News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Celebrate Moms!

Since May is the month we traditionally honor mothers, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the many things they do in that role. In many small ways their love manifests itself in common gestures that are easily overlooked as important. Yet so important.

From the time of a child’s birth a mother’s hands are there to cradle, clean, caress, and correct. Have you ever given thought to what life would be like without those four “C’s”? In the worst scenario, a child would not live, unless someone else stepped forward to perform those necessary, subtle acts of love.

Beyond those four Cs there’s so much more that mothers do, seldom thinking about what comes next. Every meal they cook, every wash they wash, every time they push an offspring out the door to be on their way to school, is initiated by a mother’s love.

I hope all of us can take some time to muse about what life would have been like without Mom nearby. Of course, if she wasn’t there someone else could take her place, so Mom might actually have been dad or grandma or a neighbor. Still, they would be accomplishing what moms do. Teaching through demonstration and example.

When I think of my mom and what her love passed on to me, I think of music and the important place it has in my life. I grew up during the era of phonographs and in our home, it was always on. George Gershwin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Frederic Chopin, Marian Anderson, Glen Miller, Frank Sinatra, and Rosemary Clooney were my constant companions. I easily picture my mom reading, in the evening. Television was relatively new, and I don’t remember having one. Today, I find it impossible to go to bed without first hanging out with a good book.

These were the things mom did when she wasn’t cooking, washing, cleaning, wiping a dirty face, correcting me or my siblings, or encouraging us to try something new. All of that came out of love. And, because I knew that unconditional love, I can pass it on to those I meet and love. Mom’s influence is still here.

If you are a mom, never forget your importance. You will always be needed. Now, if your kids are young, you’ve much to teach them. If they are teens, you have the very difficult job of balancing how to keep them close and safe while allowing them the freedom to learn and grow. And if, like me, your kids are grown and on their own, think back to what you taught them and rejoice in the people they have become.

The job of being a mom is tremendously difficult. It is the most important and probably the hardest job you will ever do. None of us received instructions on how to do it. We were just expected to know what to do. On-the-job training is full of errors, and we’ve all made many mistakes. At the same time, that love, which occurs when we become a mom, gets us through it.

Hopefully, those of us who are a little older find ways to pass on the knowledge we’ve gained. What a privilege it has been to do that in my job as a parent educator. Most of the moms and dads I’ve worked with were already doing a very good job. They came to what was offered because they wanted to learn how to do that job even better.

Moms (and dads), we can all use help in this enormously difficult role. Don’t hesitate to ask when you’re unsure. However, know when love is there, our kids will survive and hopefully thrive even when we make mistakes.

One of the questions I would ask parents was, “What is the job of a parent?” Quoting from the parenting program, Active Parenting, I would share that, “the job of a parent is to protect and prepare their children to survive and thrive in the world in which they are going to live.” How in the world can we do that? We have no idea what that world will be. That’s what makes this such a difficult job.

So, Celebrate Moms! What a dreadful place this would be without them. What a wonderful place it is because they are here. And, if you are a mom, celebrate yourself and know you are very important!


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