Tag Archives: Mother_s Day

Embracing the Other Mothers: Step-Moms and Ex-Wives

Mother’s Day has come and gone again. Another year of crayola-smudged, home made cards, a half-burned breakfast in bed with stone cold coffee, new plants for the garden, and sweet kisses that warm me up inside and out. It is wonderful to be recognized for the act of nurturing a child.

To me, motherhood is all about getting attached and letting go, over and over again. We get attached to our round belly, and then let go into birth. We get attached to our baby, and then choke back tears as they climb on the giant bus to kindergarten. We get used to a sentient child that is fun to talk to, and then let go into the turbulence of teenagers. Always a hello, and a good-bye.

This year, I realized Mother’s Day is not all about me. I think about how many women “mother” my children in some way, and realize I just can’t take all the credit. I believe mother’s day is a great opportunity to acknowledge the circle of women who shape and mold their lives, and mine. Women like the aunts, neighbors, teachers, counselors, mentors, or special ballet instructors- all of them deserve to be recognized for their role of mothering.

I am a mother of four, and all of them challenge me beyond my singular skills. Luckily, each have been touched by various women who see in them something I can’t, relate to them in a new way that amazes me, or teach me something about myself that helps me to become a better mother. Can any woman mother alone? Ask one, and she will tell you it’s impossible. It takes a gaggle, a village, a LOT of people to raise a child.

The attachment part is thinking we can do it all. The letting go part is surrendering to the wise hands that come along, and accepting help with gratitude. We are trained to believe mothering equates to super hero skills of single handed competence. Yet, life for women is more of a tribe than a race, and we simply must pull though together.

Sometimes the journey of motherhood involves the hello and good bye of our husbands or partners, and we are left alone to mother. Sometimes motherhood is the tough pill to swallow of having a new woman in your kid’s lives, and letting go of being the only mother figure around.  It’s a process of attachment and letting go that can be raw and intense.

This is a tricky subject. The world is watching Elizabeth Edwards as she faces marital affairs, cancer and a relentless public eye. She is the epitome of resilience and a model mother to their children. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of finger pointing and blame.

But, for many couples who split up, eventually the pain starts to ebb, life moves on and new relationships form. Divorce is excruciating- I know. Watching someone you love find another is gut wrenching. I also know that eventually, an acceptance comes that another woman’s hands are shaping the children, and with it a choice to take the high road or the low road.

Many women who mother our kids are shoved in the dark labels of our collective female archetypes: Step-Mothers and Ex-Wives. I believe they deserve a little credit on Mother’s Day too. Where’s the acknowledgement or gratitude for their efforts? Nobody gives the step-mother a card – you can’t even find one in the Hallmark store. Certainly no one would dream of giving one to the ex-wife, are you crazy?

I am a mother. I am also a step-mother, and an ex-wife. I was a single mother too. Each role carries its own rules, regulations and expectations. You are supposed to hate the women who come after you in relationships. You are supposed to mistrust them, ignore them or say every bad thing you can think of about them.  Kids are not supposed to like their step-parents, even if they really want to.

But, sometimes, with time and mindfulness, these women can be a gift to our kids. Our instinct as women is to tend and befriend our families and our children, regardless of circumstances. Kids benefit if both women can rise above resentment, and embrace the moving on. For me, one of the triumphs of motherhood is the letting go and allowing ex-wives or girlfriends to gift my children with their time and special attention.

A majority of families today are blended in some way. Single parent households or remarried households are standard fare. Yet, the myth of the “evil” step mother and vengeful ex-wife continues unabated. Wives are NOT supposed to fraternize with Ex-Wives. Ever. Step-parents keep their level of intimacy at bay.

I am very fortunate to be dear friends with my husband’s ex-wife. We spend many holidays at her house, and we both are very grateful for the mutual respect and camaraderie we have developed. She has no ties to my children, and every reason to ignore us all together, yet my allows my daughters to romp through her shoe closet, and engages in intellectual long talks with my older son that he savors.

