Honoring the Mothers Who Shape Us
by Veronica Vaiti, LCSW-R
I attended my first blessing circle recently for a most precious friend and mother. This blessing circle took the place of our culturally accepted and expected “baby shower” and so instead of showering the second-time-around-mom- to-be with gifts of baby booties and onesies, we bestowed gifts of love, friendship, support, positive energy and blessings for a smooth birthing process.
What touched me most about this ritual was how we began. We were asked to introduce ourselves to one another via our lineage of mothers as far back as we could recall. For instance, I am Veronica, Mother of my two children, daughter of Nancy, who was daughter of Eleanor, who was daughter Benita, who was daughter of …I think you get the picture.
Taking this time to mindfully honor each mother who came before my very own wasn’t something I had ever really done before. Wondering what they were really like, who they might have been and how they may have approached their role as mother. I questioned if they enjoyed their role as mother or perhaps struggled with it. What support did they have? What nuances did they inherit from their mothers or pass on to their children and what if any of it continues to live on in me today? Thinking about all of this in a span of a few moments felt moving and profound. It was non-denominational, non-religious but universally grounding and poignant.
So at this time of year, when we honor mothers with a Sunday in the month of May, let’s take time to remember all that mothering and being mothered is really made up of. Honoring the mothers who have shaped us directly and indirectly, the mothers and mother figures we cherish and appreciate, the mothers we take for granted or even take issue with, the mothers we have lost and mourn but who never really leave us, the mothers we argue and wrestle with and the mothers who argue and wrestle with themselves. And in considering all of this – what are the lessons and meaning we are to find in it. For the lessons of mothering and being mothered are endless and will continue on for generations to come.