The good stuff I learnt from my mum
Posted on 11 May 2015
I've been thinking a lot lately on the good stuff my mum taught me. I get a new "oh that's why she did that" moment every now and again as I navigate this motherhood thing for myself. My mum raised nine of us kids, she ran a pretty tight ship and always seemed so intentional with her parenting, keeping the end goal in mind. I'm so thankful for that now (maybe not when I was 15 years old!)
Lately I've been remembering how, in-between being a pastors wife, and running a crazy large household, she always took time to maintain her hobbies. This book was a huge breath of fresh air to me, but it would have been old news to my mum. She worked hard physically and forged the way spiritually, as first generation christians.
One of her sayings to young mum's is being, what she calls "a self feeder". It's up to you to make motherhood fun. Feed your own soul. She had a great community of mothers around her when I was growing up, often calling in to friends places on our way home from school, just for a chat & a cuppa. I remember going to quilting group with her, us kids playing outside while she sat & chatted with her fellow patchwork-loving friends. I'm sure we complained every single time. But she still went because it was important to her.
She was, and still is, the most widely read person I know. Growing up, there were always books around the house and she now has shelves & shelves of literature in her home. I have memories of her reading whenever she sat down to feed a baby, or over lunch at the table. Her 'country living' & 'grassroots' magazine collections would have been mighty impressive. I'm sure that there wasn't always extra in her budget for little luxuries like that, but she made it happen. (Could be why we ate more lentil burgers than beef burgers?? haha :) - love you mum! : )
Having a clean and beautiful home was also something that must have given her much joy and reward. She would have beautiful nick nacks around and often made things for a centre piece that she would change seasonally. Nothing extravagant, but again thoughtful and pretty.
I often wish I'd gotten her 'neat freak' tendencies (cleaning definitely hasn't been my strongest trait) but I will be happy with the artsy beautiful stuff! I love that she taught me art, sewing, painting, calligraphy, home decorating. Beauty for beauty's sake.
I think I have allowed myself to fall into the trap of thinking that these traits are maybe weak or not as important as having a bustling & overwhelming to do list. I've let the intense season of parenting small children take the whimsy and joy from my everyday life. I really don't like that. It's not even my personality really. I love life. I love adventure and fun & memory making. I want to slow down and tell more 'funey jox' to my kids. To send my kids to play outside...and do NOTHING but watch & enjoy them. To head to the beach more. To read to these little people, to teach them to see the funny side of life. To teach them that beauty is important.
God could have made our world all practical and functional. But he didn't. He chose beautiful. He made life beautiful for beauty's sake. I'm glad my mum taught me that.