I was surfing around trying to find some ideas for a post about mothers and stuff, seeing how its Mothers Day this Sunday. Topical and Timely – that’s THIS girl I found two quotes that resonated so I’m posting them and my thoughts. Please let me know what YOU think!
”Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow too. Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality especially while you struggle to keep your own.” — Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons
That whole balancing thing. Moms – above and beyond anyone else – need to maintain a balance. We are mostly the primary caregivers even in this day and age. We have to make sure we are functioning at peak levels as much as possible. Only when we are healthy and in balance can we give our best to others. Rather contradictorily – this means that we must be good to ourselves first. Spiritually and physically – both sides must be fed. Just like there is no crying in baseball, there is no starve the spirit/feed the body or feed the spirit/starve the body. It doesn’t work like the fever/cold thing. Both aspects must be nurtured, in my opinion. Of course, this is the ideal world isn’t it? We all have time to
medicate meditate, whip up that 5 course gourmet meal, do a Martha Stewart -level top to bottom daily cleaning of the house; and sew a quilt or three, right? OK, well maybe some of us do – but most of us live in the 9 to 5 daily grind. After work, we take the kids to their soccer games, recitals, doctors appointments, help with the homework, do the shopping, laundry, cooking etc. “And when the morning light comes shinin in we get up and do it again, Amen. Say it again – Amen!“ I love you Jackson Browne! So we’re TIRED – which kinda goes without saying but I thought I’d say it anyway. We look to our families for help with this day to day stuff. If we’re lucky we get it. Then, there just might be time to indulge in a hot soak in the tub – or work on a new hobby, plant some flowers, take a walk, or even take a nap. I vote for all of the above – AND that medication, er – meditation, just in case you were wondering.
Then, while we’re doing our Wonder Woman thing, we also get to watch our children in their own moments of triumph and tragedy as they grow up. Sometimes making the same mistakes that we did, and unable to say anything because they have to figure it out on their own at some point. That’s a tough thing for me. I am learning to step back more often – my fledglings must learn to fly. At some point, my girls will be leading their own lives And – just like we were for the first seven years of our marriage – the Viking and I will be on our own again. I want to be able to see an individual in the mirror then, not just a Mom. In fact, if I’m smart (and I’d like to think I am – but the jury’s still out on that one ) but yeah, if I’m smart, I will be defining myself dually as an individual and a mother RIGHT NOW. Waiting till the nest is empty and all I see is a ghost of my former self in the mirror is not a good idea.
“Giving kids clothes and food is one thing, but it’s much more important to teach them that other people besides themselves are important and that the best thing they can do with their lives is to use them in the service of other people.” — Dolores Huerta
This concept floors me, completely. (obscure Babylon 5 reference – It’s a “shining beacon of hope, all alone in the night.”) This is what it’s about folks – the bottom line of parenting. To raise your children to GIVE of themselves for the betterment of others. Not because of the accolades that might be received, but because – and only because – its the loving, caring, appropriate, correct, and moral thing to do. We all want our children to grow up to be loving, caring and moral. That is the true measure of success. We are fortunate that the Catholic Elementary School here in town teaches respectful service to others as an important part of their mission. It’s crucial in building character. Our local Boys and Girls Club also strongly promotes service -through their Torch Club and Keystone Elite programs. Both my girls are blessed to be involved with St Mary’s and the programs in our Boys and Girls Club as members. My older daughter is now a staff member at the club – and a former Youth of the Year Award (a service award) winner. Here’s a link to the text of her pre-award speech if you’re interested, check it out. Getting back on track though -it’s a collaborative effort on all our parts to raise aware, active, socially conscious, and curious young people. As a parent, and particularly as a mother, its my job to set an example. I don’t always succeed. I fall flat on my face more times than not. But I’ll always keep trying. Being a mother is very difficult, but its also the most rewarding thing I have ever done – or ever will do – with my life. The Viking and I struggled for years before our dream of starting a family came true, suffered through miscarriages etc.. My girls are wondrous gifts from God when the doctors told us there was little or no chance of ever having children of our own. So I take my motherhood very seriously. I hope my girls remember that when it’s their turn to be moms. I hope they call me up and say “You were right Ma, about most everything.” That’ll be thanks enough.
Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there! Enjoy your day, and BE happy – you deserve it! Love and Hugs from “Momma E.”