Aspiring To Be An Inspiring Mommy

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I am trying to prepare myself to be an inspiring mother-

But how does one do that?

Lucia van der Post
Isn't she lovely?
Whenever I come across a confident, intelligent,
well-put-together older women I usually consider asking
her to come home with me and teach me things. 

books are the ultimate consolation prize-

Well, I thought that I'd start by being the kind of mother who knows some of the secrets.  It seems that Lucia van der Post, the woman who wrote Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me, knows a lot of the secrets.

This woman has an enviable amount of conviction about how to behave - from the trivial, to the logistical, to the genuinely important.  Her book offers guidance from all three of these categories.  Much (but not all) of what she wrote resonated with me, so I'll start with that which addresses the importance of family mealtime:

'Families that sit around tables enjoying evening suppers that have been properly cooked and served tend to be closer and warmer than those who sit perched in front of the television set with fast food or takeout, not talking, not communicating.  Families gathered around a table build up memories of intimacy and warmth that last throughout one's life.'

In the evening, perhaps as I'm arranging the to-go food or the dining-in meal onto proper plates, I'll ask Matt the following question:  Are we going to be civil or American tonight?

We end up choosing to be American about 65% of the time.  Yep, if you were to come over to the house on an American evening you'd find us eating dinner in bed while starring at the TV. 

Lucia van der Post says that her children still remember when the family began eating at the table together on a regular basis.   When this became her family's routine 'the end of the day was transformed as the children spent some real time with their parents.'

So the new goal is to be civilized 90% of the time by the time Poppy's cognitive skills are blooming. 

Lucia van der Post is a longtime journalist and author.  For the past 20 years or so she has been a sort of style guru for the Financial Times.