Mother’s Day is a day that brings a home full of hugs, kisses, love and laughter to acknowledge the selfless, tireless and often thankless role of motherhood. Starting the day with a cuddle, cuppa and a hand-made gift always brings a sense of joy as we take a moment to relish in the loving gestures that show just how much your children appreciate you.
On this day, we celebrate the diversity of women who care for children – the expectant mothers, new mothers, working mothers, single mothers, grieving mothers, grandmothers, step mothers, adoptive mothers, stay at home mothers, foster mothers, same-sex mothers … all of us! Mother’s Day is a time we can reflect on the gift of motherhood as we indulge in some well-deserved pampering and spoiling.
Too often we hear conflicts involving parenting styles and practices relating to a whole range of significant and often trivial matters. Level of parental involvement, moral and ethical values, educational choices and the physical and emotional well-being of children can become contentious issues. Creating an environment that finds the perfect balance for children to explore their world yet remain safe, become independent yet feel supported in a home that is full of love yet has boundaries is near impossible. Rather than striving for (unattainable) perfection, strive to be the best you can be… on that day. Knowing that some days will be better than others and accepting the lows that motherhood brings will make the highs even higher.
As mothers, we have shared understandings of the pressures and stress as well as the unconditional love and joy that motherhood brings. As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child” so building a network of other mums who can help with a school drop-off or pick-up, a permission note reminder or to lend an ear for a vent chat can make a real difference in feeling connected and supported.
Ultimately, for our children to feel loved and cared for throughout their lives, relationships need to be developed by spending quality time together.
- Physical contact – from hugs to high-fives, the sense of ‘touch’ is critical for children of all ages to physically feel our love. The power of physical contact leaves lasting and measurable effect on children with evidence to show it boosts brain development and lowers the likelihood of depression. From newborns to teens, a mother’s touch is a powerful tool to support and nurture your child.
- Eye contact – engaging in eye contact with your child on their level gives them your undivided attention. Truly listening and thoughtfully responding to your child strengthens relationships by building trust and respect.
- Be positive – give your children affirmations, encouragement and positive feedback. Observing their kindness, empathy or helpful ways with a positive comment, smile and reassurance is welcomed at every age.
- Have fun - amid the chaos and craziness that often comes with the day-to-day parenting, remember to have fun! Playing and joking together always brings about the delightful sounds of laughter and squeals as it lightens the mood, fosters respect and strengthens relationships. It also shows your children that you really enjoy spending time in their company and of course, they’ll enjoy spending time in your company too!
- Look after you – take a moment or two to take time for you. Make it a priority to take a walk, have a cuppa, go to the gym, have a massage, go to the shops, get your nails done or whatever you enjoy doing because children need a calm, happy mother and YOU deserve it!
Whatever your plans for Mother’s Day, enjoy YOUR day to celebrate the wonderful role of motherhood!