May 16Liked by Megan Pillow

Your essay on being a single mother on Mother’s Day speaks to me so deeply. I’m a newly single mom and feel every word of what you said. My life is so much easier and harder at the same time, but I am empowered and driven by the autonomy I’ve bestowed on myself and that I can now make my life whatever I want. No one will drag me down again.

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Mother’s Day in the USA originated to honour mothers. In the UK we have a different source - ‘Mothering Sunday’, which has now turned into Mother’s Day but remains linked to Easter.

On the fourth Sunday in Lent people would go ‘mothering’. They would visit their mother church - either the local parish church, or the nearest cathedral (as it is the mother church of all the parishes).

Over time, women started to work away from their home parish, often as domestic servants. The girls left home when they were very young, some only 10 years old. They only had a few hours off duty each week, except on Mothering Sunday, when they were allowed the day off. They would journey home to visit their mother church and their family.

Mothering Sunday is in the middle of Lent, and it is also called Refreshment Sunday, when the fasting associated with Lent is lifted for the day. Because of this, servant women would make cakes and buns not allowed during Lent, and take them home. It is an easy step to see the girls making cakes and gathering flowers to give to their mother, whom they had not seen for a year.

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