Happy Mother’s Day!

By Kathy Dunnehoff

Spring Break with girls 2015

 

 

 

 

With my girls, Grace & Ava!

Happy Mother’s day to all the women who have cared for and about others. I feel confident that’s all of us!

We may not have all held a crying baby all night, but we’ve still mothered plenty. We’ve hugged and held hands, gotten after and gotten silly with the people we love. We’ve said, “I understand.” Or “I don’t understand, but I want to.” And when completely necessary, “Knock that off right now!”

I hope too that we’ve let others mother us on occasion. I hope that we’ve cried and complained to someone who takes our side no matter what and later is honest enough to tell us we have the power to change what needs changing.

I hope that we all have someone in our lives who won’t let us get away with being too hard on ourselves or saying, “I’m fine” when we’re not, or settling for less than we deserve.

 This Mother’s Day may we keep on sharing our unique gifts with others and also happily accept a few in return.

Kathy

P.S. If you’re in the Flathead Valley, join me on Wednesday May 13th at 6:00 at the Lakeside Library for a talk on “Agents, Editors, and Amazon… Oh, My!”

The Mother a Child Needs

By Ann Minnett

When my first child was born 41 years ago, I was not thinking about her growing up.

Ann and Ginnie 1974

Ann and Ginnie 1974

Sounds crazy, but I was so overwhelmed with my precious baby girl that I truly lived one day at a time. Focusing on the day, the moment, we sort of grew up together. She taught me how to be a mom, and when my son was born two years later, I was better at it.

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Crissy and Keaton 4-24-14

 

My second grandson was born on April 24th, and my son and daughter-in-law asked us to stay with them for a couple of weeks to help. I was honored to be included, to witness their expert parenting of the newborn and the two year-old during their transition to a family of four. Could I have been that tender, that confident as a young mom? I hope so.

Something else I could not have anticipated when my daughter was born: Motherhood is not stagnate. The mother my children needed as toddlers—the one who preceded them  through strange territory like a mine sweeper to clear away dangerous objects or gripped their chubby hands while crossing a street—is not the mother my adult kids need. No, my grown kids need a mom who can distinguish between what is and is not my business and can hold my tongue unless asked for my opinion.

Are there stages of motherhood? If so, each subsequent stage involves a step back to allow the child increased independence. Sounds easy, right? Ha! It’s damned difficult! The toddler joins a playgroup, and mom waits out of sight until he picks up a toy and makes a new friend; the teenager pulls out of the driveway solo for the first time, and mom paces, waiting for the phone call that she’s arrived (more likely, mom does a drive-by later); the young adult chooses a partner that mom doesn’t approve of but mom offers loving support through the hard times; and the ‘child’ raises his own children, and mom falls in love with her son all over again.

John, Miles & Keaton 2014

John, Miles & Keaton 2014

Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day.

 

Grandmothering

Author: Betty Kuffel, MD

A Grandmother’s Love

Of all the topics one could write about I thought writing about Mother’s Day and being a mother would be easy. In some ways it is. My son brought joy and seeing him succeed in life fulfilled my most important goal…producing a happy successful adult who treats others with respect, caring and equality. That is, until I became a grandmother. On that day, my world changed. Instead of living and loving, my family broadened and became even more important. I thought a mother’s love was the epitome, the top, the Everest of caring, but love for my grand daughter surpasses all.

When I thought I might die from breast cancer, my sadness was profound, but it was not loss of life, but loss of seeing her grow up. Before I started chemotherapy, my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter arrived, along with my three sisters. Holding their hands, feeling their love and knowing they cared, gave me strength. My granddaughter brought me a necklace to wear throughout my treatment, a little image of her. I wore it close to my heart during that entire year. It gave me strength…but she is in my thoughts and in my heart every day.

jenna gramma nail polishGrandchildren make old people young again. You act silly, go on carnival rides that make you sick, swim when you’reP1010189 afraid of water, ice skate when your feet haven’t been in skates for 60 years, roll in the snow, go on cruises and even hold snakes. They help you through low spots and make you do all sorts of things you might not otherwise do. Life goes from sunshine to unbelievable meteor showers with just a smile and a hug!

