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Posts Tagged ‘#mothersday’

Prince Harry said it best, “how any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension” in his response, after witnessing the birth of his son.

Today, in North America, is Mother’s Day. A day when mothers (biological or adopted) and mother-figures are celebrated for … just being mum (mom, ma, mommy, mother, etc.).

It is a lovely day for so many, who have done so much.

For others it is not so lovely. If that is you, stop reading this and click on my post, written just for you, for I understand When Mums Day Hurts.

What Prince Harry didn’t know, when his wife pushed their son into their shared world, what he will not know for many years to come, is that his wife has just begun the hardest work of motherhood. As the umbilical cord was cut, the real work of motherhood begins … that of letting go.

Motherhood is the most awe-inspiring, heart-swelling, prayer motivating, faith-building, white knuckle determination, rip your heart out and squeeze every last drop of life from you experiences.

It is the indescribable experience of a lifetime, that lasts a lifetime. It is a constant push-pull, constant drawing in and letting go.

The job of a mother is, from the beginning of conception, to grow and build and prepare a child for independence … from herself.

Our intuitive desire to hold tight, over-written by our biological inclination to prepare our children for life apart from us.

As a child of a mother, I am keenly aware that in no way can I ever out-love my mother. Nor can I need her as she does me. And it is her fault (being blamed is also part of motherhood ūüėČ )! For it was my mother who taught me to grow up, that I can do it myself, that I can do anything.

As my own children have grown into adults, I have grown to understand that my letting go of my children continues as I step back and allow them to be independent of me … my advice, my plans, my choices (so much more easily said than done … do I hear an amen?). It is this independence of body and mind that can bring some of the sweetest reunions, when they bring their life back into closeness with mine, sharing what they have learned with me.

Letting go is hard for us moms. For we love our children so much more deeply than words can express. Yet, letting go is the mantra of mums. It is the daily cutting of the umbilical cord, the daily waving good bye, the daily whisper you can do it. And they move forward from where we are, watching them go.

When my days of life and living are done, when my kids sit around a table looking at photos, laughing at silliness, recounting memories that only they share, I don’t care if they think my giving birth was monumental, that my brownies were the best or that I transported them like a full time taxi driver when they were kids.

I hope they are able to say
I struggled to point them to Christ,
I loved deeply,
hugged tightly
and that I let them go.

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When the calendar turns to May, grieving begins afresh for many.

There are numerous variations on this grief, but the reason is the same … it is the month when Mother’s Day is celebrated.

As valid and deserving as the celebrations and accolades are for most people, it is valid and deserving to equally acknowledge the white elephant of grief for so many especially this month.

My own first Mother’s Day was sorrowful. Four months earlier, at eighteen weeks gestation, our first pregnancy, our first child, ceased to live and grow within me. I remember that following Mother’s Day … I remember soldiering on, tight upper lip, continuing on as always … aching from the depths of my being, wanting to just be home, mourning alone and openly with hubby.

For others it will be the inability to conceive, the struggles toward adoption, living the solo life when you would rather create another human with a life-long partner. All of these sorrows originating in two opposing realities … you desire a child more than anything else and there seems to be no way around your present reality that it just isn’t happening.

It is a grief that is present every time you menstruate, see another who is pregnant, hear an announcement of a child born, get invited to a baby shower, hear moms complaining about their kids, see a child who looks like your child could look. It is a grief akin to constantly having a scab ripped off, blood gushing as though a new wound. It does not completely heal.

For others it will be the loss of a child. Though our losses (five of them) were in utero, I have no idea what it is like to lose your child, to have him or her die and be buried. At any age, we humans believe it is just not right for a parent to bury their child … it just goes against the lifeline … it is not how things should happen. Mother’s Day would be that reminder of what has been lost, again it would be that injury that never fully heals.

Then there are those whose child was adopted (with or against their will) and this has left a gapping void in their heart and life. Mother’s Day being the reminder of what could have been. To be a mother yet never a mom … to know that a part of your heart is out there, somewhere.

