Rural Reflections #20

Happy Mother’s Day to all the incredible mothers, grandmothers and maternal figures in our lives… for shaping us into the wonderful people that we are.  My greatest achievement in life has been my role as a loving mother and has given me so much joy over the years.  Yes, there were plenty of tears as well… but the joy that our children bring is beyond comprehension.

I am very fortunate to also have a wonderful mother that loved me unconditionally, provided me with advice when needed, gave me the freedom to make my own mistakes and learn from them, instilled morals and ethics within my soul, and shares a mutual passion for helping others, showing kindness, compassion and connection within a community.  She has been my guidance and her personality enriches me.

My passion for motherhood is the one thing that has driven me my whole entire life.  Our children… wanting the best for them, allowing them the freedom to be themselves, encouraging their differences and providing love, understanding and support is at the heart of what a mother does.

Today, as I think about motherhood, my adult children, my own mother and all those mothers doing the best job they can… today is in honour of you and the important role you play in shaping the next generation.

It makes me proud to be a mother and know that I have brought another human being into this world… educated them, loved them unconditionally, guided them and proudly watched them develop into their own self.  Whatever part of that journey you are on… enjoy the beautiful opportunities before you.

As I reflect on motherhood and my children, I decided to share this photo with you today.  An image of a microlight within the sky, as one of my sons, comes back to land upon our property.  My husband and our 2 sons, were taken above in 3 individual microlights for an aviation adventure one afternoon back in September 2011.

Rural Reflection #20…

20 Microlight at Sunset

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An exciting adventure that each of them were fortunate to experience.  The highlight was to see aerial views of our own farming property as well as surrounding farmland and towns.  I was far too scared myself, to go up in these lightweight machines, but so happy to see my loved ones enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I love this photo of one of the microlights coming back home with the beautiful sunset shining a light upon them.  The colours within the sky were beautiful as I snapped this image.

Sometimes in our lives, opportunities present themselves and it is up to us to take these opportunities and enjoy something different from the everyday routine in our lives.  This photo depicts so much happiness for me, as I see my family members being brought back home safely and with excitement in their eyes and an appreciation for this unique experience.

Enjoy those special people in your life… for those that love you, for those that teach you and for those that uplift you.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers and maternal figures in our lives.

Take care, Karen.

“MOTHERHOOD

is a choice you make everyday

to put someone else’s happiness and well-being 

ahead of your own

to teach the hard lessons

to do the right thing

even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…

and to forgive yourself

over and over again

for doing everything wrong.”

~ Donna Bell

 

 

Toddler Killed In Devastating Farm Accident

The shock a family feels as their 2-year-old toddler is killed in a traumatic on-farm tractor accident.  How on earth do these loving parents, siblings and grandparents cope with this mortifying loss?  The grief is unimaginable yet our hearts go out to this family upon hearing of this tragic event.

I was reading today about the young boy that was killed when a fertiliser bin fell from a tractor and trapped him on a dairy farm in south-west Victoria.  The shock and chaos that would have emerged when this accident unfolded, is almost impossible to fathom.  The distress the family would have felt as they tried to dig the little boy from beneath the monstrous weight.  My heart just breaks quietly from afar… for a loving family that I do not even know.

Sadly farm accidents happen on our farms.  It is so scary to think in the blink of an eye… devastation can unfold, ever so quickly.  As a mother of 2 boys, I understand knowing their curiosity, their sense of adventure and their indispensable actions… leads us to worry and take precautions every single day on the farm.

One cannot ever understand what happened that day… a simple farm task, carrying out a usual job, family distractions, nobody knows… but it was an accident.  Plain and simple.  An accident that cannot be reversed and an accident that is so heart-breaking for this family.

It is fun for little kids to grow up on farms and this upbringing is a valued and treasured experience.  A life that shapes the country child and develops their skills and attributes.  A possible farmer in the making or a well-developed young person to take on any alternate career one day.

