Mothers take on a huge, life-long responsibility to nurture, teach, encourage and guide us through all aspects of our lives. Ideally, they make us feel that our views, beliefs and dreams matter. In some cases, they may let us down. Nonetheless, it is leadership that never ends.
How often have you thanked your Mother for her leadership? Do you ever consider how your life will change after she is gone?
Time and again, during a conversation with someone, something that my mom said to me will come to mind. Words of wisdom, or words that you may not have agreed with, are deposited in your memory banks.
Lessons given to us by our mothers, some accepted and some rejected, may be what we recall when faced with an important decision.
Although I lived apart from my mom for many years, I had a unique opportunity to reconnect with her when I moved in with her during the final year of her life. Anyone who has taken on the role of caregiver understands the complexity of the relationship, in particular, who is the leader?
This new setting has its own set of challenges, such as control over the household, finances, healthcare, and most importantly, the kitchen! As with any relationship, there must be a give and take that is worked out and seems fair to both parties. If the balance becomes unfair, then the negotiations (to put it mildly) begin!
We managed to maintain a pretty good balance on most days but one particular day will forever stand out for me. On the first very hot and humid day on the Gulf Coast that year, we were not agreeing on many issues. In the afternoon, I realized that I needed to pick up some medicine.
During my short trip, my mom passed away.
Nothing can prepare you for losing your mother. Even if she is terminally ill and you are living with her and trying to care for her. You are not prepared for the end.
Here are the top three things my mom taught me:
1. You get more with sugar! Which means that one’s delivery of a message is key. If you deliver the message nicely, and diplomatically, then you are more likely to win the result that you are seeking.
2. Believe in yourself! Which means do not doubt yourself; rather follow your instincts, your intuition or your gut.
3. Don’t’ be too hard on yourself! Which means that you do not need to be perfect. Perfection is an impossible standard that will lead to frustration and perhaps procrastination.
It may help to keep in mind that respect, gratitude and love are a few of the things that we can and should express to our mothers while we have the opportunity to do so. This person is no ordinary leader, she is THE LEADER in your life, whether you acknowledge it or not.
Is it enough to thank your mother on Mother’s Day or would it be better to do so throughout the year?