Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘Mother’s day’

In Search of the Moms In My Life

Mother’s Day comes every year bringing a full range of emotions and memories. I am a very fortunate mom. I have two of the best adult children any mother could receive. Yes, they are a gift that I cherish every day. I’m also lucky enough since they feel the same way about me. My son has been thinking about Mother’s Day for awhile and sent two hanging baskets for me to put plants in and hang on my balcony. He ordered them from my favorite website, that gives extra food to the shelter animals when you order from them. I never miss a day to click on their site though I have never ordered from them. I finally got them planted this week. He also sent an electric sander so I can start working on some furniture I want to refinish.

This one will be in full sun. The basket says "Believe"

This one will be in full sun. The basket says “Believe”

This basket will have more shade. Plenty of purple flowers there.

This basket will have more shade. Plenty of purple flowers there.

My daughter is taking me to my first ever, Mother’s Day brunch at my favorite German restaurant. No dieting on Mother’s Day for me. She gifts me with her time and company every week as well. That is worth its weight in gold. Brunches these days are quite pricey.

Mother’s Day always has me looking at the women in my life that mothered me. There were several that filled in the blanks. My first mother-in-law was one of those mother figures for me. She wasn’t all that fond of me since her son and I married way too young and she knew it. When push came to shove, she stepped up to the plate and was there to advise and console. She always said, “you can spoil a child with things, but not with love”. I learned so much from her including how to cook good, healthy meals.

This was a Mother's Day and the little bunch of flowers really wasn't enough.

This was a Mother’s Day and the little bunch of flowers really wasn’t enough.

The most important mother figure was my Great-Aunt Lucille. You can see that by the time this photo was taken, she had even mothered my mom enough to soften her and bring out her warmer nature. Aunt Lucille literally saved my life when I was a teenager in the throes of a meltdown. She taught me a different way to be in the world and how to loosen up just a little. She taught me about makeup and other things teen girls should know. I also had my young aunt to help with some of that but Aunt Lucille mothered like no one I’d ever known. I sent her flowers and cards once I was able, to let her know how much she meant to me. She loved and mothered many more even though she never had biological children. She was what you would call a “character” and I adored her. I wanted to be just like her and I really tried.

Mom and Great Aunt Lucille. Happy Mom's Day.

Mom and Great Aunt Lucille. Happy Mom’s Day.

So to all of you who are mothers, have mothers or still need to be mothered, Happy Mother’s Day.

“Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.”Robert A. Heinlein

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of a Good Mother

On this Mother’s Day weekend I want to wish all of you who are mothers a great, love filled day. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world as well as the most rewarding. On the other side of the coin, it can also be the most heartbreaking.

Mothers’ Day brings up so many emotions for many of us. If our child or children don’t acknowledge us on that day does it mean we were not a good mother? What is it that makes a good mother? I can remember in the early years of my first marriage, the greatest insult my husband could hurl at me was to proclaim “You are just like your mother”. Then the fight was really on.

I had a very difficult relationship with my own mother for far too many years. I was so grateful that our relationship was finally mended long before her passing. Mom was raised in Germany while Hitler was in power and had all the warmth and nurturing ability of a rock. But was she a good mother? Absolutely! I made certain to let her know. What I received from her was a desire to do it differently with my children. To balance the strength and independence she instilled in us with love and compassion. I probably already mentioned that when I was 10 I started looking for my adoption papers being certain that these people couldn’t possibly be my real parents. I think lots of kids feel that way growing up. Mom used to threaten me when I had done something to upset her that she was going to send me away to boarding school. I kept wondering what it was I had done so wrong and how could I do it again. I’d have my bags pack in a heartbeat. I think it took the wind out of her sails that I was looking forward to being sent away. Moms, don’t make idle threats. I know I drove her nuts and when my daughter went through adolescence, yup, she got even with me. Nothing new under these stars.

I’ve apologized to my children many times for my inadequacies as a parent. Mom didn’t have a book of directions that came with the four of us and I didn’t get one with my kids. There are no directions. We are flying by the seat of our pants. I used a lot of tough love and hugs. Mom couldn’t hug till she was quite advanced in years and you could tell she was uncomfortable but stretching herself. Dad didn’t hug either so they were a matched set. Mom created in me strength so many only wish they had. I shine in emergencies, never getting rattled until the crisis is over. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I have seen every kind of mother imaginable. We’ve all seen the over-indulgent, permissive moms. Thank goodness I didn’t get one of those. I’d rather have the rock, thank you very much. Then there are the moms with a mean streak a mile wide who are totally overwhelmed by parenthood and lash out with a loud slap or an arm grab and shake. They didn’t get a how-to book either and were probably raised the same way so that’s what they know to do. I’ve met moms who love enough to let their child go to a family that’s better able to care for their child. I have also met moms who gave away or used their children for the price of a fix. When you look back at their history, no one seemed equipped to be a parent.

So how do you tell if you are a good mom? Well, I guess if your children are willing to let you live with them while recovering from a long-term illness, that’s a good sign. This Bells Palsy of mine has tested all my relationships. I am fortunate that both my children and my sister who was a child of my heart have all stepped up willingly to help me heal. They have been there for me through 2 divorces as well. They are strong, independent thinkers with huge hearts and always give it to me straight just like I gave it to them growing up. I don’t need anything else to know I’m wished a happy mother’s day. I was able to be there for my mother and I miss that rock every single day. I think I also found the book. It was in my heart all along and there was a happy ending.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene

Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.
~Harriet Beecher Stowe