A Mindful Mother's Day

Today, as it is Mother's Day, I want to celebrate the dedication, love, and joy of the relationship between mother and child.

a drawing I made for Mother's Day 
for my mom as a child

Now that I am (QUICKLY) approaching 30, an increasing number of my friends and family are becoming parents.  I have seen them all transition from nervous excitement to contented peace and unconditional love.  The baby boom has hit my extended family and circle of friends and it is still rolling!  My Facebook news feed is a constant scroll of adorable baby photos and animated videos.  The relationships these new parents, but mothers in particular, have with their children is beautiful to witness.  Children growing/ learning/ changing before your eyes in a loving family demonstrates the importance of the role parents play in the successful development of their children.

Although I am not a parent, I know parenting is (so!) hard.  I've seen the lack of sleep, the challenge of juggling work and home life, and I've seen parents being judged by strangers.  No parent is immune to these criticisms, but our society, generally, holds mothers to an even higher standard.  A month or so ago, I heard a news piece regarding the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate [Middleton] and the couple's decision to vacation without their son, Prince George.  I do not know the Duchess, nor do I know her schedule, but I believe that like most responsible and loving parents, she would not deliberately make decisions to harm her son.  I support the fact that they made the right choice for them.  When it comes to moms, however, the haters come out in droves.

For example, I remember a lunch date with my friend/ cousin and her daughter last year.  We went to a restaurant and her curious, adventurous, smart, and energetic daughter had dropped some food under our table.  During our meal, this new mom told me that one of the biggest struggles with bringing her daughter out to eat wasn't her daughter, but rather other people's responses/ looks/ critical comments regarding her discipline/ reactions to her daughter's actions.  No matter what you do, she said, people will have something to say.

This makes me feel like, as humans, we need to do a better job understanding the thoughts/ feelings/ actions of others, withholding our judgments of others, and accepting them along with their decisions.  It is so easy to say what you would have/ could have/ did do better, but when it comes down to it, you have only yourself and your own family to worry about--not everyone else's.  Mothers, and specifically new mothers, do not need criticism, they need support and encouragement.  They need to know the positive impact of all of their effort.

As a former teacher, I would like to congratulate and thank moms for all of the hard work they put into shaping polite, respectful, caring, hard-working young people.  I could always tell what kind of parents a student had by the way s/he conducted her/himself in class.  I admire the dedication to enforcing household rules (even when you don't want to), emphasizing patience and cooperation (even when it's time consuming or inconvenient), and patiently and calmly explaining queries (even when it's hard).  Mothers, the love you give grows and blossoms in your children--and others can see it.  Thank you.

I also want to reiterate all of my mom's fabulousness.

If you've been reading Making Mindfulness, you may have seen my first post about my mom, entitled "Positive Relationships: I Am My Mother's Daughter".  Although part of me (mainly the English teacher part) hates clich├ęs, I've got to hit you with one that is true in my own life: my mom is my best friend.  She is wonderful.  She's kind, generous, fun, smart, peaceful, beautiful, and wise.  My mom is honest and she works hard.

She usually embodies patience and always understanding.  She has taught me not to judge people on their appearance and not to be too harsh with others, but to (at least) consider their circumstances.

She says things like, "Everybody's got their own stuff..." meaning as much as you are going through in your day to day, likewise, everyone you meet is facing their own battles.

Because the point of this blog is to bring positive energy into your life and encourage balance and mindfulness, today, let's celebrate the unconditional love of mothers and take time to give them the thanks, praise, love, attention, and affection they deserve.  Thank you, moms.

springtime flowers on the three-tier deck 
at the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery
in Buffalo, NY
(a nice celebration spot)

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