Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take. Cardinal Mermillod
“My children are my life,” my mother once said. She was in a difficult situation widowed with two children and a brand new baby.
Isn’t that the true statement of Mother Hood? “Our children are our life.” It is why when the worst happens and parents lose a child we feel a pain in our heart. They are going through what we can’t imagine we could get through.
We are connected to our Mothers with a connection we cannot have with any other. If we are lucky it is a strong, deep connection for a very long time. If all they gave us is life, it is a gift we could get no other way.
Many people wish and long for the kind of Mother I was blessed to have. Looking back on my childhood it seems idyllic, like a Rockwell painting. When we grow up feeling truly loved we are the blessed. We have been given a foundation to build our life on that is strong.
It is lovely to see older women with their children and grandchildren. There is a warmth that is palpable coming from them as they interact with sons, daughters, granddaughters, and grandsons. We don’t have to ask if they came from a loving home, it is evident. I don’t mean perfect. What is a perfect mother, a perfect parent?
Our Mother’s did the best they could, most of the time. They gave us the strength to go forward and build our lives. They gave us the courage to create our own families, bring forth another generation.
They say if we survived we got enough love, even if it doesn’t feel like it. We need love to thrive, and the fact we made it through childhood means there was enough to get us to adulthood.
There comes a time when we have to take responsibility for our own lives. Our parents, mothers, fathers, or whoever raised us, did the best they knew how to do, what they could manage. They didn’t mean to not be the best mother or parent they could be. We need to be grateful for what they could give us, and we need to fill our love tanks now, not worry about how full or empty they may have been at various points in our past.
I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday. Gary Chapman
If childhood is looked on with fond remembrances of being immersed in a loving family we are truly blessed. We were given a gift that blesses our life every day we live. If we don’t have fond memories of a loving family we need to go forward in gratitude and forgiveness because they couldn’t give what they didn’t have to give, for whatever reason. Even if it doesn’t seem it could be true that they did the best they could. They probably did. Maya Angelou said, “When we know better, we do better.”
Even if the ball was dropped during our childhood, it is up to us to make the best of it. What else is there to do? So many people it seems can’t let go of their past, or forgive their mother’s and father’s for not being perfect, they carry this hurt, and instead of forgiving and becoming better, they hold onto their hurts and become bitter. In time they often repeat the patterns they so despised in their parents, and so despise in themselves. Could forgiveness and understanding break the cycle?
Hurt people, hurt people. How do we heal? Can we accept we had the Mother we did, she did the best she could, and she loved us as much as she was able? She wasn’t perfect, and maybe she tried to give us what she wished she’d gotten, but that isn’t what we needed.
The five love languages according to Gary Chapman author of The 5 Love Languages for Children are.
Words of affirmation, praise, and compliments. Giving a monetary reward to children that seek affirmation will leave them feeling empty.
Acts of service. Early in life, we do things for our children they can’t do for themselves. As they get older we teach them to be independent and do things for themselves. If an act of service is our child’s love language we need to know how to express this. Is it playing ball with them? Helping them with homework? Making their favorite cookies?
Gifts. Children whose love language is receiving gifts, treasure gifts as a tangible token of affection. They interpret a lack of gifts as a lack of love. Recognizing that our child would appreciate a piece of gum over a hug is an important step in building communication.
Quality time. Children whose love language is quality time seek undivided attention. When there are siblings this may be difficult as they want undivided attention. It may be difficult to get one-on-one time with Mom or Dad. They need to feel they are worthy of our undivided attention. Some children need to feel heard, and this may fit into having enough quality time. They have things they want to express and they need to feel understood, listened to, and heard at a level we may find hard. We listen to them endlessly, we think.
Physical touch. Infants who are held fare better than those who are not. As children get older, they still long for physical affection, maybe a pat on the back, a high five, a hug. These children want to literally “Feel our love.”
We may have different love languages than our parents or children. We may give what we wish to get. It may not fill their love tank. We don’t understand what they need that we aren’t giving them. Why don’t they understand and feel how much we love them? Maybe we need to try to fill their love tanks using the five love languages and see which ones seem to be “Their” love languages. Maybe if we think about it the answer is obvious, maybe it is not.
Could part of the answer to close relationships be if they speak the same love language as us it makes an easy relationship, and if we don’t speak the same love language it is harder to have the closeness we all long for?
Is it time to learn a new love language? Can it bring us closer to our mother’s, daughters, sons, and other family members?
Something in our nature cries out to be loved by another. Isolation is devastating to the human psyche. That is why solitary confinement is considered the cruelest of punishments. Gary Chapman
Inside every child is an “emotional rani’s” waiting to be filled with love. When a child really feels loved, he will develop normally but when the love tank is empty, the child will misbehave. Much of the misbehavior of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty “love tank.” Gary Chapman
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, closeness, and love.
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