I also have a great relationship with my ex-husband’s girlfriend, who teaches my daughter how to make Italian dinners that are beyond my culinary expertise. Both of these women have played a significant role in helping to shape my children’s lives. When do they get flowers? When is it going to be ok for mother’s to officially band together and raise our children in the village it truly is?

People often look at me as if I have two heads when they hear about our strange family ties. For me, it is source of pride, hard work, surrendering ego, and reaching for the highest common denominator. Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who dare to mother outside the lines.
Originally published May 2009

photo by: Linda Cronin

Before Mother’s Day, a Car Accident Brought My Mom and Me Closer

 You never expect to run into your mother in certain places: a nightclub, a concert, or at one of those juice-detox bars that are springing up everywhere in Los Angeles. But how about in the middle of an intersection on Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills? I mean, I really ran into her….or I better say I crashed into her! Yes, with my car, in the middle of a posh residential area in the flats of Beverly Hills. Luckily she was in her car as well or I could have done serious damage.

It all happened so fast. One minute I was driving home from an appointment. The next minute two boys on their bicycles by the street corner caught my eye, and the next minute I found myself swerving my car to avoid hitting a silver Lexus that had suddenly appeared in my path. Well, you already know that I did not succeed.

The first thing that popped in my head was I hope the lady in the car is okay. "The lady" drove her car to the side of the curb and I followed. I could only see the back of her head, and from the greying hair I could tell she was an elderly woman. Needless to say, I felt even more terrible. I immediately got out of my car to apologize. I knew I had been careless and had not paid attention.

Just imagine the sheer horror in my face, and my mom’s as well, when we finally saw each other. With both hands on the steering wheel, my mom leaned out of the window and squinted, "Angel, is that you?" I didn’t know what to do first: pick my jaw off the floor, drive and run to my room and close the door out of sheer embarrassment, or pretend that I was not me. The afternoon sun was glaring into her face. I could tell that she was clearly shaken up. And did I tell you, I felt horrible?

Nothing had really happened to my car, but her Lexus was badly dented. I made my way towards her, my eyes downcast, "Yes it is me, Mom." The words barely come out of my mouth. As I was reaching for my mother’s hand, a witness came by and asked my mom if she needed her testimony.

I ignored the question and asked, "Mom, are you okay?" My mom straightened herself up right away, patted her hair down, paused and looked down at her hands that lay once again on the steering wheel and quickly looked up at me. The mother that she is, her first instinct was to want to protect me, exonerate me of my guilt. "Yes, yes. I am okay. Are you?"

The witness interrupted us again, "Ma’am, do you need any help?" she asked. I turned to her and explained that I was her daughter.

She shook her head in disbelief, "I’ve never heard of anything like this!"

"I know," I sighed and turned to my mom. I got lucky; my mom wasn’t hurt. We both drove off, and of course, this accident became the butt of our family’s joke for the next week. I managed to get her car fixed within a week. As much as I nervously laughed and joined in on the joke with everyone, I wanted to quickly erase any evidence of what I had done.

A few weeks passed, and I was sitting next to my oldest brother at a restaurant. He was telling my husband and me how he is enjoying taking up the santur (a Persian musical instrument). His wife interjected and said, "He loves to practice, and what is so funny is that when the teacher comes the following week, he can’t believe his remarkable progress."

It was no surprise to any of us. My oldest brother, along with the rest of us in the family, tends to have this laser beam focus when it comes to mastering something. Granted he seems to take first prize in that category (he skipped three grades in school and recently won in a competition in downhill skiing), we all appear to have picked this habit up from both my mom and my late father. "Believe me," I said, "by next week, he will have skipped an entire method booklet." I looked over to my brother, Jamshid, and noticed him leaning back in his chair, chuckling, first looking down at his hands, then quickly looking up.

That was it! I instantly recognized that look. I leaned in and said, "You know, this very look you just gave? Well, it’s exactly the same look that mom sometimes has." "It’s unbelievable," I added. I don’t remember his response, or even what we talked about after that. I sat back, thinking how much I missed my mom. I mean I speak to her almost everyday, and we do see each other at least once a week. But this was a different kind of missing.

