Mother’s Day Reflection

Dear Children, I love you more than life itself, but I ain’t sad when you go to bed!

Good Morning Mums, Step-Mums, Grandmothers, Aunts, Teachers and Students, my name is Julie and I’m a Mindset Coach, I just celebrated 21 years of marriage last week with my husband and we have 4 children – the eldest in year 11, followed by year 9, year 7 and the youngest in year 2.

This is my 11th Mother’s Day Liturgy at St Mary’s and each year is a highlight on my calendar. I love the time reflecting and I’m so grateful that our school makes them happen every year. Thank you Elizabeth for asking me to speak today.

Before I continue, I’d like to ask the students to do 2 things for me:

“As I’m talking with your mums today, I’d like you to hold their hand and think about what you love most about them…”
My motherhood journey started from watching my mum live her values of kindness, honesty and love for music every-day. Mum and Dad had 7 children. As we grew up in Albury, one by one each of us left home for University in Sydney and I remember we couldn’t get away quick enough.

For my mum though, it was a different story. I never really understood her experience until I asked her one day. She said… ‘It was fine when the older ones left as I still had the younger ones to look after but then you and Michael (my twin brother) left and that was when I really felt it’.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about what parents sacrifice for us but then I gain comfort knowing that mum always said that the ‘school years’ were the best years of their life. And I believe she’s right.

After Craig and I got married we decided to start a family. Little did I know we were about to embark on the real rollercoaster of life.
My “plan” was to have a baby girl. So, of course our first baby was a boy. That’s ok I thought, I’ll try again. Our second was another boy. This hit me hard, and I realised how attached I was to having a girl. I loved my boys’ and I also needed to embark on a journey of discovering ‘me’. So, of course I had another boy, just to make sure I was learning the lesson!

3 boys was a huge personal challenge. Over time I did learn to let go and love unconditionally. I learnt to love my boys for who they were and who they weren’t. Then 4 years later I fell pregnant with another baby – this time a girl, who’s sitting next to me today.

By baby number 4, I was getting pretty good at this childbirth thing. I’ll never forget when Lily was born and the midwives held her up and said ‘It’s a Girl’…I cried the most happy tears. It was the most blissful moment I’d ever experienced. I loved every minute of Lily as a baby thanks to my boys who taught me the gift of letting go. I hope one day they realise the enormity of how they helped me grow into the person I am today.
I find motherhood messy, unpredictable, fatiguing and like a tug-o-war. I’ve failed many times and I make it up as I go along, trying not to compare myself with others. My husband travelled a lot, so I have much respect for those mums doing it alone.

As a Mum I often wonder if our kids are going to turn out okay. Have I been caring enough? Patient enough? Supportive enough? Have I set the right example? My kids have had front row seats watching my every move.

Then last year both of our 20-year-old cats passed away. This experience was heartbreaking for us yet comforting to me as a mum because I saw my children shine in their values and strengths.

Charlie was so kind to Oscar, he cuddled and comforted him on his bed in his last hours with us. Lily was incredibly brave joining my husband at the Vet and held Oscar’s paw while he went to sleep. After Sam arrived home, he spent time sitting silently on the floor next to Oscar who was wrapped in a blanket before we buried him. I loved how my kids responded and supported each other. I was assured that day that they will be okay.

Despite all the challenges, I’ve also found motherhood fulfilling, uplifting, empowering and elegantly simple.

I look at the thousands of photos we’ve taken over the years and see the amount of joy we’ve created in having 4 little humans. Mums are exceptional at looking like a swan gliding across the water yet behind the scenes our legs are paddling furiously to make everything come together.

This is Lily’s Mother’s Day Card from Kinder. It reads…
“Dear Mum, You are amazing because you take me to the Park. Love Lily.”

A good reminder that Motherhood can be that simple. And I’m enough, just as I am.

This is a book I’ve read many times to all my kids called ‘Love You Forever.’ It’s about a mum who sings a song to her son whilst he’s sleeping from when he’s a baby right through to being a grown up. He gets older as does his mum and eventually she’s unable to sing the song. So, the son sings it to her. Then to his new daughter. Every time I reach the end I cry. But they’re always happy tears. It’s been a lifeline in reminding me that life has a beginning and an end, and it’s up to us to love and laugh in between.

This Mother’s Day if there is only one thing you do, then make sure you tell your Mum, Step-Mum, Grandmother or Aunt what you love most about them! (Making your bed and unpacking your lunch box will also go a long way too)!

In conclusion, I believe Motherhood is a lot like playing sports. We win some, we lose some, we get curve-balls, slide-tackles, and occasionally we get fouled. But we can also relish the 3-pointers, kicks from half-way and runaway tries that make it all worthwhile.

To every Mum – let’s be kind to ourselves because we are doing a great job and our kids will be okay.

Wishing you all a Very Happy Mother’s Day!

* Before I go I’m a big believer in making fun memories. Lily went to the football for the first time and was looking forward to doing the Mexican Wave but they didn’t get to do it. So, let’s create that memory for her today and do the Mexican wave together!

Getting Started

I’m confident I can support you on your next journey in life. I will hand pick the tools you need to get what you want. The first step in being your best self is choosing to take action. One step at a time.