Run quietly

Run quietly

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day off my chest.

With Mother's day just behind us, it got me thinking. Mother's Day makes me mildly uncomfortable. I don't love the idea of being "spoiled", "pampered", or having new things I don't need purchased for me. I DO love the cute little things my son makes for me, now that he is old enough. I am not usually a flower person, but when your 4 year old is thoughtful enough to choose purple flowers specifically because he knows "purple is your favourite", then they become special.

Oh, and to not heave to deal with "these moments" on Mother's Day would be great  :D
On the way to brunch, C decides that walking is no longer needed. Yonge and Eglinton seems like a nice place to sit.
My feelings towards Mother's Day have been characteristically shaped by how I have been mothered, and what kind of mother I am today. The media, and society will lead you to believe that a higher kind of praise should be adorned towards mothers everywhere on this "special" mothers day. Realistically yes, all mothers have given birth, or adopted a child. We have all endured the hardships and joys of parenting, heard the word "mom" 1000+ times a day, and experienced highs and lows we never expected. Some may hurt on this particular day as they long to spend it with a Mother that has passed. But how has a Mother handled the emotional roller coaster of parenting?  How has she chosen to react to these things? How has she chosen to make her children feel. In the exception of mental illness, or physical disability I do believe we always have a choice. I am however very hard on myself when it comes to how I parent!
Nobody will mess you up like your parents. I mean this in a sense that the way I was parented can either make or break the way I parent my children if I let it.
At the age of 12 I found myself in the care of the Children's Aid Society and living in a foster home in Guelph, Ontario. The agency was thoughtful enough to find a spot for me in Scarborough, so I could go to school where I was the year prior. Under the care and guidance of the East Metro Youth Services I lived in a group home run by the agency for a year. I tried to live with my parents for about 6 more months total, (on and off) over the course of the next 2 years after. I have been on my own since I was 17.  If I could go back to my youth and change this, I would chose not to. Ever. A lot of people can't imagine a scenario as this one, but I am forever grateful for it. Although it still took me years to build confidence, realise what I am capable of, remove toxic people and situations from my life, I believe that EMYS Megan House was what planted the seed. I still keep in contact with the staff today. I was in no way an angel child. I own that. But children most need a hug when they are the least huggable.
As a child it is easy to believe what you are taught at home. Easy to believe that how people are related to, and how people relate to you is acceptable and normal. It is all a child knows. The home environment is where a child forms her belief systems about the world, and herself. As an adult I am grateful and happy that I have been in situations that have allowed me to see outside of where I have come from. As a mother I am grateful to know I always have a choice in how I feel and how I react.
As a Mother, I consciously focus every day and every moment, to provide a different kind of childhood for my kids. I want to end the cycle of negativity and self hatred that was so prominent when I was growing up. I want them to have all the tools needed to build a fabulous self image. I want them to be ambitious, put themselves first, and show them that they are more than deserving of love and that they should love themselves. I want them to learn to always be grateful, and to have altruism guide their actions towards others.
Thanks to his upbringing, my husband is better than I at the whole altruism thing. Guess we have some good balance!
When Mother's Day rolls around, I don't want gifts and praise. I feel like I chose to become a mother and it is my choice what kind of mother I am . For the Mother's Day weekend I got to spend the majority of it being with my kids and doing what I love. (Sporting Life 10k!). The only Mother's Day gifts I want are to see my children happy. To see them try something new and be excited about it. To be able to hear them exclaim "I did it!", as their confidence grows. And to see them become their own little people with their own unique quirks and traits.
N, age 2.5, Excited he completed all 3 puzzles on his own!
Checking out the horseshoe crabs at the aquarium.
Every mother (and person!) out there is usually doing the best they can with the situation and resources they have available to them at that time. You really can't do better until you know better. In no way do I blame my mother (or any mother out there) for her choices. But as parents and adults we all are lucky to be able to change, try something new, and know that just because our parents did that, may not make it ok. I will continue to experience and learn from each moment with my kids, and take every opportunity to learn something new that may enhance the way I parent. :) Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend with their families!

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