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My Ode To Motherhood
My Ode To Motherhood - a celebration of being and having a mum!
Recently I have been thinking of many beautiful and, sometimes, funny things about being and having a mother. I have had songs, poems, ideas and my own mother on my mind. This lens is a consolidation of those thoughts and musings, the laugh out loud moment and perhaps a poignant one or two as well.
I am celebrating here the joy of being a mother and what it means to me to be one.
I am thanking my own mother and dedicating these thoughts especially to her. Even if it's taken me forty years to get to this point I can recognise all the love and nurturing that came from both my parents that made me who I am today. Having my own children now, I give special thanks to my mother for, in the words of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "though motherhood is the most important of all the professions - requiring more knowledge than any other department in human affairs - there was no attention given to preparation for this office."
What a wonderful and inspirational job my mother did!
Creating a conscious bond with my mother....
In the words of Charlotte Gray, "Children and mothers never truly part, Bound in the beating of each other's heart."
Words that wax lyrical to be sure... and yet how do we value the bond of mother and child once we are grown. What do we (or I) actually DO to celebrate the bond of motherhood that I would desire with my own mother and sorely miss if it wasn't there?
It doesn't have to be roses and poetry.
I phone my mum because I still need to hear her voice. Being a mother now also I understand that I want my kids to always call home and 'need' me in some way. I am investing the best years of my life in loving and nurturing them. I adore them from the tips of their toes to the depths of their hearts. It has taken my own children to help me understand that perhaps this is how my mother feels about me too.
We foster our common interests... the same magazine bought from two different news stands each week, an exchanging of the crossword answers and the odd bash on our djembe drums when we are together. It may not seem a lot (after all the water that has run under our bridge) but as we find our own ways in life as individual women it is enough to remind me (and I hope her) that we have survived motherhood to become friends.
And I love that the photo has a third little lady in it too. What would I have her know about me as she grows into a beautiful woman?
In the words of Washington Irving "A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us; when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and consuls to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts"
"Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same".
Pearl S. Buck
My Day - by Heather Bradford (that's me!)
I wrote this poem when my husband was away on a business trip and it is a real snapshot of one day in my life as a mother....
I groan awake; alarm is ringing
Persistent thing is unforgiving!
Must I acknowledge it is morning?
My muddled brain is busy yawning
Flush the loo and splash the sleep
Work skirts in the ironing heap
Kids have been up for a time
As I drag their uniforms off the line
Lay them out on unmade bed
The dog is yelping to be fed
Quickly text my absent lover
Lest he thinks about another
Nutritious lunch I'm quickly packing
Kids might see the food I'm wrapping
I need coffee; boil the jug
Give each one their morning hug
Call the kids to have their forage
This one wants some nice hot porridge
That one only eats rice bubbles
My third likes egg; if it's no troubles.
Please get dressed; I'll tie your shoe
My daughter wants a new hair do!
"I need some stuff for show and tell"
We'll be lucky to beat the bell
Love you, be good, don't be late
I'll be at the bottom gate!
Off to work, I start at nine
With smile in place I'm right on time!
Home at midday which is great
I really long to hibernate!
The towels are on so what is second?
Clean up breakfast I would reckon
Load the washer, eat some lunch
Check the time; it's way past brunch!
Sweep the floor a little bit
With toys around I can't see it!
Hang a load and do some more
Fold up clothes 'til arms are sore
Add some ironing to the pile
(That lot will take a little while!)
Drive to school (I should be walking)
Car is full of three kids talking!
Hungry tummies need some fuel
"Tell me what you did at school"
Homework done, son wants to bake
He sets about to make a cake
Kids at play and I start mowing
Our big yard is always growing!
Ovens off and phone is ringing
Hungry dog has started singing
In the shower I feel lazy
Dinner plans are very hazy
I know what! We'll visit Ronald's
Kids are stunned to eat McDonalds!!
"We love you mum" is quite endearing
And adoration's all I'm hearing
The kids are playing in the dark
They squeal at such a scary lark
Home again and teeth need brushing
Its story time so no more rushing
Hugs and kisses, cuddles tight
The lights are out and its goodnight
Checking email takes a moment
Wonder if my man will phone yet?!
Ice the cake; it feels like rubber
Should I let him make another?
Pack school lunches it's soon tomorrow
This is time that I can borrow
Exhaustedly I unload dishes
I'd have a maid if dreams were wishes
And get the kitchen prepped for morning
When once again I'll come in yawning
Nearly midnight; husband phoning
"What a day" I hear him groaning
"I've dined with colleagues until late"
I start to talk but hesitate
What could I say about my life?
I'd sound just like a boring wife!
"It's all so grand, please tell me more
Of course I'll pick you up at four
I've nothing on. There's not much doing
I miss you so" I hear me cooing
And while we chat my teeth I've brushed
The alarm is set and the house is hushed
I say goodnight; the day is through
Thank the Lord for His mercy too
Thus I sleep, for the day is done
Silently a new one has begun.
By Heather Bradford
Anita Renfroe's Mom Song
How could a lens on what it means to be a mother be complete without Anita's brilliant Mom Song? There's probably not a mum (mom) alive who doesn't relate to this and laugh out loud!
On Having Discipline...
