Do you know what your mum did for you? Women come into life with expectations. Some women describe a yearning to become a mother from a young age. But, we don’t always know what motherhood entails. I fell into that category. I was 35 years of age when I decided I wanted a child ... it was a spur of the moment decision. None of my friends had children so I walked blindfolded. One minute I was totally independent and carefree and the next minute I was staring at my 6-week-old daughter wondering what on earth I had done. I felt panic rising when I realised, I had made a 20-year decision - this child was not going away any time soon. She was tied to me for life; she was completely dependent on me.
After my daughter was born my thoughts went back to my own mother. I would often think about the fact that I was once as tiny as my own baby and completely dependent on mum. I imagined how my mum would have fed me, how she changed my nappies, sung songs, smiled and comforted me. My mother had four children, I've only had one. She went through the experience of motherhood four times. At times I felt I was barely keeping my head above water. Mothers like myself are often baffled as to how women with multiple offspring manage.
As young adults we rarely stop and think about the things our parents did for us. For the most part, we are self-absorbed until we hit our 30's (or until we have children of our own). It's a phase we go through and it isn’t until we have children of our own that we reconnect with our own mums. We live in a fast-paced society. When you don’t slow down it is very hard to be mindful of the people around you, of how much they do for you and how little we reciprocate with gratitude. What holds us back? Many of us will admit that selfishness and materialism have channeled our actions in the past. Fortunately, the universe strives for balance and this is accompanied by an increasing interest in spiritual practices; we learn that happiness only comes from within.
Life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change. We hear or read the word ‘mindfulness’ throughout our week and it cannot be ignored. After my daughter was born, I wanted to slow down. Slowing down not only allowed me to appreciate my daughter and all that she is, it also made me recognise how much my own mother had sacrificed for her children. We know that mothers will, in a heart beat, make enormous sacrifices for their children. It is important to stop and step outside of your body and take a wide view of your life and reflect on what your mother did to help you to become the person you are today. Mother’s often make difficult choices which we don’t appreciate at the time.
Later in life we learn that had it not been for her and the choices she made; we would not be the person we are today. I know my mother made a big decision which at the time ruined my life (as many things do when you are a teenager). In my 30's I realised that had she not made this decision I would most likely not be here today. Many mothers stayed in unhappy situations to keep their children safe and cared for. Many gave up the idea of a career to care for their children. Some risked their lives escaping from harmful situations or maybe went hungry so their children could eat. What did your mum do for you that you have yet to acknowledge her for? Slow down, take 20 minutes out of your day and write down all the reasons you are grateful to your mother.
You do not have to tell her how you feel but the outcome of doing this exercise will certainly make you want to do something to show your appreciation. It will be a heart-opening experience and some of you will experience tears of gratitude. Make your mum feel special this Mother’s Day. Bring your mum into your heart and show her just how much you love her and how grateful you are for the contribution she made towards your being who you are. Koh X