Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How To Honor Your Mother (Differently)

If imitation is flattery, what is the desire to do things differently?

I want to mother my children differently than my mother raised hers.

It's not because she was a horrible mother. More importantly, it's not because of negative reasons - it's because we are different people.

For starters, she is an extrovert to my introvert. It's because of our different interests and job choices. We married different men with different jobs and aspirations. We'll live in different states.

It is not change for the sake of change - it is the every evolving life of humans. It is organic change - a growing love of the ones around you to the best of your ability.

We women need to start changing the mothering dialogue.

Let's start by embracing our individual vocations! We all have one, even if we're always working on bettering our response to it. This past weekend, I was feeling so overwhelmed with all the tasks associated with moving. I felt unhappy and I thought, If I am unhappy, then I am doing it wrong. What a privilege it is to have the time to help make this 18+ hour trip easier for my family (especially me!) and sometimes toady tasks need to get done.

As a woman, it is important to pay attention to what makes us tick. My mother is the master multi-tasker. I am a one step at a time gal. There is no purpose to try to be a person I am not; it will only serve to distract from the good things we do bring to the table.

When we focus on the negatives, we get defensive of our choices, instead of being secure. One can still be open to change while knowing why we do what we do. We can always learn to love better.

Even in the past century, motherhood has changed - opportunities have changed. My grandmother stayed home with her five children, and my mother thrives in the workplaces with six kids in tow. Now I'm on the learning trail of part-time work, trying to keep up with writing and editing with my seven and a half month old. Babies look so easy and they are, if you are holding them 24/7.

Women who work love their children just as much as women who stay at home. There is always talk of, "Well, we sacrifice part of our income so that I can stay home with my children."

But for some people, that is not an option. My mom works, and she still sacrificed - she chose to forgo medical school and residency and became a nurse instead, obtaining her Master's in Oncology in order to be a specialist. A specialist position allowed her to have more flexibility. Not her initial dream, and one that has brought her much personal fulfillment.

My mama holding my baby
I am going to mother differently than my mother, and that is okay.

The more important part of relationships is not the comparing of mothering preferences - it's about honoring the woman who raised you, for all her betters and worse times. We are the same in that we both are doing the best for our family, and are loving our families the best we can.

A focus on the positive aspects of your mother is the best way to honor her, and to teach your children the importance of honoring one's relations.

People are all different - and that is what makes this world so amazing. Let's celebrate each other, our differences, and ways we can relate to one another.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this. Being a mother has really helped me feel more like honoring mine, because even with the personality difference we also have, we have something in common: The insanity that is raising children. We've now both been up countless nights, wished for and taken countless naps, endured countless whinings and naggings. And that helps me sympathize and be more grateful.


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