Motherhood: The juggling act of an octopus

MOTHERS: teach your daughters

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As I approach Mother’s Day I reflect upon the very meaning.  Maybe it occurred to me earlier and not realized until now, how a leader where I work and I were talking and it ended up being about being a mother and having kids.  (It is a universal language that only the club members can really understand).

I had asked her what she was doing for Mother’s Day?  (I got a tip from a 20 something near to me whether their culture observed such a day and she said wholehearted yes!!) The conversation took a little turn to find out that she is not only a career woman, she also is an attentive, highly active mother.

Perhaps there is a little Super Woman syndrome there.  That is what happens to a lot of we mothers who hit their 50s :: at some point, and it varies, we exude a breath of relief that our child-rearing days are over and the real fun begins!!

I don’t really think as a tween or teen I would daydream of being a mother one day.  I don’t think I gave it much thought at all.  Most likely it was because my mom was a solid oak tree :: beautiful, graceful, brutally honest, avid reader, and Manners coach.

Interestingly, I had this subtitle and the following excerpt from Mashable https://t.co/E0Ydfg2PHS that I had saved.  I really do have what my stepdaughter calls “sometimers”.  I remember some very important details and facts, then can’t remember where I last had my smart phone, fearing that the battery isn’t drained when I try calling it so I can locate it.  Thankfully, I’ve always been able to recover the missing life raft.

It makes me wonder:: how did we InBetweeners Moms set such a high example for us to live by.  Yes, that is a statement or an opinion.  It is also a realization :: Our moms didn’t have smartphones or email bulletins to lead covert operations on a massive balancing act.  We kids brought home notes, if we were attentive and not forgetful. That is how she would hear about the roundup of volunteers for a school or figure skating event.  My mom always volunteered to drive.  40 years later, that shouldn’t be a surprise looking back.

Among 4 kids of varying interests, we always got to where we should be even if she was late picking us up practically when the doors were locked and the lights were off, because there wasn’t the eminent danger of strangers lurking to snap us up. We were given a childhood that basically meant safety.   We were taught manners, respect for elders (always always Mr, Mrs or Sir), that friends could drop by for impromptu visits that only meant putting a fresh cup of coffee on.

These women, we look up to as mothers set us up for tremendous climbs. They were cheerleaders to their friends or coworkers, but task masters at home.  Teaching us that we should do it right the first time.

These moms created wonder women!  It came to a climax in the early 80s, rising to a crescendo that has  very likely been the last for a number of decades, not since the post war optimism of the late 40s to late 50s, where the children of that era we call Baby Boomers were handed so much on a golden platter.  It wasn’t quite entitlement but it certainly wasn’t scraping like our Millennial children of today face.

Our moms really taught us how to sew, cook, entertain, dress, groom, manners all while trying to be the best in our chosen extra-curricular, whether it was ice skating like me, or otherwise.  We didn’t have any excuses because they just were not in acceptable during our time.  We had immense opportunity, but at a price.  You could venture into new passions, as long as you were dedicated and strove to excel, you continued on and taught to never give up :: all while never neglecting our school or home work or practice with our watchful mothers playing point guard, goalie, bus driver, baker or sewer.

Think of so many moms who become the inspiration for many and the reason others stay out of crime and dysfunction :: by the shear force and willpower of their mothers, sometimes grandmothers or aunts, next door neighbour, coach or teacher.

The supermoms of just a decade ago are riding into the sunset with Millennial children who are off to university, working their way up on a job, and find health and wellbeing a priority.  They recognize the difference between mental health and physical health.  These kids have been protected like any General’s army, emerging to expect and demand the best of anything :: some are even successful at having such high goals.  They tend to obey the same strict guidelines that their moms have forced them to adhere to with added stress of lurking danger, but gracefully rising outside the riff raff or the desperate, not unaware nor  escaping without a few bruises or near disasters.  They’re street smart with a zest for life and a strongly preserved right to their beliefs, their passions, their rights.  Our moms dropped us off, we are home cheerleader, bench mom, medic, taxi driver, successful career women who can juggle like an octopus.

I linger upon the younger mom’s tipping off each finger as to what activities are planned for the weekend, basically only a mere 48 hours.   Then smile now, at all the arsenal of tools these young people have to cultivate, coordinate and conquer challenging schedules and the juggling act of an Octopus.  We may have two fingered to start on email, but recognized the good grace of just having the tools to do so.

Then I digress for a moment and decide that is for another day and maybe more suited for my meanderings Blog :: the important yet barely recognized role of a stepMother.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone and daughters :: don’t forget your mother!

 

 

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