Living Arts Weekly: Mother

May 12, 2019

Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.  – Linda Wooten

Painting by Sagarika Sen

Happy Mother’s Day to all!  Kerry Ingram, LifeWays board member and founder of Mothering Arts, posed a question last year that I have been thinking about a lot lately.  She asked, “What part of you was born when you became a mother?”

Sometimes we get so excited that a baby has been born, we forget that a mother has been born, too.  Even if the mother has other children, this new child will ask different things from her, encourage her to grow in new ways.  That’s why it is important that we create a space for the postpartum mother to ease into the transition of life with this new baby, and support her on her journey.

So, as I think about this question, the answer that comes, in retrospect (since my own children range in age from 23 to 27), is “nonjudgment.”  Before I had children of my own, I quickly recognized the mistakes other parents were making, and could be quite judgmental about children having tantrums or parents using the TV as a babysitter. You can imagine the schooling I received along the way with three kids!  I didn’t lose the judgment right away, and it can still rear its ugly head with bothersome regularity, but looking back I see that a new capacity for non-judgment began to be born in me when I became a mother.  I’m grateful for it.

Amber, a participant in our online course “Living Arts Through the Seasons,” recently shared, “My kids inspire me be kinder. They train me unrelentingly to come from the heart, open up, meet them at their level. They can be the teacher sometimes.”

So, if you are a mother, it’s your turn: “What part of you was born when you became a mother?”  If you’re not a mother yourself, ask this question of a mom you know today. If you are yearning to become a mother, may you experience peace and hope on this day.

Blessings on your Mother’s Day,

Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts Weekly blog editor

Practical Activity

Rose Almond Milk

Speaking of Mothering Arts — here is a sweet treat for mama they shared this week.  It’s almost too beautiful to drink.  Click here for the recipe.

Creative Exploration

A Young Mother’s Spring Day

A Mother’s Day story from Pamela Perkins (reprinted from last year’s Mother’s Day blog post)

Young mother rabbit gently tucked her last sleepy kit into the soft grassy nest under the roots of the maple tree that stood at the edge of the meadow. Her little cottontails would be safe here under the cool shelter of the branches until she returned. This was her first litter of bunnies; she felt happy and content. Now it was time for her to go out for the day into the meadow sunshine to eat and have a drink of cool, clear water and perhaps stop by the thick cluster of reeds, cattails and bushes, where her friend Henrietta sat on her pale creamy brown and white eggs while Hector, steadfast rooster, guarded her. The eggs were due to hatch any time!

She slowly hop-hop-hopped over the little round pillows of moss under the tree and out along the meandering path that lead to the nearby pond. The warm earth felt good under her feet. Her nose wriggled as she breathed in the many sweet and spicy scents, her soft ears twitching this way and that.  She looked in wonder all around her at the flowers: the sweet scented violets shyly peeking out, the cheerful golden dandelions standing upright amongst their rosettes of toothy leaves, the grassy green spires of plantain, the purple and white clover, the tiny chickweed stars. She noticed the busy bees flitting here and there over the burbling water in the stream that leapt and swirled over the stones in tiny waterfalls that sparkled in the sunlight. The sky above arched deep blue, with fluffy white clouds floating dreamily by.

She nibbled her way leisurely down to the pond, then took a drink of cool, clear water before hop-hop-hopping over to a small still pool among the stands of rushes and cattails. Many tiny fish swam in and out of the tall reeds. She quietly called out towards the spot where the bantams had their nest; cottontails have the softest, tiniest voices. Within minutes, Hector popped his brightly feathered head out through the cattails to greet her.

They chatted briefly then Hector took the opportunity to take a quick dust bath, before pecking some seeds and bugs. He dunked his head into the water, lifted his neck up high, and let the cool water slide down his throat. He was a rooster of few words these days, but he did whisper the exciting news: Henrietta thought the eggs would begin hatching that night.

After Hector left, young mother rabbit roamed around the edge of the pond, greeting the songbirds she knew, kind Old Mother Squirrel and another mother rabbit who lived with her relatives on the far side of the meadow, closer to the farm.

It was late afternoon when young mother rabbit said goodbye to her friends, took a last drink of water, then nibbled her way hop-hop-hop, back towards the gently sloping path that lead to the maple tree where her kits waited in their soft grassy nest under its roots and sheltering branches. The last warm golden rays of sunshine mixed with the first cool evening breezes when Young Mother Rabbit finally nestled herself down among her babies, kissed them goodnight, and went to sleep.

Nurturing Care

Living Arts Through the Seasons

Join us for the summer session of Living Arts Through the Seasons!  Each month from June to August, a new lesson will open to inspire you to live your best summer — one that aligns with your values.

The summer themes are:

June- Adventure

July – Play

August – Spaciousness

Won’t you join us in visioning a summer that doesn’t leave you exhausted and bedraggled? Click here to learn more!

Social Awareness

LifeWays Parenting Circles

Each month in Living Arts Through the Seasons, we feature a different parenting circle idea — just a simple suggestion of ways to gather with other parents (and sometimes their children) for fellowship and support.  For the month of May, we included a great reflection written by Jaimmie Stugard, director of LifeWays Early Childhood Center in Milwaukee about their recent parent evening on Media.  Click here to read Jaimmie’s description of a respectful, meaningful parent evening about a challenging topic.