Dear Mothers: "A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them." — Victor Hugo.
To all the mothers out there: Happy Mother's Day! To everyone for whom this is a difficult holiday, may it land gently, to borrow a phrase from columnist and author Connie Schultz.
Sometimes, being a truly loving, tender and caring mom means that your children think you are "mean" at times. But the truth is that teaching discipline to your children will mean they'll become happier and more well-adjusted adults. So here's a poem for all those "mean" moms out there who deserve recognition and respect:
"A 'Mean' Mother" (Author unknown)
A "mean" mother never allows candy or sweets to take the place of a well-balanced meal.
A mean mother insists on knowing where her children are at all times, who their friends are and what they do.
A mean mother breaks the Child Labor Law by making their children work — washing dishes, making beds, learning to cook, and doing other cruel and unpleasant chores.
A mean mother makes life miserable for her offspring by insisting that they always tell the truth.
A mean mother produces teenagers who are wiser and more sensible.
A mean mother can smile with secret delight and pride when she hears her own grandchildren call their parents "mean."
Dear Annie: I compare the anxiety of wanting quarantine to end to those of us who, in the back seat of the car as children, anxiously asked, "Are we there yet?"
Despite boredom and uncomfortable proximity to each other while in the car, we finally made it to our destination, and the time was right to move freely. However, during that car ride, we couldn't just decide we were "there." Where would we have been? We had to persevere to get to the correct "there," no matter how frustrated we were about how long the trip was taking. And we had to trust the people in charge to get us "there."
Since the lockdown, I have discovered that I am a happy introvert. All my life I have been outgoing, helping others, diving in at the slightest suggestion that I could be of benefit in some way. In the end, I often found myself tired and empty.
I am retired and live alone, having moved several hundreds of miles from my lifelong home just months ago. When the possibility of quarantine was evolving, I decided to make the best of it by planning to be busy at home.
I even discovered projects that I had put aside. Now, those projects are being completed. Hobbies that I wanted to try are coming to life, too. There is energy to exercise, and, for the first time in my life, I am sleeping soundly.
Though I focus on the reason for this time I have to explore these hobbies and projects, and I contemplate the suffering that is occurring, I include thanks in my prayers that I am content. I am a firm believer that attitude is what gets us through. I am thankful to have been introduced to this "me," who has been waiting in the wings. While being removed from the fast pace that life had become, I hope others have rediscovered and enjoyed what they also may have set aside. May we find that life as we knew it isn't all we thought it was, and develop a new perspective on our blessings. — Self-Discovery
Dear Self-Discovery: Congratulations on discovering what makes you happy and content. Knowing oneself is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself and others. Having a positive attitude can certainly help the human spirit to thrive during unsettling times. By slowing down the pace of your life, you sped up the pace of finding joy in your everyday life, and that is a wonderful life to live.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]
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