It is Mother’s Day. While I enjoy Mother’s Day, this is a not a day that I feel like making a big deal about. I usually give myself the gift of doing things at my convenience/schedule rather than what works for my family. That is my big indulgence. Oh yeah, and eat really good food (always looking for a good excuse to indulge food-wise). But one thing i always find myself doing on Mother’s Day is, of course, thinking about MY mother!
My mother is an excellent mother. Yes, I know I am biased. But since I have become a mother, and my friends have become mothers, and we talk ALOT about mothering, I have learned that my mother really is an excellent mother, OBJECTIVELY speaking. I often find myself sharing with my friends, advice, stories, and suggestions my mother has shared with me. Now that I am a mother to both sons and a daughter, I realize that she especially taught me many important things about mothering a daughter. I am blessed with a good sense of sense, a health attitude toward food and beauty, and lots of confidence (if I do say so myself :)). I attribute much of this to my mother. As a tribute to my most excellent mom, here is what I have learned:
:: One of the most important things about mothering is to make sure your children feel loved, no matter what.
:: If you mother thinks you are beautiful, that goes a long way to helping you feel beautiful.
:: Related to the above, always tell your daughter she is beautiful and much prettier than you, even when she isn’t. Because, of course, we all go through our awkward stages, but it is wonderful to believe that there is one person in the world who thinks you are always beautiful.
:: Be a good listener, and restrain yourself from offering opinions until they are asked for (oh, so hard).
:: Tell your children you are proud of them, don’t hold back on sharing your pride.
:: Teach your children about the facts of life early. (Yes, she really did this. Like, explained it all when I was 3. She said she figured that way her own embarrassment wouldn’t be picked up me). It saves embarrassment later on, and then you never have to have “talk” with your pre-teen.
:: Put your children first, even if you are having a personal crisis. You are the adult, the parent, it is your job to provide stability for your children. Ask for help with this, if you can’t personally accomplish it.
:: Become interested in what your children are interested in, even if it is something you never liked before you had children. For example, my poor mother endured A LOT of ballet and dance shows because I was obsessed with dance for a while. I never knew that she had no interest in this until I was an adult. Turns out, she was interested in ME being interested in dance. That was cool.
:: Be open-minded when your children start exploring ideas and ways of life that are different from yours. Don’t view their exploration as a rejection of how they were raised.
:: Always be a mother to your children, even when they are adults. It is a wonderful thing to be “mothered” even when you are 37.
:: Be fair and tell ALL of your children they are your favourite, because it is true, isn’t it?
:: Be willing to be the bad guy and the excuse your children use if they don’t want to do something. When I was a teenager, I often wouldn’t want to go to a party and my mother would ask me: “Do you want me to say you can’t go?” What a relief, to use my “strict” mother as an excuse.
:: Allow all foods in moderation. Show your children it is OK to enjoy junk food, treats, and fatty meals, but in moderation.
:: And finally, tell your children often that you love, love, love them. Even when they don’t want to hear it. Especially when they don’t want to hear it.
Thanks, mom, for being such a great mother and showing me how to be a great mother (I hope!).