There are those whose relationship with their mother is strained. Of course this can go both ways, and it may be the mother who is isolated from her child by choices of one or the other. When apologies cannot be listened to (or even heard) there is loss, grief … thoughts of what if? why? and where did I go wrong haunting every day.

For many, Mother’s Day is the grief of the mental loss of their mom. Disease may have seemingly stolen their mom from them and a visit is no longer greeted with acknowledgement that mom remembers you. Each visit contains a wish to be known again. Longing for what was is deep and sorrowful.

For others, there is no longer any earthly means of communicating, of laughing together, of that warm mother-child embrace … for death has separated them. Photos can reignite memories and feelings, but

opportunities
to love, laugh and
inhale the scent of love

are gone forever … and it just hurts.

Like David we cry out:

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

Psalm:13:2

The mother’s heart is an endless one … and it even exists for those who have never had a child address you as such.

To those who are grieving this Mother’s Day, it is okay to grieve. Like David, it is okay to lament, to say what we really mean (God knows it already). It is okay to mourn what is not, what will never be, what is gone. Then, like David, “trust in his unfailing love” (v. 5), for he is acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:5).

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Attachment-1Though their flowers are delicate, the Magnolia is a very hardy tree. It is believed, the Magnolia existed before bees, as it is pollinated by beetles. This stately tree represents long life, beauty, innocence, joy and good health.

Years ago I received a magnolia tree from my kids, on the first Mother’s Day gift at our present house. At the time, it stood about four feet tall. Now, as the image (above) shows, it has grown to over twelve feet in it’s present location.

As I took time, a few days ago, to appreciate it’s physical and scented beauty, my mind drifted over my stages of mothering, since it was lowered into it’s present earthen home.

Fourteen years ago, our three children were eleven, seven and four. We moved into this house with three children, toys, bedtimes and dreams.

We snuggled on the couch to watch animated movies, read stories at bedtimes, kissed ‘owies‘ to make them feel better, swam in the pool all summer long¬†and¬†rode sleds on the steep driveway in winter.

Those were beautiful years of mothering, for whatever nasties arose during the day were gone by bedtime. Of course they were also draining years, as the demand for mom was a constant (what mom has not marvelled at how her children can be seated with dad, yet they will yell to mom that they are hungry?).

Those beautiful years were followed by the years of increasing homework, school and community sports and clubs, sleep-overs, friendship stretches and struggles, playing kick the can in the streets and memorable family vacations.

Those were the years of two steps out and one back, growing into the local communities of neighbourhood, school and church, looking for affirmation from peers, yet still a strong need to return, to be held, to non-verbally ask to be reminded of their value in their mom’s eyes.

Then came the teen years into the twenties. These were (are) the independent years of becoming their own selves, ¬†individuals, separate from their place and people of origin. Everything from relationships, to music, to clothing, to future plans screamed ‘I am an autonomous human being’¬†.

During these independent years their dad and I wondered if we might sever our tongues for biting them so frequently. They have also been the years when sometimes my job was just to listen (no advice sought, just a safe, listening ear). Sometimes I have also had to give a boost … like when they were still littles and needed a boost to start sledding down the snow-covered driveway. Sometimes the boost is just that age-old mom cheer of ‘you can do it‘. Sometimes the boost is one to say, ‘move on, from where you are’.

My beautiful magnolia tree, that gift from those who call me mom, mum, momma, has grown strong and tall, like my once littles. It has grown alongside my creations. And like it, they will continue to grow … their roots reaching into new soil. My prayer is that they would grow toward the light of life.

 

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A day to celebrate mothering has become a difficult and controversial day in our society.

It can be offensive or hurtful to those who are not mothers (especially those who wish to be), to those who are single parent dads, to those whose mothers have died or who left deep scars from their mothering (or lack thereof).

I, too, have had this second Sunday of May roll around and felt the weight of my empty arms, after the inter-utereo death of an much anticipated child.

Yet, the celebration is really one of thanks and recognition for those who selflessly give to, and feed into our lives, making our existence possible and meaningful. Really, it is not about those of us who feel personally empty or sad.

Mother’s Day is a day to express¬†gratitude … for others.

