Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Care and Feeding of Mothers

A report out this week ranks the USA low on its list of the best places to be a mother. It cites a high rate maternal and infant mortality as well as short maternity leaves in its findings.

Since my work is with limiting beliefs that block success and happiness one more cause stands out as well. Human babies do not survive without a great amount of care. If we’re here, we got it, from someone. But in our society we appear to believe that mothers (and caregivers in general) produce endless care, support, nurturing, love, patience, courage and endurance but require nothing to sustain them.

That belief blocks the care and feeding of mothers. Do you know a family where they lavish daily praise and encouragement on the mom? Prepare her favorite foods? Cheer her on when she’s discouraged? Read to her when she’s sick? Imagine what a happy household that would be.

On Sunday, in the US, we celebrate mother’s day, mostly with cards and flowers. A precious gift that is free is acknowledgement, of the gift of life, of caring. Maybe your mom pushed herself beyond her own limits and fears to nurture and provide for you, hoping beyond hope to spare you from every hurt that almost did her in, to give you the best shot to make what you will of the miracle of life. If your mother wasn’t able to do that, maybe someone else did. Or several people.

My mother and I had a rocky time of it but I had time to apologize for the thoughtless things I did and said as a child and teenager -- time to thank her for giving me life. She was surprised and touched. I’m so glad I did.

I wish I had acknowledged my grandmothers for their kindness, love and support. I tell them now, but I’m not so sure they get it.

If you would like to acknowledge your mother and/or those who nurtured you, I would love know your thoughts. You can leave comments here.

Acknowledging the amazing nurturing spirit in each of us! Happy Mother’s Day.



  1. Three days after returning from a visit to my mother to move her into assist living complex...

    Written at 7pm, 5/3/10 from my writers group writing assignment...

    Jump start sentence;
    favorite time of day to write........

    My favorite time of day to write is 7p.m. Monday to be precise. That's when the women I am most free with, come into my home, into the space I created for us. That's when we write the way Rae Bird guided us. Keep the pen moving, don't edit, don't think. I fail Rae Birds words all too often, but I stay true to myself as best I can. I write what fly's through my head, around my daily aching muscles, down my lower back and out the base of my constantly nagging sacrum. That's my favorite time to write. Tonight Amalia read us a passage by a man who said that when he writes he leaves his skin behind. He leaves it hanging it on a chair, leaving too his organs on the table. I am too attached to my skin right now. I have held it all together for nearly three weeks of planning and scheming.The surprise visit. The surprise party. I have lived through 'the move' with my mother, into her new independent living apt in an assisted living complex, through her tears, her spent nerves, her physical pain, her fears, her drama, her drunkenness, her lapses of memory and her nearly loss of mind (and nearly of mine). She tired very hard to be well, to help, regardless of my judgment and her behavior, but she's been rehearsing the negative for too long - it's too hard to break a life long habit. I moved all her possessions and I took control of this woman's life, who has never allowed anyone else a moment of control, me included. "Leave me alone" she would say," I can do it", the cooking, the cleaning, the moving. No help. This time I went through every item of her's without permission. I wanted to move nothing unnecessary, nothing dirty or covered in heavy nicotine smoke. She didn't like me in control. She didn't like the way I packed. I don't blame her. And my heart was pulled in every direction. While I visited with her I also guided my brother and his wife through baby steps into reconciling the details before detox, and the on again, off again, an early discharge from detox and up and down and up again, the madness of broken promises of the past into the possibility of healing in the future. No, my skin is holding me and my organs together.

    Today, this morning, I'm home, I'm on the phone long distance with her. As a child I was always saying to her " I'm doing my best" and her reply was often "well your best just isn't good enough". It was their generation I think. But I carried it with me for so long, always trying harder, always trying to be better. But on this visit to my mother, she couldn't do it herself, she had to let me do for her. And with that she got to see me doing what I do best, organizing, and with that I gained her respect, something I don't feel I've ever had, and even some self respect. Now I feel good enough.

    "To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world."
    - Anonymous

    Debs 641-919-5449

  2. Dear Mandy,
    Thank you for another wonderful blog.
    I did told my mother I loved her, appreciated her and was grateful that she was my mom (although it was not always easy to see it that way :-) )
    This sunday I will appreciate my wife for her "mothership"
    And I will defibnetely think of you with a big smile on my face..
    Barnaby is a lucky guy with such a wonderful person as mom!

    Love You, Ferry

  3. Mandy, this is the 3rd piece of information regarding the status of women in the US and I dare say North America. I live in Canada and I suspect the statistics in this case, as with so many others, are paralleled.

    The status of women is very low and the rate of caesarian births extremely high!!! Now your care and feeding of mothers make it 3. Is that like baseball??? Three strikes etc ???!!!

    I cannot comprehend how we have come to devalue the basic human rhythms. It breaks my heart that, while we are perceived as fat cats and others want to emulate our life styles, we have become automatons.

    We seem to have replaced consumerism with appreciating the needs basic to our survival. Love, acceptance, encouragement, hugs, time are invaluable gifts, unfortunately there are no air miles to be accumulated!!!

    Having said all that, I do see an increasing number of young couples who are reclaiming and acting on these human needs. Children and parents thrive and my hopes are raised.

    May we continue to become 'old fashioned'.



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