With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I was thinking of the things to write in the homemade card I am sending to my mom. What do I appreciate about her? What do I think makes her a good mom?
Even more importantly, what makes me a good mom?
When my two children were young, I would ask them to make me a homemade card each year, for Mother’s Day. That’s all they could afford! They were kids of course. Through their teen years and now, as adults they still carry on that tradition and I love them for that.
I still have these cards, made from household items like construction paper, markers and stickers. I just re-read one my son made me when he was in college.
“Mom, you are the coolest, most interesting, bubbly, loving, genuine, honest woman that I know. You are ALWAYS a better mom than you think you are. You work SO hard, almost TOO hard for your children and it scares me how high you set the bar for my future parenting. Thank you mom for all that you do. You have given me the skills to be responsible, cook, clean, stay honest, and how to be a loving man. You have kept me close to God and that is the most important thing. I love you.”
When I was raising my children, I wrote down the top three things I wanted to impart to them before they become adults:
- Give them good self-esteem.
- Tell them I love them every day.
- Raise them to know God.
The reason that raising my children with good self-esteem was so important to me is because I did not have self- esteem, or confidence in who I was and what I was capable of, when I left home at 18 years old. I made poor choices and fumbled my way through relationships, jobs, and financially taking care of myself. As a parent I knew that if I encouraged my children and praised them for their achievements in school and affirmed that they had talents and abilities to make good choices, this would be foundational in believing they could be successful when they left home and navigated life.
Our choices are a direct reflection of what we believe about ourselves.
The reason that raising my children to know they are loved was so important to me is because I did not feel loved by my father growing up. He had a violent temper and would belt and hit me if I did not obey him. I was afraid of him which impeded my ability to feel loved or valued by him. As a parent I knew that If I told my children every day that I loved them-and my behavior toward them proved this (no hitting, no degrading them for their mistakes), they would know that they were valuable and loveable. My hope was that they would choose friends and partners who did not abuse, bully or devalue them.
We choose relationships based on dynamics that are familiar to us growing up.
The reason that raising my children to know God was so important to me is because my parents raised me to know God. They took me to church and introduced me to the bible and told me bible stories. This is the best thing they imparted to me, because I learned that God can do things I cannot do on my own. I have since prayed many times to God for miracles in my life and have been witness to several.
So, what are the top three things you want to impart to your children? What do you want them to say when you ask them “What do you think makes me a good mom?
Being a mom may be the most important job a woman could ever have
Written by Elisabeth Davies, MC
Counselor and Author of Good Things Emotional Healing Journal: Addiction