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Post-Mothers’ Day Musings

May 12, 2011 by  


By Karin Friedemann, TMO

Spring comes with it the exorcism of demons. Singing out loud. Dancing in the kitchen. Cleaning out the house from dirt. Digging ourselves out from under the mess. Yes, it is important. If we don’t do it, nobody else will. Going for long walks. I love the community that has a spring festival. Let’s all put flowers in our hair and wave at our neighbors. Let the Dandelions Live! At least until my toddler gets to them. The young leaves are tasty, nutritious, and help with ailments such as arthritis. If you go to Europe they will serve you dandelion salad at the restaurant. Anyway, we all know that spring is a time to enjoy the sun, the rain, and the wind with those you love.

All I ever wanted for Mothers Day was for my children to clean their rooms and by God they did it. They even mopped the kitchen too. My daughter gave me a lipstick for a gift. I totally needed this, since my younger ones had destroyed any cosmetic item I had before their birth. Hallelujah! There is nothing better than children. I always wanted a houseful of them. They are baking brownies right now. Can I hear another Hallelujah? Well, let’s hope they clean up after themselves.

Given the amount of work that the younger generation requires, it seems to be a miracle that the human race survives. It is amazing, how women take this burden upon themselves, with or without the help of a husband. I mean, it’s wonderful if a man can come home from work and read his children a story, but we are talking about a half hour of teeth brushing, prayers, and water refills. What about the other 23 ½ hours? Either these children have a mother at home, or she paid for child care.

Caring for children is a full time job. A 24 hour a day job. Those of us who work day jobs realize that after we come home, at least 50% of that remaining time belongs to our children. There isn’t anyone else around to pick up our slack. We cannot call in sick just because we have the flu. If our child has a bad dream, throws up, or feels cold in the night, we wake up and we deal with it. Even after the child has long gone back to sleep, sometimes we lay awake, wondering about all the problems and uncertainties of life. Even the worrying is part of being a parent.

Mothers Day is a beautiful day, but we must also give strength to all who give strength to the Mother. Do these people even exist? What will it take for us to will them into existence? Ultimately, we are all talking about loyalty to Our Mother, the Earth. Can we make things right by her? Can we help each other not to harm others? Can we stop trying to define and control other people?

There are so many beautiful women raising families in our community. Some of them have emotional support; some don’t. Some of us are enjoying life, yet some of us are merely surviving. Within our circle of influence, is there more that we can do to help children feel welcome in the community? It is impossible to separate women from children. You cannot insult the mother, yet praise the child, without putting the child in an ethical dilemma. If there are shortcomings in the mother, usually she needs help. We have to find ways of strengthening women’s participation in the community while allowing her children to tag along. So many political causes require adult participation without children.

Except in rare cases, women are the primary caretakers of children, and in fact, of the entire family. How can we make this job easier for them? Because our communities need these giving people to contribute their creativity, not just their daily survival abilities. Can we create a world where these people with so much life experience can still contribute to the community? Can we create a forum where these people’s opinions are welcome and their advice is heeded?

Some of the women in our communities are so intelligent, so empathetic, so clearly able to see the future. We need to listen to them. We need to find a way to make them feel like their contribution is valuable. We need to care about how they feel. We need to take their advice.

The most important thing you can do to validate a woman is to respect her opinion. When you do that, she becomes energized. Once a woman becomes energized, there is no stopping her. She will lead the way. This spring, let us validate the women in our lives and give them the energy to continue the struggle.

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