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My Ode To Motherhood

Updated on September 20, 2014

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!

ode to motherhood 3 generations
ode to motherhood 3 generations

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

ode to motherhood park
ode to motherhood park

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

ode to motherhood cafe
ode to motherhood cafe

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!

ode to motherhood 2
ode to motherhood 2

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"

ode to motherhood eat out
ode to motherhood eat out

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

pizza
pizza

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

reading
reading

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!

motherhood discipline
motherhood discipline

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).

milk rice pudding
milk rice pudding

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

Cook Time

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!

Ingredients

  • 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.

Instructions

  1. You will need a baking tray that has the capacity of about 4 cups. I use an enamel baking pan.
  2. This will need to sit in another larger tray that is filled with boiling water before putting into the oven.
  3. Pre-heat oven to about 150C (300F). My oven is fan forced. If yours isn't perhaps a little hotter.
  4. 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!)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Sprinkle with nutmeg (or cinnamon).
  9. Carefully pour boiling water into the outside pan about 3cm or an inch deep. This should be approximately halfway up the inner pan.
  10. Place uncovered in the oven for one hour.
  11. 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.
  12. Leave to cool slightly.
  13. Serve hot, warm or cold. Enjoyable with canned or stewed fruit.
Cast your vote for Old Fashioned Goodness From Generations Past.

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.

Tenneva Jordan

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 ...

Enlarge image here.

ode to motherhood reading 2
ode to motherhood reading 2

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....

wayne
wayne

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!

Kisses!

The most important thing

a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

Theodore Hesburgh

Do you have a special memory of your own mother to share? - All comments welcomed!

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    • Mami Design profile image

      Mami Design 5 years ago

      Amazing lens - I really enjoyed reading your poem!

    • mantuamom profile image

      mantuamom 5 years ago

      Love your poem. I have many a day similar to this and often wonder where the day has gone! Beautiful lens :)

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      What a delightful tribute to mothers ... nicely done!

    • profile image

      cr00059n 5 years ago

      Got lots of inspiration and motivation from reading your article. Thanks a lott!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      enjoyed my visit her today, alot of great things to read.

    • canoz profile image
      Author

      Heather Bradford 6 years ago from Canada

      @Johanna Eisler: I don't think anyone who's had a mom like yours would be ready to 'lose' her.Your feelings are testament to what a beautiful mother she was. Although you can't see it as well as others do I'm sure her loving nature lives on in you. Thank you for your kind comment. My own mother will be pleased to read your comment on her special lens too.

    • canoz profile image
      Author

      Heather Bradford 6 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you for the blessing Tipi. It sounds like your mother was one too! Lovely memories!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 6 years ago

      My gratitude comes from a very full heart. Being a mother is one of the most joyful and treasured experiences of my life. And as a daughter who recently lost her mother, the memories are too numerous to mention, and as precious as they are, sometimes too hard to talk about. I so look forward to seeing her again in Paradise!

      I wish I were allowed to give you more than one thumbs up.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You have prepared a mother's table of delights here, wonderfully shared with all the love and refreshing of a mother's heart. I love your poem and laughed out loud on the behavior one...so true. You of course brought back memories of home baked bread served with mojakka, a Finnish stew...and then walleye, venison, homemade apple and blueberry pies, picnics on the lawn, story time, laughter, blueberry pancakes, bismarks filled with Mom's homemade chokecherry jam, Vicks on our chests and hot lemon drinks when we had a cold, how Mom sang "Chickery Chick Cha-la Cha-la" to my sister and I while she put calamine lotion on our chicken pocks....blessed!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      I loved your poem! Being a mother is wonderful, rewarding and exhausting- no doubt about it.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      What a wonderful lens - I don't have any particular memories to share, but I will share some SquidAngel Blessings with you!