Mother’s Day is almost here. It is a time when mothers should be celebrated for all they do to keep their families afloat. For me, it is also a time for reflection as my own mom passed away several years ago. Even though there is a sadness about the day, I am reminded of all the wonderful ways in which she mothered me, and how I still use nuggets of her wisdom in my day-to-day life.
Hands down the best advice she ever offered me was, ‘If you aren’t sure, don’t do it’. This is so simple yet applies to all avenues of life. I remember her first telling me this when I had to cross a busy road on my walks to school. She told me that if I had any doubt about how fast a car was approaching, that I should wait until I felt absolutely sure to cross. It must have worked because I managed to survive all those walks unharmed. This phrase pops into my head so often I find it comforting and amusing. It’s a reminder that my mom is always with me and that’s once you are a daughter, you are a daughter for the rest of your life.
The second piece of advice she gave me was, ‘If you agree with your spouse all the time, then one of you isn’t necessary’. She would say this to me as I would describe a conflict I was experiencing with my husband. It was an impartial way to say that conflict is normal part of any relationship. She wouldn’t necessarily take sides, but was there to listen and to let me know conflict is okay, and that I would be okay, too.
My mom was always kind, compassionate and very, very quiet. She preferred to be an observer of life, kept many opinions to herself, and rarely took center stage. She seemed content to let life unfold and was most at peace being in nature or quietly reading a book. I think her verbal reserve was one of her greatest attributes. Her natural introversion gave her pause when responding to someone or something, and you could always count on her to be one of the best listeners. Just being near her made you feel that you mattered.
I hope this Mother’s Day that you feel valued for all that you do, and more importantly, that you feel valued for who you are. Even if it’s as simple as someone taking your hand, asking you how you are feeling and then, actually wanting to listen to the answer.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent