Mothering Sunday. The day to go all out with cards and flowers and gifts and lots of “stuff”. It always confused me as to why we wait for one specific day in the year to honour our mothers. After all they’ve done for us… we should be thanking them in small ways every day.
When we’re young, we think we know everything and most of us were oblivious to all the things our Mum did for us. Children are self centered by nature and only tend to think about their own experiences. That’s as it should be until they get older and learn empathy.
As a teen… oh boy… our Mums were mostly “wrong” and trying to “ruin our lives” by not letting us do whatever it is we wanted to do at the time.
As we get older and have families of our own, we recognise the sacrifices Mum made because we are making them ourselves. A heartfelt, “I’m sorry Mum for all the grief I gave you!” usually is discussed around this time. We become so busy with our kids’ lives and their activities that we may not talk to our mothers as much as we’d like.
Well I’m saying that it’s very VERY important that you MAKE time. It’s all well and good to celebrate Mum on Mothering Day. But perhaps what she needs and wants from you is your time, your energy and your acknowledgement… And even if she says it’s okay and that she knows you’re busy, we have to do better.
Mums are people too. She seems all powerful when we’re young but we seem to forget that she’s human and makes mistakes. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting and it certainly doesn’t excuse acts of abuse or neglect. But many times we forget that our Mothers have lived a life and have had struggles too. We don’t always know about her trials and tribulations.
Speak Well of Her
Sometimes I think we focus too much on the negative. In this age of self help books (which I do love) and therapy, we always seem to gravitate to pointing out the flaws in others. It’s like we’re stuck in a negativity loop. If you feel as if you want to criticise her, don’t. Remember, sharing your feelings isn’t critical but needlessly and constantly pointing out someone’s mistakes IS. When her name is in your mouth, come from a place of loving kindness.
Give Her Credit
Mothers want to see themselves in you. All parents long to see how they have impacted their children, how their children are a reflection of their strengths, their values. Give her credit where you can. A simple, ‘You know, everything I really ever learned about parenting I learned from you.’ How about, ‘You know, Mum, that was one thing you always taught me that I really, really appreciated’.” These are simple things but ones that bring great joy and honour to our Mums.
Seek Her Wisdom
Everyone needs to feel needed. Your Mum has lived a lot of life and has wisdom that you can’t even comprehend. Seek her out. Ask her advice. Don’t think that you’re bothering her or troubling her. She WANTS you to call her and talk to her about life decisions. Whether or not you take her advice is up to you, but the simple act of asking makes a person feel valuable.
Not just financially but emotionally too. We honour our mothers by promising that we will not forsake them as they get older. A great fear many older people have is that they will be a burden to their children. To give back to the woman who so lovingly and unselfishly gave to you your whole life is an honour. Make sure she knows this.
Respect for your Mother (and Father too) lays the framework for respecting others our whole lives. I’ve heard it said many times about “kids these days” and their sense of entitlement or lack of respect. Being an example to our children by showing respect to OUR Mothers is a way to model healthy behaviour. Not only will it make you feel good, it will make your bond stronger with your entire family.
A Mother’s love is a bond that is so strong, keep that bond, and if your mother is no longer physically with you, keep the emotional bond, keep the spiritual bond.