Farm kids learn so much when they are involved on-farm and it has a positive effect on them.  They learn patience… when extra chores have to be done before dinner can be served.  They learn to drive at a young age and maintain vehicles, which is helpful later on when they are getting a drivers licence.  They learn to be handy and help with jobs that just need to be done, no excuses.  They learn first hand where and how food is grown… and understand the work requirements to feed and clothe the world.  They learn to respect the land as this is their family’s livelihood.  They learn about the weather and how farmers rely on Mother Nature and they learn how to adapt when drought is upon us.  They also learn the meaning of family when they live and work with them every single day.

As a farmer, we generally take precautions with our young children and supervise their involvement.  Like other parents, we try to be aware of where our kids are, to avoid accidents of any kind.  But sometimes, unfortunately, accidents do happen, no matter what we do.  Young children will wander when playing and they take risks without even knowing it.

However, it is devastating that too many tragedies occur on our farms and they happen in a split second of a moment.  Farm accidents can involve tractors, quad bikes, motorbikes, farm machinery, horses, livestock, dams and rivers.  Naturally, children with their inquisitive nature, sense of adventure and unpredictability… can have a disastrous effect on-farm.

As standard procedure, the toddler’s fatal accident is being investigated by WorkSafe Victoria.  I understand the necessity of the investigation due to the fatality and the possible need for future prevention strategies on all farms.  But I also feel the family have just lost their son and that devastation alone would be ripping their heart out and a battle of feelings and numbness would exist.  What could be worse than that?  I just hope the investigating organisation can be respectful to this family… as they have been through enough.

Farm safety for children is very important to all farmers and the usual threats of farm safety are managed from a business perspective.  Information for keeping children safe on our farms as well as managing all farm safety can be viewed at Farmsafe Australia.

Most of us do not know that feeling of the tragic loss of a child and so can only empathise with the situation or hold our own children a little tighter now.  I hope the parents and grandparents can support each other through this tragic time and find solace in other family and friends.  How does one get through such a tragedy on their farm?  I do not know.  I guess memories of this little boy… remembering their cheerful bubbly son for all that he was.  And not being afraid to ask for professional help to deal with their grief and loss.

So we need to love our children, watch them intensely on the farm, take precautions to prevent farm tragedies… and respect the tragic loss that this family has endured.  For more of this tragic story see the Sydney Morning Herald article I read today or 9NEWS.

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Take care, Karen.

“Grief is the price we pay for love.”

~ Queen Elizabeth II

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Believe In The Magic Of The Christmas Season

It is not what is under the Christmas tree that matters… but those who are gathered around it.  And those who are not present with you but are thought about fondly in those magical moments.  There is not only one meaning for Christmas, but many.

Family is the most important part of Christmas for most people, including me.  It doesn’t matter if your family is sharing Christmas with you… or thinking of you from afar… or even watching over you from above.  There is one common factor… the LOVE in our heart.  Family is the greatest blessing in our life.

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This year my eldest son and his girlfriend are hosting Christmas for both families.  A milestone for him… as it is the first Christmas he will host in his own home.  My husband and I will be spending Christmas with my eldest son and share the celebration he has planned.  Although this year it will be different for me, not as the host, making me somewhat anxious.  But I am very excited for him and glad to support this new adventure with him.

Sadly it will also be my first Christmas without the presence of my youngest son, as he is having Christmas with his girlfriend’s family this year.  The anxiety of change affects us all, yet inevitable in keeping family time fair and enjoyable for all.  I will miss him but glad he is able to be a supportive partner this season.

When our children are little and dependent upon us, Christmastime is joyful and filled with laughter in a childlike way.  We watch as gifts are unwrapped, presents enjoyed and we are delighted to make our children happy.  I remember those early years when the boxes and wrapping paper were just as much entertainment as the present itself.  I am sure those with young children will relate to this.

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As our children grow up and flee the nest, we have to learn to share them and experience the new ways of celebrating Christmas.  We must learn to accept change and appreciate our children and their new families.

Christmas brings so much love and joy, wherever you are.  Whether it is the delicious food shared, the atmosphere surrounding us, the giving of special gifts or the smiles, hugs and laughter we embrace.

I feel lucky this year to have my own Mum spending Christmas with us too.  I booked her a flight when she agreed to leave her usual Christmas post at her own home.  It really is very exciting to have her spending time with us this Christmas.