That night I went home and thought about how startled she was when I had found her after the accident, the vulnerable, yet strong look on her face. In our family, we all love each other deeply, but we’ve been raised in a very formal and traditional way. Outward displays of affection are reserved for big celebrations or special events. Come to think of it, in our Persian language, the word "love" is not spoken between a parent and a child or visa versa.

Blame it on my more American upbringing, my sensitivity, or even the fact that I felt bad for running into my mom. The very next day, I called my mom and asked her if I could come over her house. "Mom, I love you," I said in English over the phone. She let out a belly laugh and replied, "I love you too," in her strong Persian accent.

I felt stupid, as if I were an 8-year-old child. But I guess it doesn’t matter how old you are; from time to time, you want to feel mothered. I told her I wanted to come over so that she could give me a hug. There was a pause for a few seconds. I imagined she probably thought I had fallen out of the wrong side of the bed. But her voice cracked when she said, "Come over, my little one." Being the youngest of five kids and with a petite build, my father had nicknamed me — koochooloo, meaning little one. Once, when I was in my early 30s, I went to visit my father. Upon seeing me enter the room, he sat up, snapped his fingers, and flashed his blue eyes in delight. "Bah, bah! Koochooloo is here. She looks like she is only 18," he said. Well, I am sure I looked older than a teenager, but this goes to show that parents see their kids with different eyes. No matter how old we are, we remain their children — beautifully preserved in their memory.

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend! Share Your #mothersday Intent On Intent.com For A Chance To Win Our Mother’s Day Give-Away!

Intent.com invites you to share your Mother’s Day intents.

This week, our team had the great honor of hearing the Dalai Lama speak about the power of a mother’s love, a common experience that binds us all as compassionate beings.

Starting today, tell us how you intend to thank your mother for her unconditional love using the tag #MothersDay.

The person with the most supports by the end of Mother’s Day weekend will win a luxurious bamboo Yala Wrap – made by a mother/daughter team. We invite you to inspire your children and mothers with your creative intents!

 

 (Winner of the #mothersday intent give-away will have a chance to choose the color and size of the bamboo wrap. See product details and color options here!) * 

*Only limited to individuals with U.S. address

$15 Billion For Mother’s Day – How About $4 For A Brick?

According to the National Retail Foundation, Mother’s Day is big business and it looks like this year, total spend could top $15,000,000,000.

Besides this making me feel that the chocolates and card I give my mother every year is dragging the average down a touch, it makes me hopeful that this is a good year to ask everyone to consider donating $4 for a brick to not only honor their mother, but help a mother out in Costa Rica.

While here in the United States, we are starting to think about what restaurant to take Mom to or trying to remember what we got her last year, in Costa Rica, the mothers of one small village have much simpler things on their minds. Working with the amazing folks at the Mastate Charitable Foundation, these mothers are trying to build a small community center for their children to gather and play in.

So, we’re trying to help them, one brick at a time.

For the sum of four dollars, which pales next to the close to BILLION DOLLARS that will be spent on spa packages for mothers here this year, you can donate a brick to the Community Center (we need three thousand more bricks to finish the center._

Now, I am not suggesting that a brick be the only present you give this Mother’s Day, and of course, if you are a mother, maybe you’ll relate to the mothers in Costa Rica whose wish is for a better life for their children.

But I am hoping with the billions and billions spent this year, we can together donate $20,000 to help build this community center. After all with the great foundation in life your mother gave you, it would be nice to help another mother do the same.

To learn more or to donate a brick, please click here.

Brick by Brick, We Can Help Build a Community Learning Center in Costa Rica.

Sitting here in the United States, with Mother’s Day approaching, we all ponder what’s the perfect gift for our mothers.  But in many places around the world, Mother’s Day is just another early Spring Sunday, another day where mothers are more worried about the life they can provide for their children rather than their children even considering what present to shop for.

