By Shellie Miller – Farrugia
When we’re talking about fashion and style, the image that usually comes to mind is of a female. Although there are talented male designers, the clothing they’re creating is more often modeled by women.
When it comes to motherhood, the focus is always on those ladies in our lives who were the first to pick us up when we fell down, comfort us when we were afraid, and gently correct us when we had gone astray. Like fashion designers, each mother has her unique style. One mother may admonish a child for a rebellious behavior, whereas another may encourage her child to express their creativity in a way not necessarily expected by the social norm. For example, 28 years ago when my five-year-old son entered kindergarten, he proudly displayed a mohawk…a real one. Most moms probably saw that little boy as they relinquished their cherished babe into the landmark and frightening mystery of another “Baby’s First” and thought, “What kind of mother would allow this?”
There are the hovering mothers, who want to ensure that every moment in their child’s life will have a happy ending. They try in earnest to protect them from every pitfall, from the possibility of a bug bite, and any person who may harm them with criticism or harsh word. There are the organized mothers, who live life on a schedule of predictability. Breakfast at eight, lunch at noon, and dinner at six. There are the carefree mothers who want to make sure that their child has had at least one healthy meal in the last 12 hours. They’ll stay up late and watch a movie with them on a school night, may or may not help with that science project that was forgotten until Sunday night, but will always, always have that unconditional love that every mother does.
My own mother was the middle one, I could always be sure about mealtimes and my social schedule was usually in place for weeks or even months in advance. My husband’s mother, bless her heart, was the first type. She protected all three of her children from any possible moments that could be disappointing for them. As her children grew up and developed lives and relationships outside of the home, she pursued a professional career as a caregiver… something she was obviously very proficient at!
With more than thirty years of mothering experience, I can say that I have passed through both of these stages at times…and have very happily settled into the being more carefree, but not careless. I have realized that very often, babies do bounce, that their hearts will be broken no matter what I’ve done to protect them, and that I cannot maintain a strict schedule and my family’s sanity at the very same time. I have become the mother that your mother warned you about!
Whatever your mothering style, there is one guarantee. There are days when life will give you lemons. Because our styles vary, some mothers will make lemonade, others will make lemon chiffon cake, yet still others will plant a lemon tree and share the fruit with the generations who follow them.
Mom, you are amazing!