When growing up, I saw my mother, Elizabeth, working tirelessly—24/7 (and I say this with no exaggeration)—to show her dedication to her kids and family. I truly, greatly, deeply appreciate all she did.
But I also learned that being a good mother is not about sacrifice.
It’s about modeling loving behaviors.
I feel my mother was so busy orchestrating the moments for us, insisting on doing all the work on her own, she missed out on fully experiencing some of those moments.
That makes me sad for her. Unfortunately for my mother and the family that loved her, she developed Alzheimer’s disease shortly after retiring, so she didn’t get to take the trips she always planned to take back to Italy, or have time to just ‘be’.
One of the things my mother participated in most fully, and with all her heart, was our shared meals. These times together nourished our bodies, but also fed our hearts with loving connection.
My mother’s legacy was helping us build a strong family over the dinner table. It was the most important activity in our home, and was/is with my family too. It’s the go-to haven where we fill up our bellies and souls and stop the world long enough to truly appreciate that we are fully alive, and we have each other’s support to make the often bumpy road of life a little smoother.
What’s helping mothers to be wiser is that we are realizing that we do not have to do it all.
There are helping hands all around us. We just need to ask.
Getting everyone involved in the process of sharing a meal — from picking out the dishes you’ll make, shopping for the ingredients, cooking the actual meal, preparing the dining space in which you’ll eat–is helping mothers be able to enjoy the experience much more.
And, it’s modeling loving behavior by teaching your kids about working together, and staying connected every day.
Mothers are realizing that keeping it simple, and keeping it real, is the way to go.
Ask for help from your family members.
Don’t even try to make a meal for the family every day on your own. Everyone helping just a little makes a daily shared meal possible.
Simplify meal planning.
A lovely plate of spaghetti, or a hearty soup and salad, is all that is needed for a complete and satisfying meal.
Keep tech boundaries.
There’s a time and place for everything, but let’s turn off the devices so you can appreciate the moment of being together in person.
Make 1 daily shared meal a priority (over any other activity)
The power and benefits of sharing meals is so important to healthy development in both the short and long run that reducing even one activity in your schedule to accommodate a shared meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner – doesn’t matter which meal) is the best thing you can do for your family.
Wise mothers today know they can’t do it all, and they’re not going to try. They ask for help. They participate fully in the experiences they are creating with their families. And they teach their children the legacy of love through creating and sharing meals.
Don’t wait for Mother’s Day one time a year to be spoiled!
Spoil yourself, and your family, all year long with a daily shared-meal ritual.
Happy Mother’s Day!
If you’d like to learn more about the many benefits you and your family receive when sharing a daily meal, and resources to building a shared-meal plan in your home, please visit my website.