A Mama Schema, or An Homage to Moms of All Kinds

Mrs. Rosenlof (yes, we called her Raisin Loaf...), my 7th grade English teacher, spent the first few weeks of the semester teaching us about schema. She would get this wild, excited look in her eyes and tell us to explore our individual schema: the unique experiences, people, and objects that make us who we are, the collective framework that shapes our thoughts and actions.

At the time, I was just irritated because the discussion kept going on and on, and I just couldn't get why this older woman was so excited about a crazy, abstract thing like schema.

But now I get it. Schema is important because it is the key to our individual identity. Schema means that no two people will handle a situation in an identical manner, no matter how many shared experiences and qualities the two have.

Since Mother's Day is fast approaching, I've been taking some time to think about my mothering style and the history of its development: my mama schema, so to speak. (I just couldn't resist the alliteration. Forgive me :)

When I am at a mom crossroads (most often mean mom vs. calm mom...) and contemplating my next step, I have a hundred voices, with a hundred faces, in my head, contributing to my decision.

Talk about parenting paralysis :)

Thankfully, most of those voices and faces are of kind, confident, and supportive women (and men, but they'll get their spotlight later). But, while so many of these women have been so influential in my life, how many of them actually know how much I appreciate their contribution to my schema, to my life?

Almost none of them.

And if there's anything I've learned in my nearly-four short years as a mother, it is that every mother -- every woman! -- needs to know that she has an impact on someone, somewhere, at sometime. Because motherhood is rewarding, but the dividends don't always pay out regularly.

So, for Mother's Day this year, I've decided to give the most heartfelt gifts I can, to each of the women who has been influential: a hand-written note telling them specifically thanks for their impact on my life. And, because I like being crafty (and because I dislike paying $5+ for a generic card at the store), I'm going the extra mile and hand-crafting the note cards, too.

For the next week, I'll be sharing a simple-to-make card and paying homage to the different types of mothers in my life -- because it takes all kinds of mothers to make the world go round, and giving birth is not a prerequisite to mothering.

I'd love for you to join me, and I'm sure there are a few mothers in your life who would love a quick note telling them how much you value their contribution to your life. And, you know, it's a good exercise to think about that schema thing. :)

Have a happy day,

1 comment:

Tera said...

I hopped on here this morning to read about your Mama Schema. I LOVE the idea. You are so good and fun and thoughtful. Then I was looking through the photos, and I saw my graduation picture. I burst into tears. I can't explain why. I just want to thank you for being there for me during such an amazing and difficult time. I wouldn't have been a very good mother without the support of you and Mark. You helped me like angels sent straight from heaven. I sure love you!

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