Tag Archive | mothering

To all mums everywhere

I guess there’s a few disappointed mums not getting to see their precious ones today because of the virus – I’m the same.

But it’s made me realise I have been so blessed!

Not only was I blessed with my own mum with whom I had such a wonderful relationship, but I also have a joyous relationship with my own children. Yes – they still speak to me even after being home educated! 😉

In addition to that I feel blessed because I know it’s a joy that not everyone has the opportunity to feel. I’m doubly lucky.

My relationship with my own mum whom you may have read about in my book ‘A Funny Kind of Education’ (see the Books page for more details) was filled with non judgemental friendship, warmth, love and unfailing support, with a helping of unorthodox fun thrown in. And respect too, which is of course manifest in all of those.

And through that relationship with her I had a good insight into how to be that kind of mum to my own children, how to grow that kind of unity, build the same strengths. I feel we’ve gone far in doing that, my grown up children tell me regularly, their loving and respectful actions speaking far louder than anything they may tell me.

Mumhood is incredibly tough – which is why I felt compelled to write a book about it. (See the Books page)

If you were to write a job description it would be nearly a book in itself. And probably no one would apply! It’s the longest job you ever do and in my eyes all mums are incredible for doing it. All mums are incredibly important – even though most don’t feel like it. But the whole world depends on them and I show exactly how in my ‘Mumhood’ book.

But to paraphrase that; it’s mostly the mums (and I acknowledge many dads do too), who are doing the basics of raising the next members of society, the next custodians of the planet, the next Ghandi or Greta Thunberg or David Attenborough, or maybe some small insignificant and unheralded being (in those terms), who will make just as significant a contribution as those more well known, who can send ripples of good we can’t foresee across the pool of the human race. That’s what mums have the potential to do.

And this blog is in celebration of that work which mums do which for the most part goes unnoticed and unrewarded yet is the most important job in the world. It’s in acknowledgement of the sacrifices mums make, the strength they have, the love they bring to the world, as they do their stuff.

So whether you’re treating your own mum, or being treated by your own children, think on that! And use it as an opportunity for you to celebrate the worth of all mums everywhere.

Enjoy it. Commemorate it. Pass it on! And I wish you all the joy and blessings that I have had.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sea shells with motherhood

shells 035 I’ve revisited a book I discovered when in the midst of small child motherhood and looking for answers.

I think many mums reach a kind of questioning about their life, a need to resolve the many pulls that tug us off centre, off target and out of sense with what we believed ourselves to be. There we were thinking we were proceeding towards clear intentions and goals when suddenly they are consumed in a fog of changed thinking, changed feeling, and the goal posts have moved anyway.

Did anyone else feel like that? Please say it’s not just me?

This book was one of many I dipped into about the spirit of motherhood. What was so astounding about it was not so much that it described so recognisably the challenges modern mums face, but that it was written in 1955! Updated 1980. And yet still it resonates. Makes you wonder how much we’ve actually moved on since then?

Here’s some of it that may sound familiar:

For to be a woman is to have interests and duties, raying out in all directions from the central mother-core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel. The pattern of our lives is essentially circular. We must be open to all points of the compass; husband, children, friends, home, community; stretched out, exposed, sensitive…..How difficult for us, then, to achieve a balance in the midst of all these contradictory tensions, and yet how necessary for the proper functioning of our lives….The bearing, rearing, feeding and educating of children; the running of a house with its thousand details; human relationships with their myriad pulls….The problem is not Woman and career, Woman and the home, Woman and independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces pull one off centre; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel.’

(From ‘Gift from the Sea’ by Anne Morrow Lindberg)

Through analogies with the shells she finds on the beach (hence the title) Anne goes on to explore the different relationships within our families which we have to adapt to as they grow and change.

Mothering can be one of the most transformational times of our lives. It changes our perceptions and perspectives. It changes what we thought we believed. It changes our whole life.

The changes can be beautiful and inspirational, uplifting and exciting. But all change is challenging and takes a while to grow into. Then, when you think you have some answers, it changes once again.

So is there ever an answer?

Not if you’re looking for one elsewhere.

But yes; in that you observe and absorb all changes, keep an open heart and mind, have patience and flexibility, and you’ll finally grow your own.

For only your own will do.

(‘Mumhood. How to handle it. Why it matters’ was written to support you in finding some of your own answers. Hope it helps).