Monday, May 5, 2008

Marvellous Mother's Day

Well, I have always loved Mother’s Day. I love the thought of choosing presents and cards for my mum and Grandma as well as, for the past 9 years, my mother-in-law.
But I cannot explain how much more special this day is now to be called ‘Mum’ by my own two children and experience the true blessing and celebration that motherhood brings.
On this Mother’s Day 2008 I encourage you to stop and reflect about the importance of your role as a mother and how your influence on your children’s lives will affect the kind of adults that they become.
We’re told that being a mum is one of the hardest jobs on earth and most days I feel that is true. We have all made choices and sacrifices in relation to our careers, lifestyles and hobbies. We accept many changes that once did not enter our minds (a messy house, broken sleep, listening to the Wiggles) and all because we are investing this part of our lives to watch our children grow and develop and maybe have a family of their own one day.
I see Mother’s Day as not only a great day to feel spoilt, be appreciated and open a few pressies but to take stock, re-energise and make a decision to parent purposefully knowing that our hard work and sacrifices are worth it and that what we input into these precious young lives really does matter!
Happy Mother’s Day Marvellous Mums!

Inside your ‘goody’ bag this month I have included a poem entitled, ‘The Meanest Mother’. It’s a poem close to my heart for two reasons. Firstly I remember reading the poem as a teenager. My parents were actually the ones who showed it to me so it reminds me of the days when I lived at home with them but secondly I liked this poem because I often felt like it reflected many feelings I had about my own life and growing up with what I would consider ‘strict’ parents…

Now don’t get me wrong, I totally adore my parents and I always have however there were many occasions growing up when I found it very hard to understand the rules and standards that they set for me. Thankfully though looking back now (as a parent myself) I truly appreciate the boundaries that they set, the curfews they had in place and the time that they took to discipline me and explain their reasoning for doing so.

But what are some of the main things that I learnt about my mum? Here’s 6:

1. She always gave of her time.

My mum made a decision to stay at home with my sister and brother and I until we reached school age. At the time I didn’t really understand what a big sacrifice this was financially or even socially but now as a stay-at-home mum myself I know there are days when going back to work seems an appealing option. Sometimes I don’t realise how much I’ve actually missed adult conversation until my husband gets home and I start talking his ears off!
My mum gave her time so that we never felt she was too busy for us and for that I am really thankful.

2. She is an encourager.

My mum has never made me feel like I couldn’t achieve what I set my mind to. I was the sort of child who got bored quite easily so I liked to try my hand at many different activities. From dancing to roller-skating, little athletics, netball, swimming, clarinet, Japanese … the list went on. And with each new endeavour my mum supported me, celebrated my successes or commiserated with me.
My mum encouraged me so that I felt confident to try new things and always have a go.

3. She has a great sense of humour.

I think that my mum and I share the same sense of humour a lot more nowadays but even growing up I remember our house being filled with my mum’s joyful, optimistic and positive attitude. She never used humour to put us down or be sarcastic but to lighten the mood and create memories. We had a lot of laughs at her too! She is a happy person and other people like to be around her. She can laugh at herself and can see the funny side in many situations.
My mum set the mood for our house and made it a happy place to call home.

4. She gives great hugs.

I am thankful to have a mum who gave me healthy physical affection even through the years when I probably didn’t want it but needed it the most. My mum still gives great hugs and has a very calming, gentle touch with her grandchildren too- often being the only one to settle them when they are away from home and sleeping in a different bed.
My mum always let us know that we were safe in her arms and welcome for a cuddle whenever one was required.

5. She knew how to discipline in love and not anger.

In our house we knew that there was a certain standard of behaviour that was expected of us and when we crossed the line and did not choose the correct type of behaviour, there were consequences and discipline for our actions. My mum was always able to discipline in a calm manner explaining to us what we did wrong and expecting an apology. She never held a grudge after the incident was over or reminded us of our faults once the event had passed.
My mum knew how to guide our behaviour in the right direction without harsh words or actions but an attitude of love and forgiveness.

6. She always tells me that she loves me.

My mum has been a great verbaliser in sharing her love. I never realised how hard it is for some people to speak their words of love and affirmation to their children and family but once you ask around it seems quite common that many people have never heard their parents tell them that they love them. I have made it a goal of mine to tell my children at the very least once a day that I love them.
My mum showed her love in words and deed and for that I am truly blessed and grateful.

When I read that poem, ‘The Meanest Mother’ now, I understand that for me to raise well adjusted, courteous, respectful, confident young adults, it is going to mean having a high standard, being consistent, disciplining in love and keeping a sense of humour to achieve this goal.

Thankfully I still have one of the finest mothers around to help me and to learn from.
On Mother’s Day 08 remember to celebrate your children too and your role as their mum… choose to be marvellous!

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