This precious month for me will always be significant to me as it is the month I officially launched “Finding your Inner Goddess”, it’s the month my mother would have celebrated her birthday as well the anniversary of her passing.
Sunday 13th May was mother’s day in many parts of the world. To all moms I salute you for the work you do. What does Mother Day mean: a day in the year in which mothers are honoured by their children as well as step or adopted mothers are honoured.
As a mother I’m passionate where my children are concerned and I’m also a step mom which I am proud of, but, let’s be frank here – step parenting has been a journey of many roads travelled; so many lessons learned and new understandings gained, allowing me to grow.
The hardest part of being a step-mom has been its severe challenges, tough at times, but a necessary journey in my case. I am a mom to all our children, but I will never, and have never tried to replace my step-sons mother as that’s not my place, and all I can be is their other mom and to be there for them. I believe that children model themselves on their parents and that is why it is so important for mothers to be a shining example. Princess Diana said “I will fight for my children on any level so they can reach their potential”, and what an incredible mother she was.
Last year we didn’t celebrate mother’s day with my beautiful mom as she had passed away on the 2nd May, this will be my second mother’s day without my mom. My mother was a beauty queen and an absolutely stunning model in her day. I can remember her as this incredibly elegant woman always with make up on and never untidy at home, even when she wasn’t going out or at work. She was a mother of five and also a step-mom. Was my mom perfect – not at all; did she have favourites – absolutely! Often as a child and growing into my adult life I felt very sad and rejected because of the favouritism but then I was blessed to have been given a twin sister who was my companion and my best friend. Perhaps my mom felt that we had one another, although I’m not sure. My parents got divorced when I was very young, and though I had a step-father, my mom was the parent figure in my life. Had my mom dealt with all her challenges I know her life would have been so different.
At the age of around 15 I met an incredible woman who became, in my eyes, my second mom. I know her as Mrs Thatcher and she always loved me and embraced me into her home like her daughter. To this day we are still in contact, and, although she lives in Durban and I am in Johannesburg, whenever I’m in that part of the country I always pop in to see her.Mrs Thatcher and I can catch up were we left off as it doesn’t matter how long ago we saw or spoke to another and I’ve always told her she was my other mom. You don’t have to have a mother who birthed or raised you as you can have that relationship with someone else, such as I did.
As we move into adult life we marry and are gifted with another mom – a mother-in-law. Some mothers-in-law are from hell, whilst others are a pure delight. I often wonder why mom-in-laws are so impacted by their daughter-in-laws; sure daughter-in-laws also can be crazy. This dynamic was never on my agenda as I hated conflict and I was taught about respecting others. My first mom-in-law was a very sweet woman, Mom Kramer loved by all. We celebrated our birthdays together, I used to laugh and say to Peter that he married me to remind him of his mom. How special it was to celebrate my birthday not just with my twin but also with Mom Kramer, sadly she passed away 2nd September 2017 – 5 months after my beautiful mom’s passing.
My relationship with my other mom-in-law Mom Andrew was one that started off very badly due to the misguided and poisonous things she was fed by my husband’s ex. It took 7 years before she finally got to meet me, and, we did meet it became a relationship that had to be worked at every week. I believed in my marriage and I believed in my husband, so for me it was vital that Mom Andrew knew who I was and not who she thought I was. I could have turned my back on her and become the daughter-in-law from hell but to what advantage? Every moment of our life is critical for our wellbeing, and it wouldn’t have served me to be otherwise, absolutely not. In time she got to know me for who I was and my core values, we ended up having a relationship that we were comfortable with. I spoke to her every single week, when she was ill I flew down to Durban and spent time with her making sure she was comfortable. I remember when she phoned me the last time I spoke to her she really didn’t sound well at all, it was a Saturday morning and we chatted for about an hour, it was as if she needed to talk to me about some of the things on her chest, she said Gary can phone her on the Monday. Gary was away on a golfing weekend, that night when he phoned I mentioned that his mom didn’t sound so great. When Gary got back Sunday afternoon I insisted that he phoned his mom which he did. Thank goodness he did as she passed away early hours of Monday morning, 7/4/2014.
27th May is my mother’s birthday. Even though she has passed on, today will always remain her birthday, for someone to minimise it by saying that she is no longer here shows no heart or empathy. I celebrate my mother for the beautiful woman she was and what she had instilled in her children. When the simple act of picking up the phone to chat to your mom when you need it most isn’t there anymore – that is when reality hits.
When the words “I love you my child” don’t come anymore that’s when reality hits.
I wrote a poem a few years ago as a Step-mom for all Step-children to understand.
It is very important that as women we honour one another, we honour our mothers. I look at the way that so many of the younger generation treat their mothers and I’m appalled. I don’t know if it’s the age of Reality TV that we see that the younger generation feels it okay that they have carte blanch to disrespect their parents as they do. Moms have their journeys and moms have a lot they carry with them, so I believe until one has walked in their shoes don’t judge and don’t expect to be treated like a princess or prince if you don’t treat your mom with respect. As we are a God given gift so are our moms. One day it might be too late to go talk, hug or say to your mom I love you – that’s how I see it. If you are wondering about my relationship with my children, I can honestly say I have a really good healthy one with each of them. I am blessed with their personal values and growth, and with their choices as well as the respect they show me. I am blessed with who they have become.
As women we go through many phases in our lives which create so many emotions within us. We carry much on our shoulders, putting aside our own “stuff” to be there for everyone else. When children come into our lives we continue to put our “stuff” deeper in boxes as it becomes easier than dealing with it. When we get comfortable with doing this we put our very needs last, having chatted to a few women I have found it’s incredible to see how we all have this common denominator – everyone first, ourselves last. How great would it be if schools could teach life coaching so as adults we can understand coping skills instead of putting it in the box and closing the lid? My word, I had boxes and boxes to unpack, today I deal with the issues as they come up – there and then, and I can’t and won’t do the boxes again. Regarding boxes I have had to do deal with this for my own self growth but that will be for another day.
Never loose heart in who you are – for as you nurture yourself – you nurture others. Your children will have the mother they need; the ripple effect is rewarding for everyone.
Happy you – happy partner – happy children– happy family….. And so the cycle is formed.