Elements of Me: Mum’s The Word!


“If you bungle raising your children,
I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.”

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

I very much agree with her on that. It is the most responsible job and thing that one has in this life, whether one is the mum or the dad. It is equally important to be a wise parent. An equal-opportunity job most definitely. One is, of course, allowed to make mistakes. ‘Errare humanum est.‘ That is what Seneca the Younger said in his time.

It is one of the greatest privileges in life to be a mum. It is also one of the most difficult jobs to be in. The rewards of this job are always long term, more often than not, not visible, and evident here and now. In the Quarterly Global Economy run by the greed, where one has to ’show the money’ every few months, this kind of thinking does not fit in; it is totally alien. Hence, to be rewarded for being a mother is and has never been over the ages a job well paid and appreciated but; really, quite the opposite! Yet, the women have continued to want to and have yearned to be mothers in all the corners of the world. They or we will continue to do so, because to be a mother is to be creative. Huh?! Yes, the aspect of The Creator is only fully captured by being creative. Bringing a child into this world is the most creative of all creative things in the whole universe!

Parenting is a very special gift as it teaches one like no other thing. Anyway, that is what has happened to me. It was most, most difficult and dangerous for me to have children – each time I faced the more than the likelihood of a miscarriage during the entire nine months. There was no certainty at all – will there or will there not to be a baby at the end of the pregnancy. It was nerve-racking to the hilt! Then the births – they were the riskiest of all, every time I and the babies were at each birth face to face with death for both of us. But GOD is GOOD. He saw that we, that is, the girls and I, made it through in tact and in good shape! I did lose two babies who are not forgotten, even today. That is why being a mum to me is an extra-extra privilege and an overwhelming joy that I count as the best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life!

Now, that the girls are grown-up, there is the added bonus to be a friend as well as a mother. Indeed, it’s a different kind of relationship than when the children were small. Each phase, every stage in this common journey of mothers & daughters has been filled with so much instances, so much growing up for both the mother and the daughters, that is has been amazing – and humbling for me. I am sure that the mother has done more maturing than the girls put together in our case! (I can see them nodding their heads in my mind’s eye!!)

My relationship with the daughters is a mutual appreciation-society. As the years go by, we learn to understand and value each other more and more. As a mum one learns this to be true: ‘Mums the word’. Do get this: we are all three women strong and expressive in our views and in our personality. We are not ‘shrinking violets’ – any of us. I always knew that I had ‘to keep ahead of the posse’ with these two ladies from their early age. So the training as a children’s nurse came in handy and useful for sure. Still I am only a mama and even mamas make mistakes. We are all students in the School of Hard Knocks. The thing that God very much pointed out to me, when I asked Him for the wisdom needed to bring the girls up while still pregnant with Becki – dvice was, that I was to say sorry and apologize to the girls no matter how small they were – when I had hurt their feelings and whatever.

That way I was showing them value as a human being worthy, much loved and much respected.

And the ‘rewards’ of this job: Double the Mother’s Days – the Irish in March and the Finnish one in May – makes double the prezzies and double the blessings of being an international mum! Indeed, the brilliant thing about an international motherhood is that you can take the best of all the worlds and combine them into a tasty mixed salad of varied ingredients. That is: when both the parents are from the different nations with the clan roots of each one going to a whole lot of other nations. Also, when both have lived in various nations it all adds up to a pretty interesting mixture all in all!

These two Misses are such good friends with one another which is such a great blessing, most certainly. Nothing is more horrible than that of the sibling hatred. As I had only girls I was forever reminding them of ‘not becoming a hen/hens.’ They took heed to me pleading. There were a good few things like books and some programmes on the television that ‘helped’ me in this task of promoting how to get along with one’s sibling; programmes like the ‘Sister, Sister’. This programme is about the twins that do all sorts of things and all kinds of things happen to them. The ‘viewing of the Box’ for the girls began at the neighbours’ houses because we did not have a television for the first four-five years of the girls’ lives. Then the daughters, strong minded and intelligent that they are, gave us parents the ultimatum – either

No 1: there would be a telly in our own house


No 2: they were going to move into live with the neighbours!!

It was a toughie, I must admit. Well, the upshot of this ultimatum was that we got a beautiful white TV made in Finland.Then it was shortly followed by the video recorder, so that the girls were able to watch some children’s movies that were of the better type and style than what the television had to offer.The Dad was named ‘The Best Video Man in the Whole World’ by the daughters because of this. Himself took the title and the role thereof with great pride and pleasure, just as he should have!

 Guess what is even more extra fabulous added bonus of having daughters?

You never shop alone! Ever. Retail Therapy is the shared sport.

Tis for now for this Element of Me. Riihele xx.


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