The woman known as the¬†mother of Mother’s Day,¬†was never a mother herself. In 1908, three years after her own mother died, Anna Jarvis held a church service in honour of her mother, of all mothers.

Many of us have a mother who loved us, and whom we love. Those of us who have not had such a blessing, have certainly had at least one woman in our lives who fostered a mother-like bond for us.

Though today I am honoured to hold the title of mother, what makes this day most special is that I can honour the woman who gave me physical, as well as emotional, intellectual and spiritual life. My mom is simply the best lady I know, and I am thankful, every day, for her. I can also honour the women who have fostered in me a love for thought, for life, for this world and what is to come after.

I have been blessed to have been mothered, and I am not one who will choose to shy away from celebrating this day, and those who have mothered me along the way.

They deserve this day!

 

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” … and you laugh so hard you hope they always remember”
Ann Voskamp

  

Although Mother’s Day is now past, I am still in a maternally reflective mood.

I figure the day after Mother’s Day is the day when I get to start over again. The slate is clean, and I can once again vie for the Mother of the Year Award … of course I will lose it again by nightfall, but here’s dreaming.

Pondering motherhood is different at different stages of life.

When you are not yet a mother, it might scare you to bits, or excite you crazily.

When you are trying to achieve motherhood, it can be all consuming.

When you are pregnant … well, it may scare you to bits, or excite you crazily. Either way, everything looks differently to you.

When your child is born (or placed in your life by adoption), your world is turned up-side-down, and has spun off its axis. The magnitude of responsibility you hold in your arms becomes reality. You think you can never love anyone this much (until you have another child). Every other thing you do in live is less important. You are immediately less important.

Over time, the weight of the responsibility of motherhood can diminish other parts of us. We can get so concerned that they are clean, do their homework, eat their veggies, be kind to all people, and wear clean underwear (everyday), that we become goal focused, and lost out on one of the most important facets of parenting …

laughing together.

When I am cold with the emptiness of life’s breath, I do not want (nor do I expect) my kids to say,

“wasn’t it great that she cooked a variety of vegetables, so that we could each have something we liked?”

NO!

I want them to remember deep, belly laughs. I want them to remember joy. I want them to remember that I could forget my adulthood long enough to giggle in the quiet of church, to joke about putting a full dog poo bag in people’s mailboxes, to have tears of silliness falling from my face, when recalling the ridiculous events of our days.

I want them to remember that I laughed, and that they can remember laughing with me … that they always remember that.

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Supermom

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As Mothers Day is just around the corner it is time to celebrate the women who gave us life, either those who physically birthed us, or those who nurtured our lives in a meaningful way.

As a daughter of a mother, I am horrible at adequately expressing love to my own mother. I live on the west coast, and she on the east. I work ‘school’ hours, so I cannot ever spend this day with her. And, to be honest, the real reason I fail on this day is because I am a procrastinator.¬†

Just a couple of days ago I sent myself a note:

It’s this¬†weekend, Carole!¬†

As in, you are entering into the 11th hour Carole! 

As in, call the florist in the village where your mom lives … NOW Carole!)

That is how ridiculous I am at expressing my affection, thankfulness and love to my mom.

This Mothers Day, my own mom will be recuperating from surgery, and I just wish I could be there with her, to assist her in her returning to her daily routine. 

I hope she feels my love, sent telepathically across the country. She really is a supermom!

I wanted to share a cute video, that will have you laughing, and maybe even pulling out the tissues.

Happy Mother’s Day!

http://youtu.be/zkprjeipGD4

 

 

 

 

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MVP Mom

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Well folks today is the day that greeting card makers wait for, after Valentines Day.

While they are making money, others are making memories that will make a mother cry …

insert Kevin Durant, the National Basketball Association’s newly crowned MVP. and forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Unless you have been hiding under a leaf all week, you have probably already watched the following video, but it is so worthwhile to check out this video of Mr. Durant’s acceptance speech. If you are in a rush, start watching at 2:25 minutes for a delightfully humble momma recognition.

And to my mom, I echo the words of Mr. Durant, YOU are the MVP!

 

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