The art of motherhood

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The art of motherhood involves much silent, unobtrusive self-denial, an hourly devotion which finds no detail too minute.
Honore De Balzac

This is dedicated to us – mums. The reason I decided to write this post, is because at times being a mum does not seem like much, and it is so easy to loose focus in between wiping boogers, preparing dinner and picking up that same piece of Lego hundredth time a day. And the amazing thing is that our history is yet to be written and NOW we have time and chance to make a difference and raise beautiful people who will write history one day. Looking into the lives and sacrifices great mothers made for the sake of their family, you understand that being a mum is a calling.



Let us begin.. Since this is my blog, let me brag a bit – share about my mum.
My gorgeous mummy Valentina – was born in communist Russia with all the consequences. After finishing uni she was sent 3000 km from home to work as a teacher in the local school. Together with my dad they raised four children. Back then it was considered a big family. They both had more than one job, took care of our grandparents. 50% of our food was grown on the family garden 20 km from home. Nevertheless, I always felt very loved and taken care of, each of us had an opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument, spoke foreign language, travelled abroad, etc. How they did it I don’t know. But the most incredible fact is that through this all my mum managed to fulfill her own dreams and career goals – she was one of the first people in THE COUNTRY to design projects to teach English at school using Internet to communicate with schools all over the world (in 1990s mind you). She took groups of students to the US and other countries and managed to organise exchange summer camps with tens of foreign teachers and students in the closed Russian town.  She is one of the most genuine, kind, caring and talented people I ever known.

Mary – the mother of Jesus.. Well, allow me to quote Paulo Coelho By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept: A Novel of Forgiveness for this one:

the woman who had said, “Yes,” when She could have said “no.” The angel would have sought out someone else, and there would have been no sin in the eyes of the Lord, because God knows His children’s weakness. But She had said, “Thy will be done,” even though She sensed that She was receiving, along with the words of the angel, all the pain and suffering of Her destiny; even though Her heart’s eyes could see Her beloved son leaving the house, could see the people who would follow Him and then deny Him; but “Thy will be done,” even when, at the most sacred moment in a woman’s life, She had to lie down with the animals in a stable to give birth, because that was what the Scriptures
required; “Thy will be done,” even when, in agony, She looked through the streets for Her son and found Him at the temple. And He asked that She not interfere because He had other obligations and tasks to perform; “Thy will be done,” even when She knew that She would search for Him for the rest of Her days, Her heart filled with pain, fearing every moment for His life, knowing that He was being persecuted and threatened; “Thy will he done,” even when, finding Him in the crowd, She was unable to draw near Him; “Thy will he done,” even when She asked someone to tell Him that She was there and the son sent back the response, “My mother and my brothers are those who are here with me”; “Thy will be done,” even when at the end, after everyone had fled, only She, another woman, and one of them stood at the foot of the cross, bearing the laughter of His enemies and the cowardice of His friends; “Thy will be done.” Thy will be done, my Lord. Because you know the weakness in the heart of your children, and you assign each of them only the burden they can bear. May you understand my love because it is the only thing I have that is really mine, the only thing that I will be able to take with me into the next life. Please allow it to be courageous and pure; please make it capable of surviving the snares of the world.

And one more woman I wanted to mention – the mother of the founder of the Methodist church- Susanna Wesley.  She wrote:

I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children; in which I observe the following method: I take such a proportion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Saturday with Charles“.
 As a caring mother, she set aside a “special time” with each of her children. Those were “bonding” times when each child was free to discuss whatever they wanted and she would offer her “motherly advice and consul.” These weekly private appointments for encouragement could be called “quality time” today. She developed faith, fear of God, and resiliency in each child.

This bond and sense of faith Susanna established with each of her children empowered John and Charles Wesley to go forth in confidence, their character strengthened by their mother She had strong faith and was a prayer warrior, once her children started to talk they were taught to pray. Samuel Wesley – her husband,  spent time in jail twice due to his poor financial abilities, and the lack of money was a continual struggle for Susanna. Their house was burned down twice. She gave birth to 19 children, and only 9 of them survived. Despite of all the difficulties, she home schooled her children and gave them excellent education. All of them spoke a few foreign languages.

One historical scholar described the Wesley children as “a cluster of bright, vehement, argumentative boys and girls, living by a clean and high code, and on the plainest fare; but drilled to soft tones, to pretty formal courtesies; with learning as an ideal, duty as an atmosphere and fear of God as law.”

These are only three examples of incredible dedication, human power, love and ability to truly accomplish the impossible. This humbles me and challenges to be the best I can be for my family.

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2 thoughts on “The art of motherhood”

  1. Здравствуйте, Настя! Ваша мама очень добрая, отзывчивая, понимающая, приятная и … Знакомство с ней очень много определило в моей жизни. Всегда с большим сердечным чувством вспоминаю ее, Вас, Алену. Спаси Господи всю Вашу большую семью, распространившуюся уже на два континента. Дмитрий (из Новосибирска).

  2. Oj spasibo ogromnoe za dobrie slova!!!:)da, mamochki tyt ochen nam ne hvataet! Mama tak horosho vsegda o vas i vashej semje otzivaetsa!!!! Vsego vam samogo dobrogo!!! I Bozhih blagoslovenij!!!

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