6 May 2012

Being A Mother

My mother often says to me, ‘every day is Mother’s day’. I tend to agree… when you are a mother, the joy and the happy can strike at any time… it’s not a one day party.  Being a mother is a life time journey of learning and celebration.
I wasn’t one of those girls who grew up knowing that she would be a mother. I was like an only child, a much older brother meant that I grew up alone in a house with my parents. I like to think I was spoiled, not spoilt… but my time was my own… and the noise of young children, of siblings was not one that I heard. Babies were not on my radar… I think this ‘non-exposure’ is why I never gave much thought to being a mother. As I grew older and matured I was drawn to friends with big families, with boisterous families… I loved the contrast with my own upbringing… the quiet and the ordered against the chaotic and the disorganised. Don’t misunderstand… I was very cosy and happy in my world … but it was these moments… listening to the squealing, the laughter and the constant wrangling between brothers and sisters that made me want a larger family for my own.
As things stand today, I was a young mother. I had three children under four by the age of 31. This was as unfamiliar from the childhood I grew up in as it could be. To say that it was a steep learning curve would be an understatement. In hindsight I would do things differently… but only small things… and only the unimportant ones. Children need love and security and if those elements are in place the rest will take care of itself.
As mothers, we unconditionally love our children. This is such a strange concept, when most of our life’s choices are based on what we do and don’t love. Do our children unconditionally love us as mothers? I don’t think so. I believe we earn our children’s respect and trust over time. As little people, of course they love us, but as they grow older, develop and have personalities of their own, the relationship between a mother and her child changes. Sometimes it doesn’t go according to plan… Our paths can divide and what we as mothers believe is the right direction may not be what our children have in mind. I have come to learn, because I see this every day with my own children, that sometimes we must let them go and discover. We must allow them to make their own mistakes and experience their own triumphs. This will enrich the relationship and those bonds of love and respect will be even stronger.
Being a mother is the hardest job in the world but it is also the most rewarding. It can be thankless, it is joyous. It can be annoying… yes… children can be annoying and as much as we irritate them… they can irritate us (funny that they never see this)… Tough but true… Do I ever begrudge this? Never… That is what mothering is all about… The life of a mother is full of surprises… and never what you expect. As much as you learn about your children, you learn more about yourself. The art of mothering evolves for each of us over the years, because as the children grow, so do we. As they change, so do we. As they mature and develop, so do we.
A mother’s life is full of tears… tears of sadness and tears of happiness. We cry at their wins and we cry over their disappointments… we make them our own. I am shedding a tear now just thinking about what magnificent young adults my three have become and how proud I am to know they are mine.
And as for Mother’s Day… yes, let’s spoil our mothers… every day, in every way… because we deserve it… xv

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49 Comments

Anonymous

Beautiful Vicki – thank you….and it bought a tear to my eye also as I too am an only child who never gave motherhood a thought to find myself pregnant at 42. How blessed I am to have learned how to finally share and am now the proud mother a beautiful 3-year old. What a gift. x

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Jane

Oh Vicki! What an eloquent and heartfelt post I can totally relate to. Having had the 3 pixies in 3.5 years means we're talking the same language ☺. Just gorgeous – thanks for elucidating what so many of us think. J x

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martinealison

J'ai beaucoup aimé lire votre publication qui affirme et confirme mes pensées en tant que maman de 4 enfants… qui ont bien grandi maintenant.
J'ai deux petits-enfants qui complètent mes larmes de joie et de peine…
Mais quel beau et difficile rôle nous avons.
gros bisous à vous ma chère amie.

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Catherine

Vicky –

What a beautifully written post! As a mother, it really touches my heart – your words and sentiments are exactly right. I especially love this most simple and powerful truth: "As much as you learn about your children, you learn more about yourself." I have two young boys and their mirroring my behavior really gives me pause… to "grow, change, develop"…

This is what I needed to begin the weekend :)
Merci + Bonne Journée!

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The enchanted home

Vicki…this is just beautiful. I am going to send this to my own mother. So well said, we certainly all know of the peaks and valleys, ebbs and flows, highs and lows that is the rollercoaste of motherhood! But the joys outweigh the sadness and life would be awfully empty without the wonder and happiness my three kids bring to it. So cheers to all the mothers out there, because we also know its VERY hard work and its 24/7! Thanks for this, have a great weekend!

