Life sometimes has a way of opening your eyes to things, though maybe not as quickly as you would like. Guess that’s why they say with age comes wisdom and to me that is truly a benefit of getting older. What’s this all about you say?
On a recent ordinary Sunday afternoon when visiting with my daughter she casually presented me with a greeting card. Not my birthday. Not Mother’s Day. No special occasion whatsoever. It was a card with a lengthy handwritten note expressing her gratitude and appreciation for me. Beautifully written. I was not only touched, but I was stunned. Almost at a loss for words. Yes, a few weeks ago I took care of you and your family while you all puked your guts out with the stomach bug, but hey, that’s what moms do.
Why my strong reaction? You might guess that it all starts with my mother. To Ginger, the role of motherhood was the most important of ANY. Her happiness, her focus, her self-worth was all tied to her children: what we looked like, who we married, what we wore, what we did for work, what we did for fun, how our homes were decorated, how we cleaned, how we cooked, etc, etc. Then there’s my sister. She also puts motherhood above all else.
I have a career that I enjoy very much, and spend a good amount of time traveling for business and pleasure. Pursuing hobbies and time with husband has always been important to me. I love my children deeply and always thought I was a good mother, but a “great” one? How can that be if I don’t talk to them every single day and put them before anything else I do? Here’s the eye opening moment. You can be. There is not only one way to be a great mother. It need not only be about sacrifice and/or constant connection. It need not require ongoing worrying about your children’s lives. It is very much about teaching values in the early years and spending quality time together throughout the years. It is also very much about being a positive role model, especially to a daughter.
Wow. Maybe I have always known this deep inside, but receiving that card sure made it clear as a bell and I am grateful for that. Thank you Hayley. XOX