Be the Wise Mom
This is not our year. And by “our” I mean you, me, and all y’all. It’s certainly not our year for celebrating — whether we want to celebrate new babies, graduates, significant birthdays, anniversaries, or the life of a loved one who passed — this is not our year. We must be the wise mom.
This is not our year and many of us and our friends and family are stressed. There is a time in everyone’s adult life when they just want to snuggle on the couch next to their favorite mommy-person — whether mom, step-mom, friend, aunt, grandmom, dad, uncle, or granddad. We want to snuggle with the person who can kiss a boo-boo and make it feel better. We want to dance with the person who danced with us in the kitchen when they didn’t really have the time. We want to listen and accept wisdom from our own, wise, mom.
Sometimes we have to be the Wise Mom.
Be the Wise Mom on Mother’s Day
It probably won’t be the best Mother’s Day you’ve ever had, and that may be stressing you or your family. That’s why you need to be the Wise Mom.
- You want the whole family to get together and take you out for Mother’s Day, but no restaurants are open for dining where you live? You will need to be the Wise Mom and accept that.
- You want the whole family to get together and take you out (or host you in their home) for Mother’s Day, restaurants may be open, but your daughter-in-law, son-in-law, daughter, son, or <insert term here> decide that they aren’t comfortable getting everyone together anywhere? You will need to be the Wise Mom and accept that and feel gratitude for what your family is able to do this Mother’s Day. * (NOTE: Wise Mom’s are not martyrs. See the final point at the end of this post for clarification.)
- Your whole family is chafing at the bit and wants to use Mother’s Day as an excuse to finally gather the troops and you don’t feel comfortable with that? You will need to be the Wise Mom that keeps those who listen to you safe, and accepts that at least one family member will accuse you of over-reacting and “Ruining Mother’s Day.”
Be the Wise Mom to Help Your Kids
If you have kids whose prom, graduation, sports season, or wedding (dang!) has been postponed, cancelled, or significantly curtailed due to the coronavirus, you will need to be the Wise Mom. As the Wise Mom, you offer a shoulder for them to cry on, commiserate, offer alternatives when they are ready to hear them, and (if needed) cut the conversation short when listening to the same angst again and again and again becomes a burden.
Because, sometimes, all of us just have to suck it up and move forward. Our little darlings can start learning that now, and our not-so-little darlings may need a new lesson. Bless their hearts. Be that lesson. Don’t jump down into their hole, don’t wallow in their mud, listen, hug, discuss alternatives, and move them on to another topic. #(NOTE: For help with this, see the next to last section of this post.)
Be the Wise Mom to Help Your Grandkids (and Therefore Your Kids, Too.)
If you can’t see your grandkids in person and all interactions with them must be through various video software, then be the Wise Mom and make that fun and helpful.
- One of my cousins has a pre-school-aged precocious granddaughter living with her parents in a different country (because of jobs). A retired teacher, this cousin has a weekly “Grammy Schoool” one-on-one time with her granddaughter, with fun, age-appropriate lessons. My favorite was the lesson about compound words when she showed her granddaughter a picture of a corkscrew, asking, “Do you know what this is?” Her granddaughter did not, but as Mommy heard from another room “This is a corkscrew. It is what your mommy uses to open her wine.”
- As long-term cruisers, we know many grandparents who get to know their grands from a distance. Most of them pick a storytime and read from books they’ve sent to the kids. Others give fun music or other lessons or send videos and material to teach the grandkids about the part of the world (or state in the country) where Grammy is living now.
- Now may be the time to get older kids interested in interviewing you for information about the family that will be lost when you are gone.
- Or perhaps you want to start writing little stories about things that happened in the family years ago and share them a few at a time. (As you may remember, that is one of the things that is working for me.)
- How daring are you? NPR had a fun piece on how seniors are using (gasp!) TikTok to post things that make their grandkids laugh and encourage them to accept (age-appropriate) challenges. (If you do this, please share in our group. We need to see this.)
Be the Wise Mom and Help Your S.O and Your Friends
If your friend or family group has had to cancel a trip, reunion, celebration of life, then you need to be the Wise Mom. As Wise Moms. we need to be the calming voice, the person who models accepting the things we cannot change. We need to help others find alternatives. We need to listen to their angst and sorrow with love and empathy.
# Be the Wise Mom and Take Care of Yourself
Being the Wise Mom means that we each pay attention to our inner voice, our body, and our mental health. We cry when we need to cry, exercise when we can, relax as we need to, and take a step back when we need to take a step back. And if we need to, we seek and find help.
We model self-care and let our friends and family know that being stressed and sad and angry is OK. We model self-care and remove ourselves from toxic situations and get help if we need to. Now, more than ever before, a Wise Mom takes care of herself.
* Be the Wise Mom and Ask — Don’t Hope
Finally, we are talking about Mother’s Day, and this Mother’s Day is not one you can leave to chance. Knowing what the limitations are, tell your kids, significant other, or friends how you would like to celebrate and be celebrated. Be clear about your expectations. Ask. Tell them what is important to you and negotiate where you have to. (Just please, stay safe. Don’t endanger yourself or others for the sake of one day.)
Whether you are a mom by birth, marriage, chosen, or a loved and respected aunt, honorary aunt, or other — you deserve to be celebrated. Be the Wise Mom and help your dear ones create a happy memory for and with you. Be the Wise Mom and help another mother. Who knows, this could go down as one of your top-ten favorite Mother’s Day.
And to every woman reading this, Happy Mother’s Day!
Each and every one of you deserves that.