Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

How We Mother

My family gathered on Mother’s Day to celebrate the marvelous women in our family and to specifically take time to show our mom how grateful we are to have her in our lives. Following dinner the parade of gifts began, and my father – being the funny guy he is – bellowed to my mom, “It’s because of me that you are a mother.” To which I replied, “We are not celebrating the fact that she is a mother, we are celebrating how she is a mother!” My mom truly knows what it means to be a mother.

I am not sure where my mom acquired her mothering skills or attributes, but she has truly mastered them. If I had to guess I would say she learned some of these skills from my grandparents, some through pure trial and error and some are simply a part of who she is. My mom is kind and caring yet consistent. She has always encouraged and supported us, but we have also had clear expectations regarding our responsibilities and how we are to behave. These skills I think she acquired from my grandparents – strong Catholics of German heritage who believed in hard work and in sharing what you had with others.

Through trial and error I think my mom figured out how to have a relationship with each one of her children. We each had different needs growing up and my mom was able to respond with what we needed. For me she offered the additional encouragement I needed as I sometimes struggled to find my “fit.” She provided clearer rules and expectations to my brother who tended to “test” the boundaries and for my sister, who at times became anxious, my mom offered support through reassurance and problem solving that would quickly calm her worries.

My mom’s extreme generosity, genuineness and sensitivity are just part of who she is. As a mother she gave to her children and husband first; her needs were always second. She openly expressed her feelings and is well known for her tears of joy and sorrow.

I am sharing this information about my mom because I want to acknowledge how lucky I have been to have her as my mother. To me she exemplifies all a mother should be and has taught me and the other women in our family how to “be a mom.” I am so grateful and feel truly blessed to be a member of this group of women who show tremendous love through their acts of kindness, generous ways and unconditional support.

I’m also sharing this because I want to recognize and celebrate all women who “mother” our children. Women who are aware of how to be a mother, women who strive to bring their best into their relationships with children and women who persevere through the tough times. For me, my mom was exactly the mother that I needed. I believe all children have the mothers that they need – how we mother is up to us.

– Carolyn

Photo courtesy of Nanda Sunu.

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