When asked to name the one person who was their strongest supporter, loved them unconditionally and influenced them the most, the majority of people would name their mother.
The maternal bond is strong, and for those of us who grew up with a woman who was tough on us for no other reason than to make US tough enough to handle life’s experiences, we realize (perhaps too late) that all past Mother’s Days should have been spent expressing love and gratitude with words rather than gifts.
According to a Fundivo survey in 2016, eight out of ten Americans planned to celebrate Mother’s Day, spending over $21 billion dollars on the holiday. I can remember drawing pictures, making cards, buying flowers and candy for my mom over the years.
My mom was always appreciative and returned the favor when I became a mom. She was a first generation American, born to Polish and Ukrainian immigrants who came to this country in the early 1900s. Her perspective on parenting came from her own parents: raise healthy children who become productive adults.
She told me many times that her parents considered themselves successful because all eight of their children survived childhood and became adults who got married, had children and supported themselves. She did not have a relationship with her mother that involved shopping, going to movies or out to eat. She simply knew that her mother loved her because she took good care of her.
Low attachment to caregivers, as in the mother-child bond, plays an important role in later behavior and delinquency problems. The closer a child is to their mother, the less likely the child will be at risk for delinquency.
Research has shown that a strong adult in a child’s life can make a difference in not only their attitude about themselves and the world around them, but also in their decision to make healthy choices about drugs and alcohol.
Mom wisdom, aka “Mom-isms,” is a term I recently learned that not only made me smile but made me realize that everyone needs someone in their life giving this advice. Examples of “Mom-isms:” “When you have your own house, then you can make the rules.” and “So what if Sally’s mom let her do it. If Sally’s mom let her jump off the Empire State Building, would you want me to let you do it?” and “I’m doing this for your own good.”
Who in your life challenges you to be your best with love and understanding? Is there someone who is looking out for you, making sure you get honest advice to keep you safe? Have you realized as an adult that this advice needs to be passed on to your own children?
My wish this Mother’s Day is that all mothers know how important they are and continue to dish out the wisdom that comes with love and devotion to their children.