May Flowers & Mothers

Happy May!

The month of May is usually associated with May flowers, college graduations and Mother’s Day. I am always sensitive to the fact that the latter one of these may be difficult for many of you. I am aware, among my readers, are friends who have lost their mothers; Fathers who have lost the mothers of their children either through death or separation; and mothers who, for whatever reason, are unable to spend time with their children. That all being said, there are others who painfully have longed for the opportunity to become Mothers and have not had this blessing. Although I am unable to solve all of these situations, I would like to offer wishes and prayers of peace and love during this month to all of you. I also would like to shed some light on Motherhood as I know it.

For me, Motherhood is not a destination, but rather a journey. A friend said to me recently, “A Mother really is a Messenger.” I would also like to think of myself as a Mother as being a Nurturer. Of course, I am also other things within my role of being a mother – a Master Schedule Planner, part-time chef, travel guide, consultant, and cheerleader (among other roles). This brings me to my next point. Even for women who are mothers in the traditional sense, this time of year can be challenging. Radio stations, television commercials and magazines all boast articles, stories , advertisements and contests depicting the perfect Mother. Overwhelmed by feelings of not being the perfect Mom can in turn lead to depression. What is a perfect Mother, really? The perfect Mother is one who loves their children. We each have different talents to share being it culinary skills, organizational skills or planning skills. Even within these realms are variations. For example, I am a great organizer when it comes to schedules and budgets. I am able to juggle multiple time lines and activity details to make everything work out on the calendar, somehow. However, when it comes to organizing my physical space, I sometimes fall short. Meanwhile, my friend Vanessa (a mother of four), is a wiz at this. She will come into my kitchen and whip everything into shape, putting pots and pans and dishes (and even birthday candles) exactly where they belong. Maybe your gift as a Mother or nurturer has been to successfully home-school your children and/or to bring them up with high morals and meaningful religious upbringing. Maybe your strength is creativity and you have been able to foster wonderfully artistic activities and projects with your children. Perhaps you are an Educator, which has allowed you the opportunity to incorporate age and developmentally appropriate teaching moments into your family life. There are so many ways to excel at Motherhood for which we take for granted. Scheduling doctors’ appointments, driving the car pool, keeping up with the laundry and grocery shopping all take a certain amount of dedication and skill. It is simply impossible to be great at everything. Instead of judging yourself, please remember all the other ways in which you excel, even if your talents do not always feel appreciated or noticed.

Meanwhile, for all of those you are not biological or adopted Moms, there are so many other ways in which we provide mothering to other living beings. Anyone who has had the privilege of taking taking care and responsibility of animals know the true meaning of Motherhood as does  anyone who has ever blessed a child or a human being with kindness, compassion and nourishment.  For there is, regardless of our age, sex or disposition, a little bit of “mother” within each of us.

May your month be incredibly blessed and enriched with nourishment, love, compassion and the beauty and fragrance of May flowers.