Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blessed By Strong Women---Happy Mother's Day

This is another of those articles that I didn't plan to write. As I was getting ready to go out to my own Mother's Day lunch with my husband and son, the thoughts started coming into my mind. We went to the restaurant and decided to come home and go back out at 2:00 p.m. when most moms have already been fed and are back home. The restaurant that I picked for my special lunch was packed to overflowing with families in the parking lot waiting to go inside. So I came home to sit and write this article while I wait.

I clicked on my emails and saw an article from Slade Roberson and his blog "Shift Your Spirits". I decided to read Slade's article first. His article is called "Channeling the Mother Goddess." You will find it at http://sladeroberson.com/prayer/channeling-the-mother-goddess.html .

In so many of Slade's articles I find out new information about myself. I do have a connection with Mother Mary. She or her emissary have some to me in meditations over the past 10 years. I have felt a connection to her since I played Mother Mary in a play when I was in the First Grade. I am not a Catholic in this lifetime but I have been a nun in many past lifetimes.

My other two favorites for the Mother are Quan Yin and White Buffalo Calf Woman. Quan Yin stands for compassion. White Buffalo Calf Woman stands for healing. Both show us women of strength and character which many of us don't find in our own mothers when we are children needing a strong woman as a role model.

Many of us are blessed to have a strong woman as our mother; others are blessed with a mother who is seemingly self-centered and weak. Which ever mother you were blessed with, what did you do with what you saw and learned? I grew up knowing I did not want to me like my mother. For awhile, I became like my father, overbearing and strong-willed. That wasn't what I wanted to be either. Balance was what I needed and had never seen. It was what I had to find within myself. I had to learn that I could become a strong woman without being bossy and overbearing. I could speak up for what I believed without ramming it down your throat. I could stand up for myself without being aggressive and abusive. I could state my opinion without being wishy-washy and without being afraid of your rejection.

As I learned how I wanted to mother my own children, I also had to learn to parent myself. My mother was withdrawn and unavailable. I had to learn not to smother my children with my fears and opinions. In learning to do this with my children, I learned to let go of my fears, most of which were overblown and out of proportion to reality. Before I could learn to do things my way, I had to ask, "What is my way? Who am I? What do I want from my life? What do I expect from myself?" How could I teach my children until I learned about myself?

I wasn't as good of a mother as I wanted to be either. I had to learn so much as I went along. I didn't learn how to be a mother from my mother. I learned what not to be. I believe that I did better than my mother did. She probably believed the same thing about herself. Mother-daughter relationships can be so complicated.

As complicated as they are, that mother-daughter relationship is what forms us into the women and mothers that we become. This morning I had a conversation through the comment section of Karen Hanrahan's blog "Best of Mother Earth." Karen has an article called Moms Know Best that she posted this morning at http://bestwellnessconsultant.com/ . Karen gives a great example of mothering and allowing her children to be themselves which sometimes means allowing them to get hurt. Watching your children hurt themselves is probably the hardest thing that a parent ever does. You can't stop them from riding a bicycle because they might fall down and get hurt. You can stand by with any medical assistance and hugs that are needed. You have to allow your children to make their own set of mistakes and pay whatever consequences there are in life. You aren't doing them any favors by not letting them make their own choices.

I have been blessed with so many role models of great mothers since I became an adult. I want to say thank you to each of you and say, "I love you." to the great women in my life:
1. Althea, who gave me a home when I left home.
2. My grandmother Effie Howe, who took me in when I was 2 years old and had the whooping cough and gave me love and my values.
3. Kathy who was also my best friend and mentor for such a short time before her death.
4. Mary, another friend who loved her children and taught me compassion.
5. Mom, you gave me as much as you knew how. You taught me who I didn't want to be. You chose me before I was born and helped teach me the major lessons of my life.
6. My daughter Christie who honors me by calling me Mom.
Have a glorious Mother's Day to all mothers who read this.
Patricia



4 comments:

Mother Earth said...

OK darlin you made me cry with this one... I am always genuinely surprised by the impact a thought I have can have on someone else

please hold on to the very very simple fact that each day we do the very very best we can. I feel as I get to know you that you are doing wonderfully.

Your warm gratitude is humbly accepted and treasured.

Patricia Singleton said...

Mother Earth, I feel the same way when someone tells me that my words made them feel a certain way or helped them understand something that they didn't before. There really is power in the written as well as spoken word.

Barbara said...

Hi Patricia,

I can only admire your ability to have created this list of woman for yourself. Not just as a list, but the drawing from their strengths and wisdom and blending it with your own.

Patricia Singleton said...

Barbara, I have been blessed by some very strong women in my life. For anyone that doesn't have them in your family, find them in history and books and friends. We all need strong role models.