I have this framed in my kitchen so everyone is reminded of my commitment to good discipline in our house!
I WILL NOT HAVE A TEMPER TANTRUM
NOR STOMP ACROSS THE FLOOR.....
I WILL NOT POUT, SCREAM OR SHOUT
OR KICK AGAINST THE DOOR......
I WILL NOT THROW MY FOOD AROUND
NOR PICK UPON ANOTHER.......
I WILL ALWAYS TRY TO BE REAL GOOD
BECAUSE I AM THE MOTHER.
(Sorry, author unknown to me).
Remember the home cooked meals of your childhood? There's a good chance they carried the same memories for your mother - having come from her childhood too. They're always known by their wholesome staple ingredients, are usually quick to make and are tasty and nourishing.
Foods I remember fondly from childhood are lamb chops and vegetables, monte carlo biscuits, anzac biscuits, banana cake, sponge cake, dried apricot jam, impossible pie, baked apples, five cup salad, and corn meat with white sauce and parsley. I think one day my own kids will be able to quote a very similar list although my cooking now has expanded to include a lot of international flavours and my mother-in-laws recipes too.
On this lens though, I thought I would share a staple in this house (for desert or breakfast) that my kids just love. It is definitely a recipe that is surviving through the generations.
BAKED MILK RICE PUDDING
Prep Time: 5 minutes and into the oven!
Total Time: One hour.
Serves: My three kids and a little for me if I'm lucky!
- Cooked Rice - any amount of approx half to one cup.
- 2 or 3 eggs beaten with a fork.
- 1 tsp vanilla.
- 1 tablespoon sugar (I use less).
- A good sprinkle of saltanas or raisins to taste.
- 2 - 3 cups of milk.
- Cinnamon or nutmeg to sprinkle on top as desired.
- You will need a baking tray that has the capacity of about 4 cups. I use an enamel baking pan.
- This will need to sit in another larger tray that is filled with boiling water before putting into the oven.
- Pre-heat oven to about 150C (300F). My oven is fan forced. If yours isn't perhaps a little hotter.
- In the enamel (or baking pan) spread the cold cooked rice. This is usually left overs in my house and the quantity always varies. It makes no difference to the pudding (apart from the amount of rice in the finished dish!)
- Sprinkle the rice with sugar as desired (I often leave it out all together as the saltanas are so sweet and I don't like my kids eating too much sugar) and saltanas or raisins.
- Beat the eggs together with the vanilla and milk and pour this over the rice. If you have a small amount of rice a third egg may be added to aid setting.
- Top up the pudding with milk to fill the four cup pan if necessary. The milk quantity will vary based on how much rice you are using.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg (or cinnamon).
- Carefully pour boiling water into the outside pan about 3cm or an inch deep. This should be approximately halfway up the inner pan.
- Place uncovered in the oven for one hour.
- Remove from the oven. Take care as (obviously) the water is very hot and unstable. I always remove the pan from the water and drain it immediately for the safety of my children.
- Leave to cool slightly.
- Serve hot, warm or cold. Enjoyable with canned or stewed fruit.
A mother is
a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
Art Featuring Motherhood
Many people appreciate and seek to express the joy of motherhood. This is, in fact, what I'm doing here too. It has been a favourite topic of artists historically and will continue to be so for the depth and beauty that is inherent in the joy of motherhood.
Mother and Child (detail ...
Quotes I wished I could use in my Ode To Motherhood....
because there are just so many good ones!!
- All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. -Abraham Lincoln-
- Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate. -Charlotte Gray-
- Blaming mother is just a negative way of clinging to her still. -Nancy Friday-
- Bringing a child into the world is the greatest act of hope there is. - Louise Hart-
- It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding. - Erma Bombeck-
- There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one. -Jill Churchill-
From Places of Wisdom.
Heaven liveth at the feet of mothers. -Mohammad
O men, respect women who have borne you! - The Koran
Her children arise up, and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:28
Is there an IDEAL mother figure??
Literature and life have provided us with many mothers and mother figures to ponder. From the ideals to the unimaginable, I'm sure they've all existed.
I've heard it said that children are either raised or dragged up - but either way they usually turn out OK!! Perhaps!?
Many of us have vowed to "never be like my mother" at some point in our life which pre-supposes that there is someone 'out there' who we believe more capable in the role!!
Literature has tried provide the 'ideal' mother as a substitute with disastrous and wonderful results. Cinderella's wicked step mother or Maria in the Sound of Music.
What do you think? (Comments will be approved before appearing to keep this space fun for all!)
Who portrays the ideal mother figure in children's literature?
Mother's deserve the best!
And of course that includes me! I love shopping amazon when I'm looking for something special!
eBay for Mothers
A great place to shop for mothers - gifts, clothes and (of course) lots more....
A Thank You to My Husband.....
I thought it was appropriate as an addendum to this lens to offer a thank you to my wonderful husband of twenty years, Wayne. I must admit that at times I have been tempted to snarl at him "You did this to me!!" and the moment passes just as quickly and I say it with great love, affection and gratitude.
Here's to fathers everywhere who love their kids and who, better than that, adore and dote on their kids mothers!
The most important thing
a father can do for his children is to love their mother.