I’ve been thinking a lot about Mothers lately. I know four who will become a Mother to 3 children in the next 4 months. One of them is a blogger I admire. The others are part of my very large extended family. Add to that a dose of Spring and curious little ones who have wondered where babies come from, and you have the prompt for this post.
At dinner a few weeks ago with my husband’s family (he’s one of 4, plus two spouses and his parents, and it’s a big table), my Father-In-Law went around the table and announced what everyone had to celebrate. He actually decided that each person would ask, then announce what the person sitting next to them had to share. Everyone cheered as we heard things like, “Steven got a new job,” “Jennifer moved back from China and started her own business,” you get the picture – these are high achievers with Big Things happening. I started to feel really anxious because I had nothing to announce. Nothing quite as exciting or “high achieving.” As chance would have it, my 2-year-old had the duty of announcing my achievements. She didn’t really get it. So, she was asked, “What does Mama Do?” “Mama makes dinner!” she said in her sweet, excited little voice. Everyone cheered. It was sweet, but still left me feeling lame.
This week, I’ve been working on finding my focus for this blog. Yesterday I worked through “10 Ways to Find Your True Passions,” worksheet. As part of the exercise, I have to ask some friends or family what they think of when they think of me, or what I am good at doing. So, I asked my husband. His answer, “The things I am not.” True, but not what I was looking for…then, our 4-year-old decided to answer while drawing a picture nearby, “You take care of us!” True, and sweet. It was the sweetness I needed to hear. It reminded me that making dinner IS important.
All parents are important whether they are the ones who give birth to us or chose to raise us. So, please don’t feel left out if you are not a birth Mother. One of the most inspiring mothers (and couples) I know have chosen adoption, and blog about the adventure.
Mothers hold a special place in our lives, in history, really. What do you love about your mother? What have you learned? What can you appreciate now that you didn’t at first?
My mother has taught me many things both on purpose and by example. Things I do now like create new recipes, try new things, make gifts are because that’s what my mom always did. Her example showed me how. She was once a house cleaner, and ran her own business. From her I learned at a very young age how to sweep, and clean a house quickly. I had really high expectations of myself as a result. While single and living alone, I would thoroughly clean my apartment every week. Once I had kids, I had to start letting go of dusting every week and clutter crept in and multiplied. One lesson she recently taught me was to be like a Mary not a Martha.
During a visit for a few days, my mom told me to stop cleaning. She said it in a kind way. Something like, I know I taught you to keep a clean house, but something I’ve learned is that it’s more important to be a Mary, not a Martha. Then, she reminded me of the parable in the New Testament of the Bible. From my memory and paraphrasing, it goes like this: Jesus had stopped to visit two sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus had a story, a message he wanted to share. He sat to talk. Mary sat at his feet and began listening. Martha was a good hostess and went to the kitchen to prepare whatever it was they ate. She started to grumble to herself and ask what in the world her sister was doing…it seemed like nothing! Then, Jesus called to Martha asking her to just sit and listen. So, I’ve been trying to take that lesson to heart and not start doing the dishes immediately after a meal. To be present, sit and listen to guests, to my family is really more important. I don’t want my children to say that Mama does the dishes. Make dinner? Yes:)
What Mama-wisdom do you have to share? For every comment I get answering one of the questions in this post, I will send you an old fashioned paper card. It will be an original creation using my new found love of dots, like the one here on our Etsy Shop or to the left. You can use it to send your mom, or someone special. And please tell me what your favorite color is. I’ll email you for an address so the whole wide world won’t have the info.
<3 Moms everywhere!
p.s. I remembered two blog posts I must share – messages that speak to my heart and to any new Mother:
Sometimes we forget how powerful our words are. This blogger is a Christian, but this post is not a Bible-thumping exercise. It is a powerful message culled from the movie, Monsoon Wedding – What We Sometimes Forget to Protect Our Kids From
The importance of imperfection for those striving for natural living, complete with curse words (the author doesn’t hold back from being her true self) – A Love Letter to New Mamas