I believe that all people are intrinsically good and have greatness within. However life takes its toll and impacts on who we become. It derails us and diverts us from our true nature. Thus if we acknowledge and embrace our greatness, we will be more aware and will have a better understanding of when we shift from our beliefs. We can create our own personal GPS to guide us. We are all born good and life is a journey. Whomever we meet and whatever we experience becomes our teacher and impacts on who we become. It is critical for us to keep on searching and be life-long learners. As a woman, I can only share my journey as a mother.

There’s no academy that we can attend that can teach us to be a great mother or wife. Rather, it a deep calling. It’s not about just being a woman, it’s about having compassion, being extraordinarily present and having unconditional love.

When we get married our expectations don’t always match. You might be marrying into a family that views life differently and have their own unique values. The challenge is to embrace, align and accept your new environment. It’s better to adapt than to spend the rest of your life trying to change the unchangeable.

We are unique and different from everyone else. We are all influenced by our personality, culture and experience. Our environments play a huge role in how we behave, interact and carry ourselves. How we are socialized is also a big factor, our physical make up is a contributing factor, education and lifestyle is also a huge influence on how a person behaves, interacts and treats others. The choices we make influence the path we walk and how we engage and react to other people. Psychological factors also impact on how we behave and deal with people.

Our socialization plays either a positive or negative role in our lives. Children that grow up in families where there is verbal, physical or emotional abuse suffer greatly. They learn from their parents that it is okay to hurt someone. They grow up thinking that they can solve problems with violence. Some use coping mechanisms like withdrawal, drug abuse and promiscuity amongst others. Our behaviors as adults are a reflection of where we come from and how we grew up, and a lot of the time it is also a reflection of what we experienced in our childhood.

In 24 hours how much time do we spend with our children? How much time do you actually spend talking and listening to them? Or just having fun with them? Making them feel good about themselves? Research tells us that mothers who attend sports events inspire their children to play better. This is where I really missed the plot. I hardly attended any games and didn’t realize how that hurt my kids. When we connect with those who we have entrusted our children’s learning with, children feel safer and know that their parents care and are involved. Attending parent’s evenings and spending quality time during holidays are paramount in connecting with our children.

Using work as an excuse for not being available to your children is weak because workaholism is a disease in itself. During my many years of being a workaholic I somehow lost the essence of motherhood and it took me a long time to get it back.

TimeSpend time with your children entrenching ethics, morals, values, knowledge and wisdom. However the most important thing is showing them unconditional love. What parents say about and to each other affects children because for them, you are both special. Be aware of what you say about others as this will teach your children how to interact with people. Mothers must always make time to ensure that their children feel special and that no matter what they do or say, they will always be the best person. If your child does not accept the praise, at least you have done your work as a mother.

Have you wondered what over-compensating for our inattention is actually doing to our children? Giving our children material goods likes iPhones and Xboxes in return for our absence is teaching them that money and goods are more important than talking and listening to each other.

Time is calling us to instill values in our children. The same values that our mothers and grandmothers taught us. One of the most important values to teach our children is about treasuring their virginity and keeping sons and daughters pure until they are ready.

The role of being your sister’s keeper is paramount. Every mother has a responsibility to assist her neighbor with raising her children with the sense of community and the spirit of Ubuntu. Where are we when our daughters are raped by the sons we raise because they do not value themselves? Teenage pregnancies are rife because the youth have no understanding of their value and worth. All that is happening is that the vicious circle is continued.

Choosing husbands /boyfriends / partners over children is one of the biggest mistakes that mothers make. Any relationship you may have needs to be nurtured in its own space, separate from the children – they need undivided attention. Men will come and go but your children are forever and if women don’t nurture and care for them in the manner in which they are supposed to, the children will grow up and do the same thing. Again the circle of devastation continues.

Women are quite resilient and resourceful. Even in their silence they get together, at work, at stokvels, and in church. They sometimes talk about their problems, but often they just enjoy being in each other’s company, laughing and reminiscing about good times – and that is enough to help them carry their loads.

Let us be courageous as mothers to have listening integrity, to go beyond talking to and about our children but to talk with them so we can fulfill our roles with truth, faith and appropriate responsiveness. We must know what is announcing itself and what is not announcing itself.

We must always remember that before we are mothers, we are women and we should always retain our feminine energy and power. If we do that, being a great wife and mother will come much easier.

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