Buds on the trees, and I see the woodpecker who visits every year in our apple tree. Sesame, our cat, is chirping at the window watching the birds. Spring is here and Mother’s Day is around the corner.
I remember from my childhood, attending church and Mother’s receiving the honor of making sacrifices for their children. Everyone treated Mother’s Day like a holiday (richly deserved), and we were all dressed up in our best frilly dresses, Mom’s wore corsages and their best hats. Just like June Cleaver vacuuming her living room in pearls.
Moms are very special indeed. There is a bond with their children that few others understand, including myself. They choose to sacrifice time and money (amongst other things) for their children. In these selfless, loving acts, Moms sometimes lose themselves.
Recently, during some spa time with a friend, we talked about her feelings of guilt leaving her kids with her parents while on a date with her husband. HER PARENTS! When we talked further, I got curious and posed some questions…
1. Will the kids die if Mom and Dad leave them for the evening?
2. Will they die if left with the grandparents? and,
3. Who will have fun on these outings and appreciate each other more? I saw the light in her eyes grow as she turned her guilt into a win-win situation. The win-win also gained her some much needed girl time with her BFF. What fun to be able to have your cake and eat it too.
What I believe this example shows is what we project on ourselves and others, and this case projection of abandonment with my friend’s children. Although Moms love their children, give themselves wholly to them to protect and nurture their growing process, giving up of themselves is something that needs a second look. How many of you, yes, let me see your hands, can say that because of motherhood, along side career, life, your relationship with your husband (or male friend), you no longer know who you are. Us women have been trained to give up everything to make others happy despite our own needs. This needs to stop. We all need to know who we are and that includes Moms. Who came to earth and granted you absolution for giving up everything? The only Mother I know who became a saint was Mother Teresa; and, that is another story.
What is so special about Motherhood that drives women to give up everything for their children? Research shows that even yeast (such as that used for bread), Mothers will continue to give the yeast buds food to encourage growth. The article also indicates that those yeast Mothers that were stingy with their food lived much longer. What does this show us? It shows us that Mothers will sacrifice everything even to the point of dying to make sure their offspring survives. I’m sure there is some evolutionary purpose for this, which probably surrounds survival of the species.
So the question remains, what is a healthy life while taking care of your children’s needs? When children are young, of course, they need added attention and help. When they grow past a certain age the demands of motherhood become less because kids become more independent and require less protection. What then, do some women do to their own detriment? They continue to sacrifice everything for their children to thrive. Thriving for who? A healthy relationship with you and your children requires a certain level of self-protection or boundaries. It requires you to use some practical judgment in your decisions and choices. It comes down to what do you need, what do the kids need, versus the wants. Saying “no,” instead of “yes.”
What do you want to teach your kids? To be dependent and give them everything they want or be independent and teach them to ask for what they need? In return, look what you create for yourself and your family; a life that reflects balance, meeting needs not wants, following with love and respect.
Motherhood is something to honor. What are you honoring when you sacrifice everything and leave yourself with nothing? What and who are you loving if you give up all of you? What are you teaching your children about the role of a mother if you ignore who you are? And what are you settling for?
“A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary” ~ Dorothy Canfield Fisher