Sometimes I have anxiety about Mother’s Day. One reason is that I am really not good at giving gifts. I really don’t like the empty accolades, generic gift cards, flowers at three times the normal cost. I prefer a miss-spelled note with poor handwriting, a mysterious hand drawn picture on a not-so-professional looking piece of paper coming from my kids. I also prefer two sincere sentences from my husband with tears in his eyes, meaning every word he says, even though he struggles to verbalize his feelings. I like it when I can see they mean it, and it is not something they feel they HAVE to do. But I don’t think one day, one card, one meal can ever thank a woman enough for her role as mother. And that is where part of my anxiety comes from. How do I express my appreciation for my mom? Often I will feel how inadequate I am in honoring her enough throughout the year. Therefore I decided to dedicate this episode specific to my mom, Wilma Jansen, as a BIG thank you for being who you are.
Anna Jarvis initiated the modern version of Mother’s Day in the USA during the early 20th century as a memorial to honor her mom Ann Reeves Jarvis, who was a peace activist during the American Civil War. Living out her belief that a mom is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Even though she was delighted with her success of creating a special day celebrating moms, she was resentful of the commercialization of the day. This is a sentiment I share. Anna Jarvis believed a handwritten card, which expressed love and gratitude is much more significant than spending money on something. Vehemently she wavered lawsuits and boycotts against Hallmark and other companies to express her views.
Mother’s, ranging from a CEO to a full time mom, are great role models for nurturing and protecting life. You have a gift the world needs for nurturing and protecting life, even though you are not a biological mother.
Remembering an old saying, “mothers write on the hearts of their children what the world’s rough hand cannot erase”, inspires me to keep on believing in my children and their future. Being a career woman, a full time mom, or like me, a mix of the two, will have a guilt ridden aspect with it. Do I spend enough time with them? Do I do too much for my children? Should I rather work in order to give them more opportunities? One thing I remember my mother telling me is that the feeling of guilt becomes born with the birth of your first child, and while you still feel guilty, you are on the right track with your conscience. Some millennial moms say it is a privilege to be a mom. It is central to their identity. While mothers can hear the sentences in the silence of their children, their sixth sense, it acts as a Jewish proverb states, “A mother understands what a child does not say”. A mom teaches confidence and makes her children believe in themselves.
And a few final pieces of advice from my mom:
- Remember, your child did not read all the parenting books out there.
- If you are looking for something you misplaced, start cleaning up
- Be careful of the thoughts you are cherishing as it will determine the path of your life
- Stay at God’s feet and under His hand – that is the safest place to be
- Listen to your mom J
- Forgive 70 x 7
Make this Mother’s Day an extra special one, celebrating the woman in your life, who nurtured and protected you as well as those who are currently motivating you, encouraging you and believe in you.
Have a great Mother’s Day!