Our last article mentioned the importance of highlighting awareness days more than just one day a year. Should we honor our mom’s more than just on Mother’s day? Should we see commercials of dad’s and kids serving breakfast in bed, doing the chores and offering flowers more often? If there was not a mom’s day, would such activities occur more often or not at all?
You can trace celebrations for mom’s back to ancient Greek and Roman festivals, but a lady named Ann Reeves Jarvis gets credit for starting the holiday in America. She started by teaching women how to care for their children then used her club to promote reconciliation between soldiers and families divided over the Civil War. Julia Ward Howe continued her mission campaigning for “Mother’s Peace Day.” Juliet Calhoun Blakely (from Michigan) and other ladies also get some credit for this movement, but the day was conceived as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children, following the passing of Jarvis’ mother. Jarvis – who was never married and remained childless – resolved to see her holiday added to the calendar, then later lobbied to have it removed. She felt the point of the day was mis-understood, but today it remains commercialized and more phone calls are made on Mothers Day than any other day of the year!
I hope the mom’s reading had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I hope the appreciation for what parent’s do continues year round in your home and not just because of the date on a calendar. Sadly, for many life goes right back to the routine of mom feeling overworked and under-appreciated. Sadly, for many Mother’s day and Father’s day dates are not wonderful celebrations. They are dates to remind those of how much they miss their parent who is no longer around, or never was. It’s a day to remind those who have been trying to become a parent that they still are childless. It’s a day to remember when one was a parent, after that child has passed away… Mother’s day is not always wonderful.
I’m lucky to still have a mom, I’m lucky to be a mom, and I did have a wonderful Mother’s Day. I loved the effort put forth by my husband and children to make my day special. BUT Mother’s Day is always a reminder that I will never hear “happy mother’s day” from the children I never held. I have experienced 6 miscarriages. 6. The last quite recently, and although some have pointed out that this wouldn’t have been the best timing anyway and we weren’t even trying … it still hurts. There is still a hole in my heart for each one of those babies. There are more holes for others like my nephew, who may have left 25 years ago, but I remember his passing daily. Just because it may not be mother’s day, or his birthday, or the day of his passing – doesn’t mean my sister doesn’t feel that hole every day missing her son. Another child doesn’t replace the one lost. But another child is a gift that is treasured and maybe a little overprotected because of the one lost.
Those who have lost children or had to have help conceiving their child or found their family through adoption – have spoke of how they viewed milestones differently. How they savor the little moments. How they view each child’s unique gifts differently. How they are even thankful for the struggles and challenges of being a parent. How having a “special” child is even treasured. One of those special-needs parents recently asked when did being labeled as “special” become something bad? My boys were called “special” and I agreed. It’s curious to me how some only focus on areas of struggle and do not see strengths. Without these strengths my boys wouldn’t have defied the odds as they did. Before having them I was told we may never have them – so even with areas of struggle I felt blessed to be chosen as their mom.
I have found myself feeling like a mother to even those I didn’t birth. Taking care of children in an orphanage setting was the hardest position I left. Did anyone else care for them as a mother – or were they viewed as another client, since many caregivers separate themselves as to not get attached? Since I even got attached to the backstories of my baby-dolls I couldn’t help it! I knew I wanted to be a caregiver and starting caring for children when I was still a child myself. I cherish all the children I have cared for. I even have a painting a child made for me years ago still hanging on my wall, as I will never forget when he asked me to be his mother… In a way I adopt all the kids I’ve cared for. I never forget them, even though I couldn’t begin count the children I’ve worked with over the past decades. Each child I work with is special – and that doesn’t mean they have some label – other than awesome. Each child I work with is unique and has gifts to share with the world.
Children don’t want another spectator to observe and assess their talents, strengths, needs and challenges. Children want providers to embrace their interests and assist their struggles. They want providers who are care-givers, who care, who act and love like a parent. They don’t need a teacher who remembers them as a number or groups them by labels, but one who joins the academic adventure with them – and their adventure may not be best taught through a text book or determined by percentile on a standardized test. Children don’t come in a standard sizes. Each child, each person is unique in appearance and aptitude. It’s often said that we should accept such differences – but I believe we need to embrace such differences. Embrace difference and teach others to embrace and respect each other. Have you ever realized that discrimination and judgments are learned behaviors? Teaching the opposite – well it may just solve all the world’s problems! The future generation may just grow up to all feel like parents caring for one another, encouraging each-others unique contribution to the bigger picture.
Mi Families is busy developing it’s newest program (Adventure Academy) with a unique perspective on the bigger picture. While many curriculums focus on what they feel a child needs to accomplish today – Adventure Academy will focus on success for tomorrow. Who cares if a child can memorize their alphabet at a year old, if they won’t have a love for reading and writing as an adult?! Who cares if a toddler can add mathematical figures if they won’t have the drive to explore and investigate the world around them as they grow and learn?! This program does not follow the typical continuum line of skills, but rather is designed like a tree growing and learning as one branches off into different areas at different times. All the branches stem from strong supportive roots. These roots are social and emotional based believing these lessons support beyond academics and prepare us for a lifetime of learning and teaching others.
I have loved watching the children I’ve worked with bloom as a past coach, teacher, counselor, ABA tech, curriculum writer, program director … I love being a caregiver and making children feel cared for, safe and happy while their parents are otherwise occupied. I strive for helping parents feel comfortable and confident leaving their children in my care. I hope all the parents I work with know I value them as their child(ren)s first teacher. I aim to provide parents with tips and tools to help us be a team, working together, for their child’s future success. Adventure Academy is not just about the child, but about his/her family being a FUNctional family. Adventure Academy is about parents having needed resources for the bigger picture – not just today’s childcare needs. The bigger picture of all of our programs continues to be “reaching out with resources” so we provide resources as gifts – like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts. I hope all the parents feel like our programs are as awesome as holidays are supposed to be…
To learn more about ADVENTURE ACADEMY *CLICK HERE or email Christi@MiFamilies.com to set up time to explore our discovery daycare center.