I recently returned from Mastatal, Costa Rica, home to the Mastate Charitable Foundation (MCF), a Marion Institute serendipity project close to my heart.  In this small rural town, MCF has been working tirelessly on building a Community Learning and Sharing Center (CLSC), which aims to serve as a social center, library, trading post, continuing education for women, meeting place for the community and much more.  So here’s where your beautiful gift of a brick comes into play. The CLSC building in Mastatal will encompass renovating an old vacant building with an additional naturally built portion using local labor and resources. In honor of Mother’s Day, MCF is selling daub bricks that will be used in the construction of this building that will help so many families. One brick, for just a donation of $4, added to another brick and then hopefully another one, will help finish that Community Center.  Last Mother’s Day, we were able to get to a little under 2,000 bricks donated and this year, we are hoping for more.

So this Mother’s Day, I am asking you to add a brick to your list of things to get for your mother.  The mothers in Mastatal are trying to give their community and their children the best opportunities they possibly can.  Your mother gave you a great foundation for you to live your life. What better way to honor her than help another mother do the same?

For more information, please visit www.marioninstitute.org.

Motherhood and The Divine Flow

May 8, 2010

Dear Friends,

Sunday, May 9th is Mother’s Day, the day we celebrate the women in our lives who conceived us, gave birth to us, and nurtured us as we began to establish our own individual identities in the world.

As I contemplate the beauty of motherhood on this special day, I can’t help but notice the similarity between motherhood and manifesting.

What similarity, exactly?

Well, as I have mentioned many times before, you are an innately creative being. No matter how happy and fulfilled you are, you will always be conceiving of things you want to have, do, or be in your life.Through your words and your actions you will constantly be giving birth to your ideas–to your desires, goals, and dreams. And by giving them your love and attention, you will continually be in the process of nurturing your creations–of helping them to grow into full expression.

In other words, whether you are male or female, whether you have brought a child into this world or not, in many respects you are–at the core of your being–a mother . . . someone who is divinely designed to bring something new and beautiful into this world.

As you pay tribute to your mother (or mothers), and to all the mothers living in the world around you, I invite you to take a moment to also honor the mother that exists within you.

Take a moment to celebrate that motherly part of you that is an open chamber for receiving divine ideas, and an open channel for bringing those beautiful ideas into the world, and giving them life.

Here’s to the joy of motherhood!

And here’s to the peace that comes from knowing that the whole universe is willing to help you with that wonderful and immensely fulfilling work.

Happy Day, Mother!

Steven

© 2010 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow

www.rowrowrow.com

Mother’s Day Reads: Featuring a Mennonite, a Mother and a Goddess

Let’s face it, Mother’s are pretty simple creatures and don’t require much on our special day. We love home-made cards, breakfast in bed, flowers or anything resembling a foot rub. I love books. I have found the tactile sensation of thumbing pages, underlining passages and triumphantly slamming it shut after the final words are read is one of my favorite ways to "Unplug and Recharge."

To celebrate Mother’s Day, consider giving your mom a new book, a nice cup of tea and some spaciousness to become lost in a great story. And I do mean b-o-o-k, not some sort of electronic gadget thing-a-ma-jig. I must admit, I am a dinosaur, and cannot bring myself to use a Kindle. It seems sacrilegious somehow. This past weekend I was returning home from the Wisdom 2.0 conference- essentially an "early Mother’s Day" gift for me of hanging out with friends, colleagues and fascinating people for three days with nary a kid in sight.

As our plane prepared to take off and fly across the country, I had a couple new books ready to roll, and was psyched. My seatmate, in 12D, took out his Kindle, pushed the "on" button – and nothing happened. Apparently, he fell asleep reading it the night before, the battery was dead, and he was now out of luck for the 3.5 hours in the air. I swear he was fuming for a half hour, while I smugly buried my nose in the musty smelling pages of sweet delight.

