This piece was crafted by our minister at St. Stephen’s United Church here in Hudson Bay. I would certainly consider her to be very wise, an extraordinary confidante, and someone who always brings the “light.” But, above all, I consider her a friend.
When invited to share some tips and tricks for motherhood, being a “seasoned mom” of two amazing children who are all grown up now, this is what she wrote:
Motherhood … I will begin by agreeing with you … motherhood is not for sissies … and it is the most important job on this planet! No pressure.
For me, I had to overcome my fears of being inadequate … so not sure that I was up to the huge responsibility at times. I found strength through faith … developed practices that could and did sustain me, such as going to church (belonging to a community of faith), prayer, spiritual direction, yoga, and walking. Truly, the love of God and the trust in that, has been my saving grace as a mother.
I believe that mothers need to care for themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This can only happen if we carve time out during the business of our days … even five minutes of quiet prayer or meditation can change the way we face the day! I often felt like I was praying in traffic.
I was also fortunate to have a couple of really good friends who were mothers as well and we were able to share our blessings and challenges as we journeyed together.
The other secrets of motherhood for me were: reading and singing to my children at bedtime; walks together in nature; gratitude; church on Sundays; helping them discover what they feel passionate about (art, music, and sport) and showing up to support them; keep these extra curricular activities to one of each per season though (less is more); carve out quiet time to just be; teach them a work ethic (a job worth doing is a job worth doing well); discipline (time out and forgiveness); the knowledge that actions have consequences; teaching by showing and working on my own stuff; building relationships with all the challenges that involves; communicating with love, forgiveness, and understanding; allowing my children to grow into their own unique and beautiful selves as beloved children of God … releasing expectations and control; praying for them daily; living my own life passionately as I overcome fear through love and trust; being courageous and wholehearted; finding forgiveness when I miss the mark.
Asking for help along the way is a good thing … especially from the wise women and men in our lives … wisdom is ageless … tried and true. Laugh lots and just enjoy your journey together … cry when it all gets to be too much.
Our children learn from how we handle life and this means both the good and the not so good parts of it … it is not about perfection, but change and growth as we share the adventure of a life well lived together. I see my children as gifts from God for me to treasure … I am so grateful to be chosen for the sacred task of motherhood!
With Love and Joy, Jacqueline