Exploring Mary and Motherhood
by Mary Ellen Vice
Motherhood is a precious state ordained by God. It is one of the most blessed of vocations. It demands that one be constantly serving God by serving others. Sadly, in our materialistic world, motherhood is not seen as a valid or valuable career choice.
We know that our mother, biological or adopted, was our first teacher. She helped us learn to walk, talk, share our toys, and dress ourselves. Our mothers taught us about God and His love for us. She guided us towards living our lives in service to Him. She taught us to pray. Her ultimate responsibility is to have her children see the face of God.
All mothers have the same responsibilities and need to teach the same things. This is a tremendous calling!
Our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary is the model for all mothers, and we honour her for her submission to God's Will and for her Holy Motherhood of Jesus. When mothers serve their families, they are honouring Mary's service to the Holy Family. When we honour our mothers for their important role and vocation, we are honouring Mary.
Things to Do For Mary, Our Mother
- Make a family altar in some special place in your home. Put a statue or icon of Mary on it, and a small vase for fresh flowers. Keep your rosaries there.
- Find a picture of Mary, as the Immaculate Heart, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, her Assumption into Heaven or some other representation and hang it in a honoured place in your home.
- Make the rosary part of your evening prayer time.
- If you can, pray the Angelus at lunch time.
- Begin a habit of asking for Mary's intercession in difficult 'mothering' situations. Share this habit and devotion with the children.
- Attend Mass on special feast days honouring Mary, and make a special feast at home to continue the celebration.
Stuff to Do For Mother
Say to your mother: "I'll make dinner tonight, Mom. You need a night off." Make dinner, however simple. Be sure to set the table and then clean the kitchen afterward. Sweep the floor and it will be the end of a perfect mealtime! Be sure to include the whole family, even the younger children. They can set the table, or fold napkins. (This would be a great 'tradition' for once a month, or once a week.)
- Take the little ones, your younger brothers and sisters out to play and really watch them for at least an hour. Be sure to tell Mom, so she knows that she can either a) get some important work done or b) sit down and read her favorite book.
Make your own bed, without being asked.
- Tidy up your own room, without being asked.
- Do a load of laundry if you know how. Be sure to dry it, fold it or hang it up and put it away.
- If you know the difference between weeds and Mom's flowers and vegetables, weed the garden for your Mom.
Vacuum your room, an entire floor of the house, or the stairs, without being asked.
- Dust an area of the house, like all the bookshelves, the top of the piano, or the tops of all the pictures. Moms like things tidy and clean.
- Take the younger children for a walk and pick some pretty wild flowers. Make a bouquet and put them on the kitchen table for Mom.
Cut the grass and trim the edges.
- When the milk or juice jug is empty, fill it up again.
- Empty the dishwasher or put away the clean, dry dishes.
- Change a diaper (a wet one if you are just beginning)
Go and pick up the mail. Ask Mom if she'd like you to do an errand. Hop on your bike and go!
- Have a bath or shower without taking a hissy fit.
- Pick up your towels after you use them. Hang them up so they will dry.
- (Boys:) Lift up the toilet seat and then close it when you're finished. Use some toilet paper to dry the seat if it needs it.
- Give your Mom a kiss and a hug. Tell her you love her. This will melt her heart!
Things to Do With Mom
- Choose a recipe together. Cook or bake something together. Cookies or biscuits are an easy idea. If you decide on roll-out cookies, the children will love using cookie cutters and decorating them.
- Go to the library together. Pick out family books or videos together.
- Go to daily Mass as a family.
- Go to Confession as a family.
- Make up and use a before-meals Grace together.
- Establish a family prayer-time that you can make part of your regular routine. After dinner or as part of bedtime works well in most families.
- Go for a drive in the country together. Sing, talk, observe the natural surroundings.
- Go for a walk or bike ride together.
- Go out for lunch at a non fast-food place.
- Do a jigsaw puzzle.
- Go visit Grandparents in a nursing home. The older folks adore the babies and little children. You will brighten their day.
- Play a game of cards together, for example Crazy Eights, Old Maid, or Concentration.
- Cuddle up on the couch and read a book together. Here are some of our family's favorites.
- Piggies by Audrey and Don Woods for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers
- Gifts by Barbara Reid for all kids up to about 9 years old.
- Go to a music store together. Choose a cassette or CD for the family. We enjoyed:
- Mr. Bach Comes to Call
- Mozart's Magic Flute
- What a Day! by Fred Penner
- Fred Penner's Place
- Children's Songs and Fingerplays
- Bible Songs for Kids
- Find a great place to watch the sunset together, a cottage, the top of a hill, or a camping spot.
- On a clear night, find a place to watch the sky. Check out the summer constellations. Take a flashlight and a stargazing book.
- Pour over a fun things-to-do book. It will be fun just deciding what to do. The Kid's Cottage Book by Jane Drake and Ann Love (KidsCan Press, Toronto Canada) is a excellent book.
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