Theoretically as a mom, Mother’s Day is for me. But it continues to be a celebration of my own mom and not really much about me. Of course my children feel differently (which I love)!
My mom is the cornerstone of my life. When others recognize particular strengths in me, I owe most of it to my mom. She provided a positive foundation and she shaped me into the woman I am today, all based upon her dedication and diligence in being the best mom she could be. And what an amazing mom that was and continues to be!
As a child I felt as if I were the center of my parent’s universe, especially my mom’s. You may assume this meant my mom stayed home with me, but she didn’t. She returned to work when I was less than a year old and continued working full time up until a few months ago. At the age of 69, after logging over 40 hours a week at the same hospital she dedicated her professional life to for nearly 25 years, she retired. So how could I feel at the center of her universe if she was working full-time?
Interaction with my mom on school days was limited to only an hour in the morning and a few hours in the evening. The morning routine consisted of getting dressed, eating breakfast and being dropped me off at a friend’s house as early as six o’clock in the morning so her mom could take us to school later. When school was over, my friend and I walked back to her house as “latchkey kids” to enjoy a snack, complete homework and play until my mom picked me up just before dinner time.
Once she picked me up in the evening what I was never exposed to, by her purposeful intention, was whether she had a good or bad day, whether she was exhilarated or exhausted, or whether she was relaxed or stressed. This is because the moment I was in her presence, it was all about me. Discussing my school day, friends, homework and extracurricular activities were her primary focus. Even over dinner, I can’t recall my parents speaking much about anything other than me. It wasn’t about how much time my mom spent with me, it was all about the quality of time.
It’s impossible for me to compare this time in my life with my mom’s, certainly our worlds are very different – career types, number of children, finances, choices of how to spend free time. But what I can do is take note of the impact her decisions made upon me, not only as a child, but as a nearly 40 year old adult as I sit tonight and reflect. It further supports the importance of making conscious decisions every day to take personal responsibility of my own attitude and actions – choose to be positive, meditate, exercise, prioritize and delegate. My aspiration is that my own children have a healthy experience as they grow into adults.