A Good Mother
By Terry Thornton
I have been reading all the wonderful stories written for “Since you asked” and am envious and sincerely sad that I didn't have the relationships with my children that so many of you seem to have had with yours. I didn't have a good relationship with my mother, and she didn't with hers, so I guess it passes down. But, no, I can prove it doesn't!!
I'm a grandmother now and, as so many of us do when we get older, I look back on raising my two beautiful children and wonder, just what makes a good mother?. I think I know now, but why didn't anyone tell me years ago when it really mattered? However, this is not about me but about a woman to whom being a good mother comes naturally.
First, I want to say, I do not think having a lot of money is the most important thing. Although it is much easier to do things with your children and be able to give them things when you do have money. There is also less stress in the family when money is not a problem. If you do not have to work a full time job you, of course, have more time and energy for the kids. More time for after school activities, going on class field trips, just being there when they get home from school to talk about their day.
When my friend had her first baby she was a working mother. Soon she realized working in the retail field afforded her little time at home with her daughter and husband. Fortunately, her husband had a good position and she was able to quit work and become a full time mom. My friend is from the generation of no hitting, and used time outs and reason with her two year-old. What??? Reason with a two year-old? I don't think so. I have NEVER seen my friend or her husband raise a hand to any of their children or, for that matter, even raise their voices. My short visits with this family had me convinced that this child would be the most spoiled and obnoxious child ever, I was glad I didn't live too near. I remember one time, when she was five, they asked her where they should eat. I thought to myself, I would never have even thought to ask my 5 year-old where we should eat. Just be happy we're taking you. So sad.
As the family grew (up to 4 kids now) I would hesitate going to visit, just knowing it would be yelling, screaming, multiple temper tantrums, and the kids in charge. Not once have I seen such. I remember one time one of the boys was acting up and his father just calmly took him into the other room and had a talk with him. No more problem.
Neither one of my children took part in after school sports. All 4 of these children do and guess what? Both parents are very involved with each ones’ sport. The dad was even a coach for the boys’ football teams. They attend every game whether it is at home or away. Sometimes one parent goes to one game and the other to the other child's game so neither feels unimportant. They encourage each of them to just be the best they can.
When my kids were little I would totally enjoy when they would go visit their father for the summer; but not this mother. When my friend and her husband went to get their 2nd adopted son, (oh yeah, I forgot to mention, she has two adopted boys), from Russia, they took all the other kids with them. I don't think they have ever left the kids with anyone for any length of time.
I could write pages on this wonderful lady, her husband too, but we are limited. So, I will say I don't think there is anything they wouldn't do for any of their children. I can't say they live for their children, however, the children are what make their lives happy and content and they would do anything for any one of their children. The oldest child (the one I thought would be spoiled) is now in college, graduated the top of her class and is one of the nicest, most respectful young people I know. All their children know, without a doubt, they are loved and that their parents will be there for them no matter what.
|My wonderful mom and me!|
This friend I write about is my own daughter. So, I guess things don't always pass from one generation to the other. Hopefully only the good things do!!! I am one of the proudest parents you will ever meet. Not just because of her accomplishments, although many, but because of the love and caring she shows as a mother. She and her husband were perfectly matched and I am proud to call him my son-in-law.
So, in case you haven't guessed, Terry Thornton is my mom. When she first sent this to me, of course I cried. While she makes me look good here (isn't that what moms are supposed to do?), I want to say that she underestimates her role as a mother to us. My brother and I will be quick to tell you that, while our parents were young when we were born (not such a bad thing when you get older, by the way), they were wise enough to know that they loved us unconditionally. Hands-down, my mom has always been my greatest advocate. She always stressed the importance of not only respecting others, but also ourselves - something extremely important for a young girl to learn. She pushed me to be my best and to never sell myself short. To this day she is my biggest fan (she was, of course, my very first follower here on my blog), and I ALWAYS know that if I need a pat on the back or a vote of confidence she is just a phone call away. While it is lovely and flattering to read such beautiful words from your mother, I wanted to post this piece in order to give myself the opportunity to say, "Thank you," to my mom. She has been the best mom to me and taught me so many things - all of which added up to my own small successes. May all of us be as honest, fair, and supportive to our children as my mom was - and is - to me. Hope you enjoyed, and thank you for indulging me by giving me the opportunity to introduce you to the woman who inspires me every day. Shame on me for not telling you this often enough, Mom. I love you.