Tag Archive | Mother’s Day

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!

Why mums matter!

In honour of Mothers Day I want to reiterate something I’m passionate about; the importance of mums. In particular mums at home, who most often get looked down on as insignificant instead of heralded. This is to herald them!

Some people still don’t understand the depth of the impact mums have. Some people still don’t get the role mums play in the well being, development and education of children and consequently the perpetuation of a healthy, educated and caring society.

Apart from the fact that a happy, healthy and organised home doesn’t just run itself, put simply and even more importantly; neither do the children who need one – they need ‘running’ too!

For basically; in order for a child to progress towards being a caring, intelligent, well adjusted, considerate and self-aware human being they need the full time attention from another adult who is the same. This mammoth task usually falls to the mums, especially mums at home.

And there are no short cuts. It takes a lot of time and a lot of input. The richness and quality of one-to-one interaction is irreplaceable when it comes to a child’s development.

So, mums at home are sowing the seeds of loving relationships, of healthy strong bonds, moral values, and an understanding of commitment and responsibility towards other human beings. If no one shows them that, how can they be committed and responsible towards others when it’s their turn? Mums interacting with their children are laying the groundwork of the understanding of what it is to be human.

Our society, politics, work ethic, even our health sometimes is greatly dependent on the quality of relationships and our primary relationship is the one we receive at home in those essential early experiences and interactions with our mums. (Dads too – but in most cases it is still mums who spend the bulk of the time). And it is ongoing – never ending. It needs not to stop – ever! Although it will change. This relationship needs time giving to it. That’s why mums matter so much.

It is also the bedrock of our children’s education.

When I say education I don’t mean all that dull academic stuff kids do when they get to school. I certainly don’t mean that mums at home need to be forcing their child, who is often too young and underdeveloped to be ready, to do reading, writing or maths.

What I mean is the kind of irreplaceable foundation for learning and understanding that comes out of time spent with mum (or dad does just as well but it’s mums I’m talking about today).

Just being with mum, looking, chatting and questioning – having their questions answered. From just doing things together in the home or going out and about and talking together whether it’s a trip as mundane as the supermarket or as exciting as a park or a museum. Through all sorts of play, meetings with others, and a whole wealth of experiences in the real world that provoke observation, exploration, questioning and chatter with the adult alongside them.

From these early experiences children learn all the time. The constant chatter gives them the basics of language and communication. Play with all manner of things gives them an increasing understanding of their world (science really). Being read to gives them the foundations of reading and language. Counting, chanting, rhymes, songs, sharing, grouping, etc gives them the basis for maths.

All these experiences may sound so simple yet they are the start of core learning skills. Being with another interested and interesting adult is the best basis for education a child could have.

It is for all these reasons that I champion mums and the time they spend with their children. Just by being there and giving their child time and love they are investing in the most valuable asset to our future: our children and their potential to become intelligent, kind, loving, conscientious and productive human beings.

I honestly don’t think we can shout loudly enough about why mums matter!

 

For more on this and support with your work as a mum see my book ‘Mumhood. How to handle it. Why it matters’ And you can find more round this site about home education.

 

 

Mum’s lessons for Mother’s Day

March; the time when mums are most in my mind.

Not because it’s Spring and there’s nesting going on. Not only because of Mother’s Day coming and I have lovely charleys photo wkend spring14 006people in my life that I am mother to. But more because it was the day before Mother’s Day and in her favourite season that my own mother died. Unexpectedly.

When we discovered her, my own two girls and me, she just looked as if it had come upon her, unexpectedly. And she’d sat down in the chair irritated by the inactivity. She had her gardening trousers on and would be going outside as she did most days. Even at eighty five.

But not that day. In the split second I looked upon her silent face I knew that she had left, even if her outer shell in gardening trousers remained.

What I didn’t know at that shocking time was that although her soul had left, she had left me much behind.

She had left me and my children that innate capacity for giggling and mischievousness at times.

She left us with a slight sense of rebellion against fitting neatly into round holes. In fact neat was not much in her vocabulary. She taught us that creativity was more important than neat – or convention – and busy was more important than tidy. That being yourself was more important than image and not to be too precious to have a wee behind a hedge when necessary. A mouse in the living room didn’t matter too much as nature had a license to be here too; we didn’t always have to tidy it away.

When I was little she walked me round the city on Spring evenings to listen to the bid song. And when she moved to her rural idyll she proved that contentment came from an inner source not an outer trapping. It’s being resourceful that creates solutions – they don’t always have to be bought.

She left us knowing what it was like to have a rotund tummy to hug and what it felt like to be unconditionally loved, thus teaching us how to love in return. She left us with a compassion for all living things, even those that frightened her to death flapping round the lampshade whilst she hid under a tea towel.

She also taught us that the beauty of a person comes from what’s in their heart not what’s plastered on their face. And even at eighty you can stand up straight and not give in to the conventions of age.

But by far the most wonderful lesson my mother left me was a lesson that didn’t need to be taught at all. That the way to pass things onto your children was not to ‘teach’ but to be what you believed in. And the way you demonstrate which thoughts and actions you believe are right and good and useful comes from the way you are and will be passed on that way. To be a loving mum was more important than anything else you could teach.

And now I see her in my own two lovely daughters through a smile or a gesture or their wonderful loving minds. And know that as a mum I am still truly loved as she loved me.

(If you’d like to read a little more about her she features in my book ‘A Funny Kind of Education’ with gardening, mouse in the house and all!)

Mother’s Day – what exactly are we celebrating?

One of my lovely home made cards

One of my lovely home made cards

I’m now a motherless mother. So I have no mum to pamper like I used to. But I am mum to two wonderful young people and though they are absent again now I’ve have enjoyed some lovely Mother’s Days in the past with home-made cards and unidentifiable nibbly things!

They might not be around on this Mother’s Day but I still ask the girls ‘how are you going to celebrate your wonderful mother today?’ and we have a good laugh together.

This brings mums to their attention – they know not all mothers are as wonderful as theirs (I tell them often!) and not all mums and kids enjoy the same relationships that we have had. But mostly I ask because I want them to acknowledge, as they’ll probably be mums one day, how important mums are – and that’s what we’re celebrating.

We’re celebrating the value of mums in the world. The fact that without the things mums do it would be a very different world. That the often invisible work that mums do, the time they put in, the example they set and the love they give is also given to the world as their children step away from them and spread those lessons around. Making their own loving ripples as they go.

That’s the effect mums have upon the world – definitely worth celebrating I’d say.

Before I became a mum I didn’t get this.

I did appreciate my mum as much as I could – she was such a beautiful blossom in my life and we had a terrific relationship (I think ‘A Funny Kind of Education’ became a bit of a tribute to that). But although I was filled with love for her I didn’t really get the enormity of what mums did.

Now I do.

Now I know the impact all mums have in the world. They have the opportunity to enhance everyone’s future. (See this post). And it’s so important to give some time to getting it right.

And I completely uphold that they should be celebrated for doing so, today, and every day really.

So to all mums everywhere; wishing you a happy Mother’s Day.