The Value of Gratitude for Moms

I have been a bit of a road warrior this month.  Running from event to event and focused on CAPTIVATING audiences with my dry sense of humour and insightful thoughts and ideas on a whole variety of topics.   It is a lot of fun and I am very grateful to have this career that I created, but sometimes I do have to remind myself to be grateful.  Especially when I am packing for the trips and have to remember snow gear in MAY or am switching hotels for the 9th time in 10 days.

Alright – you have heard enough of people griping about the weather and I won’t add to the misery.  Yes, someone forgot to tell the weather Gods that we entered the spring season, and complaining about the mis-step is not going to alter the outcome any.

With Mother’s Day on Sunday, I decided that one thing I could do this morning is to express gratitude to a very important person in my life – my Mom.

Sometimes we take for granted the folks in our lives and these annual reminders can be a good place to regroup and think about the relationships that have shaped us.   We know how good it feels at work to be told you are doing a good job, perhaps our loved ones would benefit as well.  After all, motivation and enthusiasm grow with gratitude – our overall perspective improves and our energy rises again.  In gratitude, we find the inner strength to carry on (in spite of the snow falling every other day).

When I was little, every Mother’s Day my twin sister and I would make my Mom a variation of the same gift:

  • A stapled coupon book of chores I’d do for her pro-bono (vacuum, dust, give her a 10 minute back massage) that she’d never redeem
  • Breakfast in bed (often a disaster) or
  • a handmade card (usually created in class and brought home carefully so all the shiny little bits wouldn’t fall off)

And she loved them. Not because she couldn’t wait to watch us clean toilets as she kicked back on the couch, but because they were packed with love, implied gratitude and were all our 8 year-old little selves could afford.

As I got older and moved away, the gifts became more commercial and (perhaps) less meaningful – a massage gift certificate, store bought card and a house plant. And while they’re nice and cost me cash, they don’t say Thank You like they did when I was 8.

So while you might buy your Mom a fuzzy bathrobe, a scented candle or a beautiful Mumu, what she may also really appreciate is a wee gratitude list (okay and YES, a trip to Hawaii wouldn’t hurt – as you see us above).

Let her know why you think she’s so amazing – it will be good for you and for her!

Below is my Gratitude List for my fabulous Mom.  Take a moment to read it and then grab your tablet, smart phone or even an old fashioned piece of paper and make yours.  Time is a ticking…

Thank you for threatening to hug me as a way to make me smile when I woke up on the wrong side of the bed
Thank you for making me feel special by drawing a picture of me to take to school even though you just got off night shift and only wanted to sleep
Thank you for driving all night to be with me when my daughter was born too early and then spending two weeks making little meals so you knew we would eat
Thank you for always taking photographs on trips and at special occasions so we will have the memories to look back on and laughing when we call you the little paparazzi!
Thank you for making time to call and email every week even when you know I am away – just to let me know you are thinking about me (and for commenting on my emails and social media posts that let me know you care what I am doing and saying)
Thank you for making me go to church as a child so I could grow my soul (and sing badly in the choir) and then trusting me to choose my own path once I had all the information to work with
Thank you for bragging about me to everyone – even when I don’t hear you – I always know you are the biggest part of my fan club and more importantly that you are proud of me
Thank you for being funny and smart – and especially for being the pretty girl who sat with the loner kid eating by his/herself at lunch. You taught me to stand up for what’s right and to always be nice
Thank you for instilling in me an undying curiosity that has worked for me through three careers.
Thank you for being the cool Mom that my friends loved to hang out with – without being the kind of “cool” mom that let’s her kids get bombed in the basement.
Thank you for your wisdom, patience, sense of humour and love of family – without you, none of us would connect or know what is going on with all the other family members (or where our ancestral roots are grown – even if we don’t want to walk through strange cemetery’s with you all the time!)

I feel so blessed and grateful that I am in a family with a love of travel and a desire for connection no matter how far apart the years might lead us.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those amazing moms out there, but mostly to you Helen (My utterly amazing Mom!!)