P1010354jenna.snake 2Happy Mother’s Day to all who have experienced the love of a child.

 

 

 

The Day After Mother’s Day

By Kathy Dunnehoff

I lost my mother thirteen years ago, and my oldest daughter is about ready to graduate from high school. Mother’s Day has never felt more precious to me than it does this year.

Ava & Grandma birthday 98

Mothering is a complicated business. The day-to-day of it can range from mildly irritating to “I want to run screaming out of this house.” And those are some of the good days.

But the great days… ah, the great days. They will make your life.

My mother certainly gave me mine. My drive, my focus, my anxieties, my arranging flowers from the garden, all gifts from my mother. And, of course, she taught me how to be a mother in the same way I’ve taught my daughters, who have made their own internal list of what they will repeat and what they will do TOTALLY differently.

What is so particularly sweet about Mother’s Day this year, is the understanding that my full-time job, which I have done with all that I am, is about to be a part-time job at best. To be accurate, the hours have been diminishing for some time now. My girls, 18 and 15, have their own lives in addition to the one we share as a family. But while my hours as Mom have been cut, I’ve been bringing the same level of energy, heart, worry, and enthusiasm to the business of it.

The shift I’ve been gearing up for is the same one my mother had to make. What will our relationship look like when we get to define it ourselves? When the days of signing permission slips and sending lunch money are in the rear view mirror, what’s ahead on the highway?

Ava and I cougar fox hats

For my lovely, funny, energetic Ava, there is an entire lifetime ahead with all the joy and complexity the world offers.

Ava's senior photos 1

For me? I’m old enough to know that I don’t know. But my wish is to hold this Mother’s Day close to my heart and to know that every day after is just as precious.

Happy Mother’s Day

Kathy

 

 

 

Forever Mom

As I reflect back on Mother’s Day, it occurs to me that I’ve been in the mothering business for thirty-four years. My daughter was born in 1979, and my son turns twenty-five this month. For thirty-four years, I’ve been working this gig, singing this tune, fighting the good fight, and loving it. Challenging? Yep. Frustrating? Sometimes. Overwhelming? More often than I’d care to admit. Best job in the world? You bet!

Before the kids got grown and gone, I’d wake up on Mother’s Day to the sounds of pans banging in the kitchen as my kids prepared breakfast. After breakfast came the hugs, the candy, the gifts, and the proclamation that I was to put my feet up and take it easy for the entire day. Of course, the day never turned out that way.

Just as I’d get comfy in the recliner, I’d hear, “I can’t find the cinnamon, Mom.”

“Middle shelf, left side, cabinet by the stove,” I’d say.

“Don’t see it. Are you sure?”

I get out of the chair, go to the middle shelf, left-hand cabinet by the stove, push the jar of bay leaves to the side, grab the illusive jar of cinnamon and hand it to my child.

“Thanks, Mom” is followed by a kiss on the cheek and a hug. “Now go sit down, Mom. This is your day to relax.”

With a cup of coffee in one hand and the Sunday paper in the other, I sink back into the recliner.

“Mom, can I wash my new red pullover with my basketball jersey?” my son asks.

“Only if you want your white jersey to turn pink,” I explain.

“If I wash them on cold, it’ll be okay. Right?”

“Wrong.” I’m out of the chair again. I put down the paper that will never be read and set down the coffee, which will be reheated in the microwave at least twice before I finally give up and pour it down the sink. I grab the pullover and head downstairs to the laundry room. After I get the wash going, I get another kiss on the cheek, another hug, and another reassurance that it’s my special day. They mean well. They really do want me to “take it easy” and enjoy my Mother’s Day.

The truth is that after all of these years, the mothering instinct is too ingrained in my DNA to allow myself to enjoy lounging around while my family works. Whether the “kids” are four or eighty-four, it doesn’t matter. Once you are implanted with that mothering instinct gene, you’ve got it for life. But that’s not so bad because every now and then, they will admit (grudgingly) that Momma really does know best ……at least some of the time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Deborah Epperson

Deborah Epperson

Breaking TWIG

Breaking TWIG