Sep 19, 2011

Support System

As a mother of three toddlers, I often feel worn out and unappreciated. I can put a lot of effort and thought into a meal only to have it rejected. Or, spend money I really shouldn't have on an outfit for my children only to have them stain it in a few seconds. Or, treating them to a lunch out at a diner only to have them throw a tantrum over not having exactly the meal they desired. Or, pick up toys and sweep only to have the floor cluttered and dirties again before I blink. Sure, this is life. But that doesn't always change how we feel and how we feel often does affect our attitude. And, our attitudes affect the whole family.

It is true that in serving our families we are really serving God, a higher purpose to our servitude. That can and will enhance our already driven sense of purpose as mothers. It also helps to have a support system. Some moms may have family that live nearby and help out. A grandma usually makes for an eager babysitter. Also, a hug and a listening ear can be priceless. Mothers of toddlers often have whopper stories and just need to share them with someone who has been in their shoes. There are no real words of wisdom necessary, just consistent understanding.

When no family support system is waiting across town, there are other options available in most established towns. Look for Meet-up groups, organized play dates, church groups, and Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) groups. And, you can generally meet other moms when you visit your local library or park. I am attending my third year in MOPS and our first meeting is this Wednesday morning and I am really looking forward to this because we are new to this area and I am in need of camaraderie. I would go so far as to call it healthy and necessary to cultivate a support system.

A few quotes celebrating a mother's love and reflecting on motherhood:

♦ A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother's love endures through all. ~Washington Irving

♦ No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard or as responsible as the work of a woman who is bringing up a family of small children; for upon her time and strength demands are made not only every hour of the day but often every hour of the night. ~Theodore Roosevelt

♦ Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away. ~Barbara De Angelis

♦ Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of life. ~Maureen Hawkins

♦ The debt of gratitude we owe our mother and father goes forward, not backward. What we owe our parents is the bill presented to us by our children. ~Nancy Friday

♦ By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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