Saturday 28th May 2022

About Mother’s Day. 30/2022.

About Mother’s Day. 30/2022.


I am writing about Mother’s Day. If you believe you might be triggered by the content please proceed carefully. This is just one woman’s story. Mine.

Today as I write, tomorrow, Sunday 8 May 2022, will be Mother’s Day here in Australia and other countries which celebrate this in May too.

It’s a day that can be fraught with sadness, dosed with some anger and maybe even some fear, and using the words from those who sell flowers, chocolates and cards, perhaps some manufactured affection.

And for some it can be full of love, appreciation and gratitude to show the mother in your life something of the way you feel about her.

In my case, Mum died over 15 years ago, and it has taken me around the past two years or so to really understand and appreciate the love and care she had for me ….because I was far too busy being concerned about external pressures (Hello Dad) to make Mother’s Day what I was told from a very early age what it was about. And I miss being able to share my thoughts with her now as a result. Tell people what you want to share before they die!

We Didn’t Know This Would Be Mum’s Last Mother’s Day…..2006.

Sometimes the stories we tell ourselves can be not only damaging but untrue. I know!

In my now much, ahem, wiser years, I wanted to write about what has changed for me.

My Mother.

She lived a very challenging life as a young woman in a two generation household with her own Mum caring for her three as well as her brother’s two after their Mum died. Mum married Dad in 1946 and faced many difficult times but conquered a lot. She always was a mother who was present and after school it was great to come home to a home cooked afternoon tea. I wrote about Mum (Noreen) and her mother (Vera), and my Aunty (Poppy) as well as my Dad’s Mum (Etta) here as part of Women of Courage. 

Since chatting to Dad (who has an amazing memory) in the past year or so, I learned a lot about Mum’s courage. She was also deaf for most of her adult life. She used to be the most caring grandmother and enjoyed seeing 3 of her great grandchildren arrive. Mum was impeccable in her dress and her ability to make people feel at ease when entertaining. This from an anxious woman was remarkable. I am learning, and have already, to soften any negativity about Mum and my memories as I realise she was expressing some fears and concerns she had for me, from a position of LOVE.

About Me Being a Mother.

Truly, I won’t make this long. I have written about it here: Telling My Story about our daughter’s arrival in our lives, and then here, in Telling My Story about our son and his longed for arrival. I admit it was hard becoming a mother so quickly in my first year of marriage and I was not built to stay at home. Fortunately I could always secure great child care for both the kids. To have our son was a battle for fertility which was won.

Our daughter on my shoulders…

Our son’s early days.

How I View Myself as a Mother.

I am a hard judge brought up by one. Dad. So, I do give myself somewhat of a hard time about some aspects of my relationship with our children growing up. And once they were grown and had left home. I admit I was, by dint of personality and my life, someone who tried to help far too much when not asked and in fact, could be bossy and I know, NOW, how that was for my kids and for that I am sorry. They already know this. I do know that I love them and want the best for them.

We live away from them and their families and see them infrequently but they are always in my thoughts and I wish them well, every single day as they make their lives work for them and their children…

Becoming a Grandmother.

Over 25 years ago, this event changed my life and the way I love another human who is related to me forever. I was so fortunate to have days and nights helping care for almost all of our now eight grandchildren and this is memorable.

I remember meeting each on on the days/nights of their births. Such a joy and privilege to be “Grandma”.

So, why write this today?

To ease the burden I have held for far too long of expectations around “Mother’s Day”…

it can be such a great and casual time or it can be a mishmash of other emotions. Right now, before I press publish, I am hoping to have a phone call or face time with each of our kids on Mother’s Day but if it doesn’t happen it’s OK too. Their lives are FULL of responsibilities. They know I love them and I know they love me.

My tribute to Mum, and Being a Mum and Grandma is this collage:

Middle shot is Mum, holding my hand in around 1952, with her Mum (Nanny to me) admonishing someone in the background.

Left collage is of our son, right collage our daughter, and bottom is the wonderful family photo I got for my 70th Birthday.

Bottom left, is Mum holding our son in 1979 and Bottom right is Mum with our daughter’s first child.

Happy Mother’s Day to Me….and all the Mums I know who wish to celebrate and commemorate being a Mother.

On Monday my post is about a Mother’s Day in 2017 where I was one very worried woman.

Take care,






  1. I’m glad there are others who acknowledge the mix of emotions present for some of us on Mother’s Day. Great insights.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thank you so much Maureen. A post that was needing to be written and I feel good that I have a blog and could do so.

      Thinking of you too.


  2. Hi Denyse, Mother’s Day can be full of mixed emotions, can’t it? As you know I remember my Mum by running each year in the Mother’s Day Classic with my daughter, Rachel to raise funds for breast cancer. A lovely tribute and thoughts about your Mum, Denyse.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thank you Sue for this warm and kind comment. I do think it is very special that you and Rachel can honour this very important woman in your live…mother and grandmother…in the way that has meaning and helps others.

      It’s been helpful for me to re-examine old views and mistaken ideas around Mother’s Day and my mother and I appreciate having this blog gives me a chance to write and share.

      Take care,


  3. I am not a fan of Mother’s Day – I have to try and make it happy for Mum, and for my MIL and now try to see my own kids and then I have friends who a grieving recently deceased Mothers and the bombardment of ads / I don’t have any sort of solution but I know it felt magic after all the fiasco of taking a cooked lunch 45 mins away and trying but failing to accommodate my in laws when they changed the plan on Friday to sit in the cinema with my own little chicks and share an experience we hadn’t managed in a long time. I don’t have the answer. (That could be a tattoo for me at the moment.) #LifeStories

    • That’s a terrible sentence. I meant it felt magic to sit in the cinema. Not that my in laws changed plans to sit in the cinema….HA!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      You sound so much like me (or how I was) …”I have to” make mother’s day happy..blah blah. It’s not happy for you though is it…but we are living and learning as we say.

      I am glad you got to do something which had great meaning and felt good.

      The restrictions of the last two years have affected us much more than we might know. Be aware that is a trigger of sorts for’s been BLOODY hard and you were the one trying to make it all OK for your family…..

      Take care,

  4. This was another lovely insightful post Denyse. I am proud of the mother I am now and I’m proud of my daughters who are struggling with various hurdles as they make their way through motherhood. I am an even better Granny I think, or maybe I just enjoy it more without the need to be the mum all the time 🙂 It was lovely to have my mum with us on the weekend and my sister who mum hadn’t seen in over 18 months due to covid and illness in the family.
    One of my daughters messaged me telling me I’ve ‘done a good job and it’s why my three daughters are doing so well as mothers themselves’. That was a sweet gift to receive.

Denyse values & reads every comment written, thank you. There is always a reply.