The duties of motherhood are never ending. To bring life into this world and to be responsible for it is a life-changing and life-transforming experience. Many moms have said it is the greatest undertaking of their lives.
Love is the foundation from which all things bloom. A mother must show love. A child must feel loved. Children should know they are loved through their successes as well as their failures. A mother loves her child unconditionally. A mother loves her child despite being angry with her child, and her child knows that.
While mom cannot always – and should not – safeguard her children from the negative circumstances in life, she does have a responsibility to protect them. This means keeping them free from abuse, leaving them with trustworthy childcare providers, and providing safe environments in and out of the home. Protection also includes ensuring that her children have the proper tools to stand up to negative forces, to withstand difficult moments, and to successfully navigate the ups and downs of life.
A mom must act as a guide but refrain from controlling her children. She cannot always lead her children in the direction she wishes for them to go. It’s important for children to navigate their way through life – to make their own decisions and their own mistakes. It is important that they discover who they are and do not feel pressured to be who mom wants them to be. A mother’s best effort to act as a guide is to lead by example. She can work to plant the seeds that she hopes will one day blossom within her child.
Uplift. Inspire. Invigorate. Mom is a cheerleader for her child. She nudges. She coaxes. She persuades. Moms need to feel encouraged and so do our children. The boost of encouragement that moms provide helps build a rock hard foundation on which her child’s self esteem is built. Children need to feel that they can preserver and achieve and – if they don’t succeed – that they are still valued. Children need to hear us saying “thank you” and “good effort” and “you should be so proud of yourself”.
Moms nurture their children directly by giving them hugs and smiles and love notes in their lunch boxes. She nurtures them when they are sick and when they need some extra care. But, Moms also nurture their children’s souls. They do this by having appropriate developmental expectations, giving their children responsibilities, and creating an environment of mutual respect.
Moms are constructive in their discipline methods. She is fair. She is consistent. She uses discipline as a learning tool. Moms help their children to develop an internal locus of control and responsibility. Discipline is a device to help her children stay on the right path. It is not an opportunity to demean or to hurt our children. With proper discipline methods, moms set up a safe and reliable structure her children can rely on.
To Let Go
Moms let go over and over again. She lets go of her child’s hand as he grows older and starts to walk. She lets go when her child heads in a direction that is different from what she hoped for. She thought her child would make a great soccer player, but he wants to play tennis. She lets go as her children enter their tween years and start to establish themselves as independent individuals. Moms let go, but they always leave the light on for when their children come home.