Mothers. These builders of our society have one of the single most important roles (along with fathers!) in our world. Teaching brand new humans how to be…well good humans! Good mothers provide the next generation of people who will inhabit this planet a solid foundation upon which to grow and prosper. Everything a mother does, good and bad; right and wrong; affects the children she is raising.
A mother who is patient, strong, firm, fair, loving, generous, kind, silly, smart, affectionate, supportive and gentle will bring those qualities to the generations that follow her. No mother is perfect, nor should she be. Making mistakes and owning up to them, apologizing, or making it right, are more ways to be a good mother. A good mother knows that she needs to be a mother, not a friend, while her children are young. If she does this and does it well, her adult children will become her best friends for the rest of their lives. They will know then the why of all that she did for them and love her all the more for it. As adults (and especially as parents themselves) they will be struck by how hard you worked to keep them safe, on the right path, and moving forward.
It is funny how you see your mother differently throughout the various stages of your life. However, it is when you finally become an adult yourself that – if you were blessed with a good mother- you realize all of the hardships and sacrifice that she endured so that you would have a good childhood and grow up well. It is then that you are humbled. It is then that you know how truly blessed you really are.
My own mother is an amazing woman. Yes, she drives me absolutely crazy sometimes but I would not have it any other way. She makes me laugh and loves me unconditionally. When I became an adult, a woman, a wife and a mother myself…I began to realize the legacy of love and fortitude and strength and hope that she has given me and in turn to my children. In her life she had struggles but her love of life and of my father made her choose to not allow anything to affect how she raised my brother and I. All we knew was a happy, loving home. We knew we had the support of our parents, a safe home with food on the table, and an abundance of love.
My husband also grew up in a home with an amazing mother. She taught him to be a kind and gentle man. She taught him about love and laughter. So I am doubly blessed to have had the privilege to be able to call her mother as well. This double blessing has in turn given my husband and I the tools we need to parent well and pass on all that our mothers taught us.
Not all children grow up with that kind of mother. The truth of that makes my heart hurt. I am determined to be that kind of mother to my own children. I want them to know that I will always be there for them and will always love them. I want to set a good example for them in all things. I want to show them by my actions the kind of person, spouse, and parent that they should strive to be.
Some days this is not so easy. Some days it feels down right impossible. Deep down however, I know that this task of raising these children was given to me by God. He gave me wonderful guidance in the form of my own mother. He has put nothing before me that I cannot handle with His help. Looking into the faces of my four children is all the strength I need to get through the rough spots and the hard days. Knowing that they are watching to see how I handle a crisis, or a tragedy, or a burden is enough to keep me on track. Striving to set that example and be the best human being that I can be is my goal. It is the gift that I want them to take and to pass on to their own children. Do I always succeed? No, of course not, no mother is perfect after all. But I never ever stop trying. I do it for my children and to honor the legacy of my mother and mother in law.