tiny notepads and pens, or brightly coloured paperclips, or a small pot of herbs, or padded coathangers. I used to love watching the kids earnestly choosing what mum would like, knowing also that the family was under pressure to buy a new fridge, food processor or bottle of French perfume. I tell you, if I had small kids today I would not let them watch commercial TV. Ever.

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        1. Wrong response Lisa!! LOL. You’re a teacher. You watch it with them and teach them media literacy so that when they’re a bit older and at that sleep-over, they have the skills to resist!! (Great in theory, though, not so easy in practice. I refused to buy my kids video games that weren’t educational. So, while their friends were playing PacMan or whatever it was back then, they were playing Number Cruncher and Where in the world is Carmen San Diego. It’s now part of family lore – and I think their laughter at me is kindly meant!! My it was fun traversing all these minefields of child-rearing!)


      2. What the ads suggest and what your family does can be very different! My family know not to give me perfume or body lotion, but a good book – or just a telephone call if they’re away. My kids, now in their 30s, have rarely bought cards – they make them or write a note. It can be celebrated non-commercially – and we do because I love every opportunity to celebrate something! We celebrate Mothers Day on Saturday to avoid the crowds (and their inevitable set-menu with marked up prices!)

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  6. Thanks for filling in your story a bit more Pam. I knew you were from the USA, but didn’t know it was Florida, and I knew you’d been here for a long time but didn’t know exactly when.

    I looked at my library and found SO many books with Mother or Mum/Mom in the title. Several were non fiction like Kate Grenville’s One life: My mother’s story, Robert Dessaix’s A mother’s disgrace, Biff Ward’s In my mother’s hands, Halina Rubin’s Journeys with my mother, and Meg Stewart’s Autobiography of my mother. There’s a poetry collection, Ali Cobby Eckermann’s Inside my mother. And the fiction includes Elizabeth Jolley’s The sugar mother, Danielle Wood’s Mothers Grimm, and Kyung-Sook Shin’s Please look after mom. And I know I have a couple of others – but these are from my blog or my Library Thing record.


    1. You have many Mother books. I should have the Dessaix book on my shelf but it didn’t come up on my library search. I probably didn’t put in the apostrophe! My husband and I grew up in Michigan. But lived in Florida when we graduated Uni for 14 years before leaving again.


  7. Lovely post Pam. I too agree with you on not celebrating mothers day as I too am not a mother. I usually get a gift for mine and thats about it. I enjoyed reading your post. 🙂

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