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Mary

Lovely tribute to motherhood Vicki……………the hardest job in the world perhaps!
When our special day rolls around next weekend I hope all mothers are remembered with love and respect.
Mary

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Lost in Provence

Vicki, for me this is, in all of its simplicity, one of the most beautiful pieces about motherhood that I have ever encountered. Thank you so much. I may not be a mother myself but certainly have such a dear love and appreciation for my Mom. I know that I would not in any way be the person that I am today (for better or for worse!) if it wasn't for her support and guidance.

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Lisa DeNunzio

Ciao Vicki. That was my mother's name as well. I don't believe I ever held a baby in my arms before my daughter was born. I even said to my husband, "Don't expect me to enjoy the early years." Of course, I was smitten from day one (and that was 30 years ago). We were fortunate to have a son two years later and it has been the same wonderful experience. Certainly, there are bumps in the road, but that is normal.

Happy Mother's Day to you. Best, Lisa, La Dolce Villa

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Jeanne @ Collage of Life

She has a way with words, she does, she does. Vicki..I love it when you think out loud, it makes me think deep inside. As we run from day to day, either with kids in tow or with lines cast afar, we should stop and think about what we do and what our mother's have done before us. It is so easy to take these days for granted, we know all to well, they grow up so fast. Thank you for stopping me in my frantic pace today and thinking on motherhood.

Best wishes..
.Jeanne xx

PS..you would have loved my house when you were growing up…I am the oldest of six. Down the line, we are all nearly one and a half years apart, it was mayhem day in day out. When I go home to visit, I can see that not much has changed. This is why I like living abroad. :)

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Karena

So lovely Vicki,

Happy Mothers Day!

I have featured an Interview with Tina from The Enchanted Home…

xoxo
Karena

Art by Karena

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French Girl in Seattle

Bonjour Vicki. I could not have said it better. I am raising an only child. I know he enjoys visiting his friends with larger families already and you made me wonder if, one day, he will have several children of his own. To your final sentence, I would add: "(…) Let's spoil our mothers AND let's spoil ourselves… every day, in every way… because we deserve it…" – Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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LA CONTESSA

You nailed it!Beautifully written!I'm in that stage of letting go……….my youngest graduates from unviversity the day before Mother's Day next Saturday here in the states.I texted him yesterday that all I wanted for Mother's Day was for him to wear the ITALIAN glasses at graduation!Love this look on him and it would cost him zero dollers!The other son I have asked for a written explanation in my card as to why he keeps getting a "bill" from a place he should have never been too!I just need clarification as I have been given the run around!Easy requests…………..we shall see.My guess is your Mother's Day is this Sunday!As Europe celebrates on different dates then us.I hope its a Beautiful day for you!

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zanetastyle

Your writing is beautiful, Vicki! I am tearing as I type this because you write very true and very poetic and I can't even imagine leaving my son for longer than an hour at the time …. They grow so fast and nothing is better and more rewarding / beautiful than being a mother no matter how hard it can be sometimes. Thank you for this lovely acknowledgement … I agree with every bit of your words! Xox z

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Patrizia

Thank you Vicki for sharing such authentic and perceptive thoughts. All this resonates within my life as a mother of 3 adult children.You have reminded me of how amazed,proud,teary and profoundly grateful I am to have my 3 remarkable young adults in my life. And yes it does become trickier as they become older because it's all about building and nurturing the friendship between us.I have three good kids who I know love and respect me as their mother but my hope and focus now is that with each day our friendships become closer between each other and as a group. A work in progress .. and challenging at times but enjoying every moment ! Happy Mother's Day !

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Castles Crowns and Cottages

Darling Vicki,

Thank you so much for coming to visit my BLAH post today! I had no choice; those technical difficulties with loading pictures can really put a damper on your schedule!

I grew up with no siblings. I always wanted however, a brother, and IF the rare thought of ever having children crossed my mind, I always wanted to have BOYS. To this day as a teacher, I adore my little boys. The girls are awesome and we click. But those boys steal my heart with their action and gusto for life. Now much older and unable to have any, I think the path I chose was fine for me. But the memory of my mother will always remain an important factor in my life as how to live AND die. She was courageous to the end and never gave up.

Thank you for this beautiful post and visit sweet lady. Anita

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peggy braswell

As an only child, I wanted + got(thank god)two wonderful children/adult now + my birthday is on Mother's day. My sweet mother & dad had a double blessing that day. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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Laura

Enjoyed your beautiful post Vickie, so sincere and from the heart.
Wishing you a wonderful Mother's Day!

