Principal’s Message May 2012
In my job I am always on the look out for great teachers. I think I am pretty good at it and all thanks to one of the best teachers I know, the one who brought me into this world… my Mother.
From as early as I can remember, my Mom was always teaching me something. Sometimes she deliberately set out to teach (like how to properly iron a shirt, make a bed or cook a meal) but more often, she simply taught by example.
My Mom always was and still is full of clichés and expressions. Over the years we have all had a good laugh about them and I know that we have secretly tried to predict which one my Mom might use for each particular situation or story that comes our way. Despite the laughs we have had about them, these words of wisdom are pretty much the truth and I have come to think of them as words to live by.
My Mom taught me to always do my best – “anything worth doing is worth doing well”. When I was a child I watched my Mom work so hard and, in comparison, I felt I was a very lazy person. I wondered how I would ever be able to make anything of my life when I could never imagine myself working as hard as my Mom. Well, I still don’t work as hard as my Mom, but through dedication and a good work ethic, I have been able to successfully build a business and make a decent living and, with the help of a cleaning lady, my house doesn’t look too bad!
My Mom taught me to be a good friend – “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. Over the years I have watched her visit hospitals and funeral homes, make food and attend funerals, spend countless hours on the phone, even in the middle of the night, with sick and dying friends, without a thought of what she may get in return. She is a great talker but she is also a great listener – “Think what you like but don’t say it!”
Most importantly, my Mom taught me to be a good mother “The only one that sticks by you and forgives everything is your mother”. My Mom has always been ‘home’ to me and I have tried to be the same for my children. My Mom was pretty strict but she has always shown her children kindness, love, support and encouragement. If you got turned down for a job you were hoping to get, she always said, “Well that job wasn’t really right for you anyway. Something better will come along”. If you didn’t get as high a mark at school as you were counting on, she would say, “Don’t worry, marks aren’t everything!” and when, after countless attempts to have a family, there were still no babies for me she would say, “What you don’t have to make you laugh, you won’t have to make you cry!” Thankfully that wasn’t my destiny and when my beautiful children came into my life my Mom opened her life and heart to them as well. They have spent countless hours learning and laughing with their Grandmother. Parenting my siblings and me wasn’t always easy but Mom showed us all that a mother’s love for her children is like nothing else in the world.As I get older I find myself more and more saying things that could have come right out of my Mom’s mouth. My first thought (like most daughters I am sure) is “Oh my goodness, I sound just like my Mother!” But you know, that isn’t such a bad thing. I can only hope that my legacy will be half as great as my Mom’s.
When you do any research on mothers today there are so many labels to choose from. There is “The Hip Mama”, “The Late Mother”, “The Tiger Mother”, even “The Mean Mother”. My Mom wouldn’t know what any of these are, nor would she care. In her generation being a mother was just a part of their lives, not their defining purpose. She didn’t lose herself as a mother; she in fact drew strength from the role. She did the best she could with whatever she had. I know that I am a better person for having the Mom I did. She has been my best teacher. Her words and actions have inspired me to become the person and the mother that I am today.
Do you ever ask yourself what kind of mother you are or how you want to be remembered? My advice is simple, just be the best mother you know how to be. If you love unconditionally, listen like no one else can, say “no” without apology, teach life skills, prepare your child for the world (not the world for your child), take control, be present for your family but hang on to yourself, you will be okay.
Happy Mother’s Day and never forget how very important you are to your children. Remember that you are their best teacher.
Principal and Founder
Children’s Garden School