Whether you love the Kindle or book, here are three gems I have recently read that would make a fabulous Mother’s Day gift. I selected three different genres; including a hilarious memoir on par with Eat, Pray, Love, a poignant address from mother to her young children, and an inspiring collection of essays from an ‘A-list’ group that will inspire and energize.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen recently came out in paperback, and is a classic laugh out loud memoir that is impossible to put down, and reads like a great chit chat with your best friend in a coffee joint. Janzen’s book opens with the triple whammy of hearing her control freak husband is leaving her for a guy named Bob he met on Gay.com, followed by suffering a horrible car accident, and facing an academic sabbatical to fill. In order to cope and heal, she journeyed home to her parents and her deeply conservative Mennonite roots. Within the first ten pages I was cracking up, engaged, and hooked on Janzen’s easy breezy style, and sublime use of words- like calling the Mennonites " turbo-dorks." No one can say it better than Janzen herself. Check it out:

Kelly Corrigan is the author of bestselling book The Middle Place, and YouTube sensation, with over 4.6 million hits on her essay "Transcending: Words on Women and Strength," about her Mother and her circle of friends called "the hens." If you didn’t see it last year, belly up to the monitor with Mom, and bring some Kleenex. It is the ultimate tribute to women, and their ability to hold each other up. Corrigan’s follow up book, Lift, is a delicate, funny, and piercingly honest letter to her young daughters. Recognizing the precious "little girl" phase is quickly fading away, Corrigan sat down, and decided to describe "how it is with us" and capture the realities of motherhood in an age they are likely to forget as adults. Motherhood is hardly a picnic, and in fact is filled with turbulence, fears and sometimes regrets. The title, Lift, reflects the paradox of the mothering metahor. "Turbulence is the only way to get altitude, to get lift. Without turbulence, the sky is just a big blue hole. Without turbulence, you sink." I loved this little book like savoring a favorite piece of dark chocolate with rock salt. Here is Corrigan sharing a passage of the book at home with her girls:

Finally, a dear friend of mine sent me a new book called Goddess Shift- Women Leading for a Change- a non-fiction anthology of essays that is very different from the two lighter reads above. This book is hard core inspirational collection of essays from a truly amazing list of women including Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, Barbara Walters, Venus and Serena Williams, Jane Fonda, Riane Eisler , Oprah Winfrey, and Angelina Jolie. A fabulous gift to leave by the bedside, each of the essays are geared tocelebrate how far women have come, and to honor those on the forefront. Stephanie Marohn, the editor, describes it as,

"a celebration of our new community, the vision of a more just and loving world. Gathered in this book are some of our living goddesses who have much to say about what women bring to leadership, how women can empower themselves, and how women are creating change in all walks of life."

Goddess Shift offers personal insights that collectively are a deep treasure for women of all ages. Of particular note is all of the royalties are being donated to non-profit organizations that support women’s change, including the Global Fund for Women, Capacitar, and Tostan. Here is a wonderful interview from this week on Fox News about the book, featuring Olympia Dukakis talking about the goddess. Fox News and the Goddess? WOW!

Celebrate all the women in your life who have mothered you in some way. The women who made you laugh, made you cry, or inspired you with their love and leadership. Do you have any special books to share that celebrate women’s journeys, motherhood or empowerment? Love to hear them in the comments below and Happy Mother’s Day.

When Mom is in the World of Spirit

We all wish we had the idyllic relationship with Mom that we dreamed of, but most of us did not.  And if fact, if we are mothers with daughters, most of us do not have perfect relationships with our daughters.  And to take this thought a step further,  most relationships are not perfect and require hard work, patience and unconditional love. Relationships offer us the challenge we need to move forward on the spiritual path.

As we approach Mother’s Day here in the US, many of us have thoughts about our mothers, and it is a bitter sweet time for those of us whose mothers are now in the world of spirit.  Mother’s Day becomes a time to remember our mothers, as we are not able to go have lunch with them and present our gifts and cards.