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déjà pseu

What beautiful and eloquent thoughts. I was surprised by how much I've enjoyed being a mother, even during the difficult times.

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Cathy Penton

Such a gorgeous post as always Vicki, your children are very blessed to have you… I was the youngest of 5 and knew I wanted children from a young age, wanted to be a mum and a stay at home mum and I have been soooooooooo very blessed to be able to live that dream…Now 15 and 18 they are worth everything single tear and I have grown so much through those years….. Mother's Day is definitely every day….Hope you have a beautiful day next Sunday and every day of the year :) xoxo c

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Millie

I've always tried to keep a respectful distance with our adult kids, letting them find their way in the world, without seeming to crowd their style. But my secret weapon is the Band of Brothers Bush Telegraph. My adage of 'Family first, family last' has paid off, so with them spread all over Australia I can make 'discreet' enquiries from one of the other 4 to keep me up to speed on the current state of play of one I may be a little 'concerned' about. I'm glad I did Advanced Negotiation skills early in my career, as I use it more on the kids these days than on my clients!

I think you've got the mothering thing sussed with your 3 – they look to be out making their mark beautifully in the world, with you giving them just the right amount of rope, oops independence!!
Millie xx

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Trish Murphy

I really enjoyed your lovely post today.We are so blessed to be Mothers and I agree that
it can certainly be very hard at times but the wonderful times eclipse the hard times
tenfold.Happy Mother`s Day.

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Ingrid Mida

Dear Vicki,
This is a beautifully written and thoughtful post. I can relate to much of your story. Being a mother is a journey of continual growth. It seems as soon as we think we know what we are doing, our children grow into a new phase. Learning to let them make their own mistakes is one of the hardest parts I think.
Have a happy Mother's Day.

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Tricia

Well put, Vicki. I second every single thing you said. It is interesting how we learn to enjoy our children in their different phases of growth. When we let them be their own person whether it is at 2 or 20, we can enjoy them so much more. A little sutle guidance here and there but mostly love and support is what they need.

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Renae Moore

Wonderful words of truth and reflection of my own life and raising two sons. Adults now they are and yes relationships changes but still good. I wouldn't trade one moment of motherhood. I too, was like you, never picturing myself as a mother growing up, not on my radar screen. But oh the joys…irreplaceable.
Have a wonderful Mother's Day Vicki!
xx

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la la Lovely

Such great thoughts and honest ones. I never thought too much about having kids. I never even really babysat or had much interest in kids. And now I have four. Funny how things work out. Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day. It is the hardest and bestest (no better word) job in the world!
xo . trina

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carolyn bradford

I couldn't have said it to my own children any better than your beautiful post did! Thanks so much for sharing that with all of us! It made my night! Happy early mother's day to you!
Carolyn Bradford

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Amy

How beautiful! I'm the opposite of you – I always thought I would have children, but then life had its own schedule and I find myself single and childless in my early 40s. I do have three very babied cats, though…

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giovanna

Well said Vicki! I am the mother of an only child, I love her unconditionally, she is my daughter and my best friend. Motherhood has been the most rewarding part of my life, I would not swap it for anything in the world. To all the mother’s in the world – have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

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Ann

Ah Vicki,
You have done it again with your lovely magic with words.
A happy Mother’s Day to you too,
Ann

Oh – I was one of seven children. My best friends were always only children. We lived everywhere but never Australia. Wish we had!

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La Comtesse Lola

Thank you for your comments and thoughts about being an only child. It was a bit of an “a ha!” moment for me, as it gave me a little more insight into my only child’s possible thoughts and feelings…

Happy Mother’s Day to you!

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Michelle

I LOVE this post. It hits all the highs..and occasional lows (unfortunately, those are in there too;) It is such an amazing accomplishment and does stretch one in both mind and body. Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours.

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mary

Hi Vicki, How beautifully you have expressed my exact sentiments–a few tears are falling. The greatest gift our children give us is our own personal growth….sometimes so tough a road, but one we all must take. To practice silence with faith knowing that they will be well. Hugs, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
MARY

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Banana Nut Muffin Recipe

I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

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elizabeth n navarro

this is the most beautiful article i’ve read about a mother.i am a mother of 5 girls and i love my daughters…i am thankful to be given the opportunity to become a mother…
more power to you

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