Tag Archives: mother

What we should learn from our Mothers, about being Mothers

The Bath by Mary Cassatt

We should learn from our mothers how not to be devils

How not to bind our children in chains

And if we already have,

How to set them free

Because we so fiercely protective, we can be seen as interfering without meaning to.  We could take charge and involve ourselves where we have no business.  In the private sanctuaries of our children’s hearts.

We run the risk of interfering because we think we know better.  We do not want our children to stumble so we stop them from venturing out and trying.  We block the little falls they so desperately need in order to avoid those big falls.

There is always the danger of not approving so often, that we become disapproving.  That our children feel unwanted and unsafe near us.  That they stay away.

My buddy told me that the day her mom died it felt like a big, black devil climbed off her back.  And so many of us have the same without even realizing it.  We are wrapped in chains and bondage to what our mothers think or might say.  That ever disapproving down-turn of the mouth.  Those criticizing eyes.  That feeling of condemnation.  The dread of nearness.

Our own mothers are from a completely different generation.  They just got on with life.   Their mothers did not run to school every time they had issues with teachers, they did not interfere in friendships because they were simply too busy.  They were not pampered and mollycoddled.  That has predisposed them to  disapprove of the way we raise our children and the way we chose to live our lives.

We should learn to set our children free, exactly because our own mothers did not release us.

And how sad to wait for it to happen in death.

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Annoying Mothers

I work in an industry where I deal with children and so by default, with mothers.  Most moms are normal and stay behind the scenes, but you always have one or two who interfere, make ridiculous demands and are so difficult to deal with that you actually wish their children away.  And sadly, the children are often precocious and unbearable too.

Some mothers never stop telling their girls to sit still, straighten up, speak louder, stop fiddling etc etc.  And rarely do these daughters benefit from the constant reprimanding.  They are in fact highly insecure.

One had no problem demanding to see my teaching syllabus for the year so that she could approve it.  Nor did it enter her mind as ridiculous when she told me to move a class to another day because it does not suit her.  Never a thought about the other parents inconvenienced.

These are the mothers that would arrive at an arranged half-an-hour photo shoot with so many bags full of clothes and shoes that the shoot turns into a two-hour affair.  But they would not think to offer the photographer more money.  Then again, neither do they settle COD as arranged.  I would imagine that this mother has been, and will be hated by every teacher that has the misfortune of having little missy in their class.

I believe that mothers should be hands-on.  They must know what is going on in their children’s lives and if the child is being wronged, they have to intervene.  As for the rest, staying on the background is healthier for the mental health of all concerned.

Mom, stop for a second and evaluate your behaviour when interacting with those who have to help guide your child through life.  Be a little considerate and think before you make demands.  Try to be nice.  Don’t make a nuisance of yourself because in the end, you will be seen as an insufferable bore and your child will be disliked.

In fact, get a copy of ‘How to make friends and influence people’ by Dale Carnegie.  It was written just for you.


Love parted

They were sixteen when they fell in love.  They graduated together.

They couldn’t keep their hands off one another and did not go out much.  Preferring to stay home to watch movies and cuddle.  Doing everything together, as young love does.

Someone drew a cartoon of everyone who matriculated that year.  They were the only two depicted as one.

Her dream was to study at a prestigious acting school in Los Angeles.  She was selected, and left.  He remained behind to pursue his studies.

All the parents watched.  And sighed.

Now it is their third year apart and he still has three years of studying ahead of him.

Both mothers’ hearts break for their children.  But they do not interfere.  How do you give advice on something you have no understanding of?  Courting over Skype in spite of an eleven hour time difference.  Touching physically for a little while only twice a year.

While so young and restless.

What everyone does understand is that if this relationship makes it, they would have earned it.  The usual issues that crop up and are dealt with over time has to be sorted out quickly.  Like jealousy and trust.  All of us might have time to fight it, or fight about it.  They don’t.  You cannot distrust the other at night when you are alone in your bed, and make it work.  Trust for them is a decision, not a feeling.

Everyone who knows them, roots for them.  Because they deserve it.

They take it one day at a time, with the optimism of their youth.  Not looking too far into the future.  Not sweating the small stuff.  They simply love, and believe that they are loved.  Trusting that this love will be rewarded.

I know that they will both be richer for having had one another, no matter what.  I also understand that to pass this test, they need character, and strength, and endurance, and faith.  Which the passage of time, and the separation itself provides.

These two stones rub against one another, sanding hard.  The pain released builds character which will be its own reward in time to come.

You are so faithful and brave my little children that my heart aches when I look at you, when my thoughts touch upon you.

I pray God’s favour over you.  May He give you all the desires of your hearts till there is room for no more.   And keep you strong and content, and faithful, and pure.

I have so much I want to ask for you, but rest in asking that His will be done.  Because I don’t know what is best for you, nor do I know what the future holds for you.

And it is not for me to decide.


She waits

Everyday she waits.  Her insides twisted as her fingers tug and pull.

Everyday he returns.  The boat filled with catch.

Each time he hugs her, and bathes her in his joy.

“Mother, you know I and the land, and the air and the sea, are all in God’s hands.  Should a wave cause my boat to capsize, and me to drown, I shall remain in those hands still”.

At last she understands.

And in this belief, shares his joy.

 

 


There is enough time in a day

Here are two facts:

  • The more you do, the more you get done
  • The less you do, the less time you have even for little things

When my drinking was at its worst I hardly functioned.  Everything seemed like an insurmountable mountain, so I just shelved it.  Which meant I had to do the same with every new task after that.  It all just snowballed.  I copied what I had to do today into tomorrow’s calendar, then into the day after and so forth until even re-writing it became too much.  The guilt and worry over all my unfinished business haunted my nights.

Under normal circumstances though, I find that even when I have a lot to do, there is always a bit of time to tackle something else.  Because it is true that each day has enough time for the things of that day.  And you will be rewarded with that wonderful sense of accomplishment when you have completed all you had set out to do.

Your body produces adrenalin when you are busy which propels you forward.  It helps you do and achieve more.

It is so easy to get home tired and be unavailable to those who love you most.  A good rule is to allow yourself and/or your spouse thirty minutes from when you step in the door to unwind.  To do whatever you want.  Afterwards it will be easier to face and listen to your family.  We are not a chatty household.  But we always know what is happening in one another’s lives.  When there is a problem, I set the table and we discuss the issue at dinner.

I am always so pleased when I complete the evening’s cooking because it is the very last thing I have to do.  After that I can officially wipe out the “5th of February 2012”. There is a great sense of relief in retiring to my bedroom.  It is also the time that partners talk and enjoy one another.

Getting through each day without worry or stress requires faith.  It also requires staying in the moment and not running ahead of yourself.  When we were tied up on the floor during our armed robbery, I had the pleasure of realizing the concept of staying in the moment.  There was no point in thinking about what they could do to us.  What use would it have been had I considered that they could gang-rape me?  And that they probably had AIDS?  Or that they could shoot us?  Instead, I stayed focused on what was happening at that instant, so that I could do whatever was best for that moment.  The preservation of our lives outweighed all scary future scenarios.  I was fully anchored in each exact second.  Which created a sense of calm in everybody and ultimately saved our lives.

So, make a list of everything that needs to be done today.  And don’t stress about it.  Tackle them one at a time without worrying about the next one.  And if there is something that you cannot get to, put it under tomorrow.

Because, tomorrow is a brand new day.