The other day, I did a reading for a client, whose mother in spirit came through. This mother had been a difficult woman during her lifetime, and as my client and I communicated with her, it was clear that as a spiritual being, she has lost all her difficult mannerisms in the same way that people lose their physical problems when they pass into the world of spirit. What a joy it was to communicate with the spirit of this woman.

Those of us who had difficult times with our mothers when they were alive, and who also take part in the sacred practice of spirit communication, often find that over a period of years we develop the very beautiful relationships with our mothers that we had always yearned for.  Of course mom in spirit cannot take us shopping, but she can help us with our lives and bring the love and healing she was not capable of bringing during her life on earth.

Because mediums are able to bring us evidence that in fact we are in communication with the spirit of mom, we can have it proven to us that we are not involved in a huge fantasy. 

If your mom is in the world of spirit, remember her for all her best qualities on Mother’s Day, and if you were fortunate to have an almost perfect relationship with your Mother, you are very blessed. For the rest of us, let us forgive our mothers as we must forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made if we ARE mothers.  Mother’s Day is bitter-sweet, and let’s choose the sweet, as sweet is more healing and helps us move onward on the path of unconditional love.

Psychic Medium and Inspirational Author Carole Lynne

www.carolelynne.com

www.carolelynnecosmicconnection.com

Throw A Brick At Mom This Mother’s Day.

What’s a more thoughtful present for Mom this Mother’s Day than a brick? Not just any brick, mind you, but a daub brick.

Imagine the tears in her eyes, the quiver in her voice, as she realizes that finally after years of flowers and books and long brunches at fancy hotels, you finally got her what she really wanted. And she doesn’t even have to find a place to store it.

A touch more explanation might be in order.

Down in Costa Rica, the Mastate Charitable Foundation is trying to raise a little money, in support of Mastatal – a small community in rural Costa Rica about two and a half hours from the country’s capital. For a few years now, the good folks at the Mastate Charitable Foundation have been working in this town and their most recent endeavor is to build a Community Learning and Sharing Center (CLSC), which aims to serve as a social center in the town, as well as a library and meeting place. That’s where you come in.

The CLSC building in Mastatal will be naturally built using local labor and resources. And 5,000 bricks. This is where you come in. Because someone had the very good idea of selling bricks for $4 each in honor of your mother on Mother’s Day and if we all buy a brick or two, well, then guess what, we can together build this very important building.

These folks from the town itself can tell the story far better than I.

 

So please, toss a brick or two at your mom. Toss a few at some other mothers too. The more, the better.

 

 

A Mother’s Day Present That Gives Back

 It happens about this time every year. Suddenly you realize Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and you have no idea what to get for dear old Mom. Well this year the Marion Institute is offering a unique alternative to the same old greeting card and flowers. Their Mastate Charitable Foundation is currently running a campaign for Mother’s Day that not only gives you a great gift idea, but helps others as well.

 

Mastatal is a small community in rural Costa Rica about two and a half hours from San José, and the Mastate Charitable Foundation for has been working to improve the living conditions there for the past four years. Their most recent endeavor is to build a Community Learning and Sharing Center (CLSC), which aims to serve as a social center in the town, as well as a library and meeting place. That’s where you come in.

The CLSC building in Mastatal will be naturally built using local labor and resources. In honor of Mother’s Day, The Mastate Charitable Foundation is selling daub bricks that will be used in the construction of this building that will help so many families. Each brick is $4, and you can buy one (or as many as you like) for the CLSC in honor of your mother for an original and unique gift idea. It takes 5,000 bricks to build the entire CLSC, and the Mastate Charitable Foundation hopes to sell as many as possible to try to reach their goal.

Perhaps buying your mom some daub bricks wasn’t the first thing that came to your mind when you thought about Mother’s Day presents, but the reality is that it’s a thoughtful and different gift that most moms would appreciate. The mothers in Mastatal are trying to give their community and their children the best opportunities they possibly can, so why not give your mother a gift that helps other mothers as well?

For more information, follow the Mastate Charitable Foundation on Facebook.

 

 

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