Some women may never actual become mothers themselves, but they spend a great deal of their time caring for others. They bring out the best in others, they inspire and engage us with their mere presence and they nurture and develop the wellbeing of others. If that isn't embodying the qualities of a mother then I don't know what is. However, what I do know is that you certainly do not need to carry a child in your womb to embody the essence of motherhood and become a role model or inspiration to others.
According to psychologists, in order to be be a good mother (or parent) you need to have a few skills and traits. These traits (not surprisingly) have nothing to do with how much money you have, how big your house is or how many toys or designer clothes you can afford for your family. In fact, most of these traits come from the wellspring of emotional intelligence - you know the stuff that I am always banging on about on my blog? Yep, turns out that emotional intelligence not only makes you a great person, it also makes you a kick arse parent as well. So let's take a closer look at the top ten great parent traits.
1. Patience: a bit of a no-brainer right? As mothers we need to have patience in buckets. Kids are messy and noisy and are often really annoying as well and this requires the patience of a monk to navigate. If you aren't meditating yet, I suggest that you do asap!
2. Multi-tasking: this is a hotly contested topic these days, because mindfulness teaches us that doing lots of things at once isn't actually that good or productive, but whoever said that clearly hasn't had a couple of kids to wrangle! If you can't deal with lots of things going on that you mostly have zero control over then motherhood probably isn't for you!
3. Encouraging: Just like adults, kids are riddled with self doubt and fear. They need a lot of propping up and guidance and they also need to learn early on that it is okay to make mistakes and get things totally wrong. Encouraging resilience instead of perfection is a terrific way to support your kids and be a super mum.
4. Intelligence: Hard to teach them if you don't know yourself. Having mental, physical, emotional and social intelligence is not only going to make parenting a shitload easier, it's gonna make you a bloody legend! Get smart and be smart!
5. Flexibility: As a mother you will need to be adaptable and resilient. When kids are around things can (and will) change in a heartbeat and you need to be able to adapt and accept that whatever will be will be, just like Doris Day said.
6. Leadership Skills: Okay, no matter how much you want to, you can't boss the kids around, but if you have strong leadership skills then your kids are more likely to want to do the right thing on their own steam without you having to bark orders at them like a drill instructor. With positive role modelling and leadership, children will generally be able to lead more efficiently themselves.
7. Dependability: You have to be good to your word if you want to be a good mother. Kids can smell bullshit a mile away and they do not take kindly to being let down by wayward or unreliable adults. They will also be more honest and trustworthy teens if you set a good example in the early years.
8. Compassion: Kids need comfort, they need a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear to confide in. Regardless of whether they are wrong or right, Children need to feel like their parents are in their corner and their feelings need to be validated just like adults do, so offer compassion without the side of judgement or shame.
9. A Sense of Humour: Laughter is the best medicine - it's true. Teach your children to laugh at the world, themselves and their worries. By keeping things light you will reduce the stress and anxieties of the world and allow your children to find the smile in any situation.
10. Self Awareness: Kids have no idea how to act, mostly they just go with whatever they think will work at the time, often they are way off the mark. Many times they will just mimic whatever you do, or your reactions to situations so you need to have a handle on your own modelling and choices. Work on your own self awareness so that you can be the best role model for your children.
Now have you got all that? Easy right?
There is no doubt that being a good mother/parent is a tough gig that requires your utmost attention and effort, but my god - the rewards! The rewards of having a wonderful relationship with your children far outweighs any difficulty or challenge that may arise along the way.
And as I said earlier, I have experienced all of these beautiful and loving things from many other women in my life and some of those women are not even mothers yet. So don't despair if you never got these things from your own mother because there are millions of amazing, loving, generous and nurturing women in the world that can offer you all of these things and so much more.
So go on, be a great mother, or be like a great mother, or be a great woman or better yet, be all of those things - just be great! And on that note I will say - Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful women in the world who give over of themselves to support, teach and nurture the lives of others. You are bloody amazing!
Release Date: 2019
Running Time: 122 mins
Every now and then, if you're lucky, you will happen upon a movie that is so enchanting and so beautiful that every frame feels like a piece of art, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is that movie. When it comes to romance, passion, adoration and fascination this historical French language film wins on all fronts, delivering something that is not only deeply contemplative but visually stunning as well.
Marianne, a painter, is commissioned to paint a portrait of a troubled young woman named Heloise. Heloise's mother has been unsuccessful in getting her to pose for paintings and encourages Marianne to act as a hired companion to try and keep her portrait painting a secret. It is not long before Marianne becomes enchanted with Heloise, who is betrothed to another and the two women begin a controversial love affair.
If you are looking for something that captures the subtilties and beauty of affection and love then this slow burning romance will sweep you away completely. It certainly swept me away, I was deeply moved by this film and really loved how powerful it made the simple act of observing another person.
Noemie Merlant and Adele Haenel are unforgettably gorgeous as the two intertwined women and they are well supported by Valeria Golino and Luana Bajrami who portrays another convincingly troubled character named Sophie. The film depicts women in various states of joy and peril and it is all delivered perfectly through the poised eye of director Celine Sciamma. This is truly unforgettable film.
FINAL SAY: When you're observing me, who do you think I'm observing?
5 Chilli Peppers