May 9, 2012

Posted by in Articles & Essays, Family Life | 0 Comments

When Momma’s Happy, Everyone is Happy

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us;
when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us;
when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels
to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.
~Washington Irving

Snug and cozy in my mother’s arm, adorned in my Baptismal gown, here I am in one of ┬ámy first family photos. As I look at this photo, I not only think back about growing up in my family, I also try to imagine how it must have been for my mom to have four kids within 4 1/2 years. My folks went on to have two more children after me, bringing the grand total to six – three boys and three girls.

As a parent of three now-grown sons, I have gained a certain appreciation for my parents, and especially for my mother. Juggling the schedules, the sibling rivalry, the good times, the bad times…my mom made it all look pretty easy. Sure, there were times when she would get a bit frazzled, but she always got through those times quickly. From my own maternal perspective, I can see that the old phrase “When Momma’s Happy, Everyone is Happy” seems especially true. And as this Mother’s Day approaches, I thought I would share a short list of things to do to keep your own mother (or other woman in your life) happy. Here goes:

  1. Listen. Don’t just pretend to listen. Listen and really hear what your mom is telling you. Give some verbal feedback. Something resembling a real word, rather than a grunt or shoulder shrug, is appreciated.
  2. And then do it! You know that stuff you just listened to? Make sure you actually follow through if she asked you for some help!
  3. Help. Do your share of household chores. Mom’s are busy. Dad’s a busy. Kid’s are busy, too. However, no one person should be stuck doing all of the household chores.
  4. Clean up after yourself. This is different from doing your chores. Everyone makes messes. If you cook some food for yourself, clean up all of your dishes. Don’t forget the sink, too! When you do your laundry, be sure to take it out of the washer AND the dryer. Put your shoes away. Put your backpack away.
  5. Be nice. Attitudes are catching. Ever notice how someone being crabby makes you crabby? Being nice works the same way. Bring your good attitude home and show it off often.
  6. Do it without asking. Do we really need to point out the full garbage or litter box? Does someone need to tell you to feed the barking dog? Why wait to be told? Just do it! Mom’s notice when things get done!
  7. Share a meal. There is nothing I like better than sharing a meal with my family and their friends. Take time for those family dinners. As kids get older, it’s harder to do and takes a bit more planning, but it’s worth it. If your mom wants to have a meal with you, it’s her way of saying, “Hey, I love ya and want to spend a bit of time with you.”
  8. Gifts? For me, gifts do not make me happy. I will admit to liking a card from my loved ones. The best “gift” is the one where you give of yourself, your time. You can’t go wrong there!

Will all of the above make for a perfect family? Will all of it make your mom happy all of the time? Of course, not, but they certainly can’t hurt!


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