| from Dr. Kathy Koch |
To write that mothers are important is an understatement. Without ours, we wouldn’t be here! Of course, fathers are necessary and important, too. On this day before mother’s day, I want to address moms.
When I look back on my relationship with my mom, it’s not big momentous things that stand out. Rather it’s little, consistent things that collectively were big.
My mom put my brother, Dave, and I first without denying herself and her joys. She supported our journeys on the road to excellence. She was consistently present and we knew she was on our side. She was patient, wise, humble, calm, and gentle.
Our mom made sure we did our homework and didn’t just ask about test grades. She was available if we had questions. She made sure we got to sports practices and didn’t just show up at the games. She sat in the living room or was nearby in the kitchen when we practiced our viola, trumpet, and piano. She talked with us about what we were doing and helped us when she could. She didn’t just show up at the recitals and concerts.
I wonder how many private music lessons she drove Dave and I to? How many minutes did she spend waiting for us to finish? There are many things she could have been doing instead.
Effort and Outcome Both Mattered to Our Mom
Our mom encouraged Dave and me to challenge our peers who were first chair viola and trumpet so we could advance. It wasn’t because she needed us to perform for her. We didn’t need to prove anything to her or anyone else. She and my dad knew the practice and rehearsal would be good for us. When we won and became chair of our instrument, she was proud. When we didn’t advance, it was okay. We knew we could try again. This is one way we developed resiliency. I don’t remember our mom asking us what went wrong. We knew she was glad we tried.
Of course, I love that my mom and dad attended concerts and sporting events. I also love that my mom invited our grandparents and other relatives. Looking back, I know their enthusiasm for the end product or result of our practices, rehearsals, and studying caused Dave and I to care.
Although our parents have been gone a long time, there’s still evidence in the ways Dave and I live that we’re their children.
Because our mom sacrificed for us, Dave easily sacrifices for his children. I, too understand that it’s right to put others first partly because she modeled this before me.
We understood and still understand that practicing and studying are valuable. They’re not necessary because we’re incapable. Practicing and studying are necessary because we are capable. We don’t believe we should be handed anything on a silver platter. We know effort and strategic practice and study are necessary to achieve the outcomes we desire. Having these truths a part of our childhood absolutely explains a big part of our productivity and success as adults.
Today Affects Tomorrow
Moms reading this – what you do now everyday matters now. Who you are now everyday matters now. And, remember that who you are and what you do matters for the future.
You are not just parenting children. You are cooperating with God to create adults. (Read that again and maybe print out the sentences below so you can read them on the long, hard days. You matter greatly!)
I am not just parenting children. I am cooperating with God to create adults.
Dr. Kathy Koch (“cook”), is the founder and president of Celebrate Kids, Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, seminars, chapels, banquet talks, and other events. She is a regular speaker for Care Net, Summit Ministries, and Axis. She also speaks for other organizations, churches, schools, and pregnancy resource centers. In addition, she hosts Celebrate Kids conferences through their Ignite the Family conference division. She is also a popular guest on Focus on the Family radio, she was featured in Kirk Cameron’s movie, Connect, and she has written and published five books with Moody Publishers, including Five to Thrive, Start with the Heart, Screens and Teens, 8 Great Smarts, and No more Perfect Kids (with Jill Savage). Dr. Kathy earned a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University.