May is Mental Health Month. It is also the month where we formally pay tribute to the mothers who nurtured us, provided safe environments, and modeled the tools needed to cope with daily stresses. I imagine these events being purposefully linked to show the connection between the institute of motherhood and the perpetual cycle of resilience that mothers pass from generation to generation.
Although motherhood often comes without training, the mothers I know, my own mother included, appear to have been born with innate skills, capable of sharing critical strategies while performing unlimited roles.
Mothers serve as:
Life Givers - Wrapping their entire being around a single cell, creating the first safe and trusting home from which every human grows.
Guardians- Accepting full responsibility for 18 years of another’s life and choices.
Teachers- Sharing feedback and wisdom to shape a mind, body and spirit.
Inquisitors- Asking questions to drive critical thinking and problem solving.
Emotional Counselors- Listening gently to encourage the facing, embracing and releasing of fears.
Moral Mentors -Promoting values and commitment to love and show kindness toward self and others.
Story Tellers – Bringing to life imagination, creativity, vision and passion for life.
Cognitive Re-framers – Re-focusing negative misconceptions that limit success into positive opportunities for growth.
Coaches – Inspiring possibilities and motivating the following of hearts and dreams.
Judges and juries- Assessing actions and granting forgiveness and punishment fairly.
Chief Home Officers- Managing a plan and highlighting the organization and flow of the multiple complex moving parts of a household, a home and a family.
Social Directors – Planning play dates, scheduling lessons, mending broken hearts and encouraging communication and conflict skills to achieve healthy relationships.
Health Advisors- Providing home grown and personally proven wellness remedies that support moderation and balance.
I am grateful for the collective roles and messages mothers share. I am also thankful for the specific ones my own mother passed on and for my opportunity to model these strategies and pass them on to my daughters.
Catherine Florio Pipas
Dedicated to my mother, Maryanne Florio