If I think about my own mother (who suffered with multiple sclerosis for nearly 30 years), being a good mother is instilling confidence in your child. My mother believed in me, which allowed me to believe in myself. When she said you can do anything you put your mind to, I believed her. She also showed me that a disability is just a challenge to work through, rather than an excuse for not getting on with things.
Because of her disability, we had a lot of domestic help at home – cleaners, cooks and many kind neighbors and friends helping with rides to school, church etc. It’s only now that I realize that growing up in this environment made me very comfortable in my own adult life as a working mother to get outside help. That’s not to say that I simply trust anyone. Like in your profession, you need to make sure there’s a fit in personality and values. You also need to be diligent in personally checking references. Without even realizing it, my mother freed me from the guilt feeling that I have to do everything at home as well as succeed in my work. I’m more than happy to ask for help when I know it will give me more (fun) time to spend with my family.
Being a good mother goes beyond doing things and being there: moms are the CEOs (or co-CEOs) of the family – they set the strategy, values and culture of the family. Like a CEO a mother doesn’t need to micro-manage the household to be an effective leader. Successful CEOs believe in their team members. Successful parents believe in their children. When you believe in the team, you are constantly guiding, teaching, thinking about long-term plans and helping solve problems along the way.
On this Mothers’ Day, let’s celebrate the diversity of mothers and families as they continue to focus and invest in our future – the children!