from a mom of 4 - making mother's day meaningful

from a mom of 4 - making mother's day meaningful

Mother's Day is a full day for me. I'm a Mom of 4 so there are many beautiful hand made gifts to be had. And I love the thought and personalization that goes into all of them. But I am also a daughter, and I am also a sister to a Mom who lost a child. These are the many dimensions of Motherhood and they are all celebrations and moments. Be in those moments. For me, I have to bat away my emotions around being a Mom. The constant guilt about not being present enough, not parenting perfectly, am I working too much, am I too mean, am I too unstructured, am I too structured. But it's in the moments where we let our kids be who we are raising them to be that we see our success.

Spend time with your Mom. I'd take a walk in the woods with my kids over a gift any day of the week. And this isn't just on Mother's Day. Walking with kids is an amazing way to connect and understand. There are no distractions, no cars, no i-pads, no arguing siblings. Just nature, energy output and connection. Make something you know your Mom loves. Surprise her with a crisp glass of rose delivered in a chilled glass while she sits on the front patio, a warm mug of her favourite coffee as the sun comes up, or a sandwich or meal made by you for her, even if it isn't perfect. Draw her, or take her photo. Most Moms I know have very few photos of themselves. Share what you see in her, with her.

Spend time celebrating Moms who have lost their children. From my observations and personal experience, many people feel nervous or uncomfortable around Moms who have suffered their child's loss on Mother's Day. So in this discomfort, they say nothing. But she is a Mom. She will always be a Mom and she is suffering the greatest loss that any Mom could ever fathom. Celebrate her strength, celebrate her Motherhood, celebrate who her child was and still is for eternity. Her child is present to her and keeping that child here through conversations and memories and real feelings celebrates her Motherhood too. She is being challenged as a Mom more than those of us with children who are here. Her love endures and multiplies and spreads. Don't shy away or pretend the day isn't here. Celebrate her, even if it's quiet reflection, or a thoughtful action (see above).

Last week I experienced a tough Mom moment. One of my children was hurt by another child. It was an unfortunate random, violent attack and he was left bruised and battered. But in the moment, my child expressed empathy, deep empathy to the person who hurt him. He did not express vengefulness or anger or even despair. He showed strength and care and concern for the challenges the person who hurt him must have had. I learned that being a Mom is taught to us by our kids. And I am proud and honoured to be his Mom.

So if you are a Mom, enjoy this reflective day and celebrate the many dimensions of being a Mom. And give your own Mom what most Moms want....your time and your thoughts.