My sister’s family are also close-by, so I will fit in a visit to see them all too.  I am very happy for my nieces and nephew that they are able to spend Christmas Day at their own home this year, the first time in nearly 5 years.

Another Christmas we all spend without my Dad or father-in-law, but I know they are here in spirit, with heartfelt hand upon our shoulder.  It is hard emotionally when we lose a loved one and the memory of Christmas changes dramatically.  I choose to focus on how lucky I was to have that person influence me and my life.  I also reflect on those enjoyable and entertaining times we did spend together.  Just knowing of their guidance that I feel all around me… is reassuring and the love remains.

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So this Christmas, enjoy time with your family members and good friends.  Cherish all those around you and all those in your heart.  This is a time for sharing, giving and believing.

Christmas is our opportunity to pause for a moment and reflect upon the most important things surrounding us.  Through warmth and joy… Christmas is magical when our loved ones are surrounding us or tucked safely in our heart.  I hope the magic of Christmas is alive and well within your home and peace shines upon you all.  Family is a gift that lasts forever.

Take care, Karen.

“The best gift around the Christmas tree

is the presence of family

wrapped in love.

~ Author Unknown

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A Truly Beautiful Mother That Has Belief In Me

Mothers are the most important person we have in our entire lives and they are unable to be replaced.  They are the ones who love us unconditionally and teach us the important lessons in life.

I value the importance of my Mum.  She is the one who instilled those significant values within me.  I am thankful that she shaped me into the kind and generous person I am today.  (Oh yes, I know my Dad had a bit to do with it too, but this blog is about MOTHERS).

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My Mum reminded me yesterday, when she sent me a little message, that mothers are always thinking of their children, no matter how young or old they are.  The message was a positive quote, bringing with it the very powerful thought being conveyed.  It made me smile when I read it and I thought of how much I really love my Mum.

A simple, timeless and kind gesture, one can give to another… brings an overwhelming sense of calmness and clarity in a single moment.  Our mothers are our greatest teacher… a teacher of love, compassion and fearlessness.  The one that loves and cares for you without question.  A true friend for life… and our greatest emotional support.  She is the one that always has your back.

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As a mother myself, I think we tend to value our Mum’s a little more when we start to go through the trials and tribulations of motherhood.  We realise at this time, it wasn’t so easy after all.  I love being a Mum… loving, caring and guiding my own children.  We just want our kids to be happy and grow into well-balanced, kind and resilient individuals.  We want to protect them yet allow them the freedom to learn from their own mistakes.

Our mother is our greatest critic yet our strongest supporter.  You wouldn’t want it any other way.  She will tell you constructively when you need direction and she will support you to the very end.  Her kind words of support and advice, is what we start to hear in our sub-conscious mind in our everyday lives.  What a beautiful legacy to leave with a child… guidance for life.

A good mother always worries that she is not being a good mother.  Motherhood is no easy venture, but worth it when you are able to appreciate it for what it is.  The privilege to raise another human being and guide them to adulthood, to encourage their strengths and embrace their personalities.

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What joy a child does bring to a mother… no matter their age.  As a child, they bring us laughter and daily quirks, memorable moments and gratification.  As your child becomes an adult themselves (although they are still your babies), they now bring you a sense of contentment and excitement as they live their lives.  Then we sit back and hope our work is done.  And hope we have instilled in them, that we are their support for life.

All that I am or hope to be… I owe to my Mum.  She has instilled kindness and generosity within me, a caring sense and compassion which comes naturally.  Her encouragement and belief in me… guides me to shine, to strive and to achieve.  I am proud that I have inherited so many of my mother’s qualities.  She is one very special lady and I am honored to call her MY MUM.  Love you Mum!

Take care, Karen.

“Life doesn’t come with a manual,

it comes with a mother.”

~ Author Unknown

P.S. Please watch this beautiful video, it sums up how significant our mothers really are.

Video Credit:  Jamie O’Neal – YouTube

 

 

The Eternal Love We Have For Our Children

How much do our children mean to us?  As a mother, I think our children are at the top of our priority list.  They cannot be replaced, they make us proud, you love them unconditionally, you simply want them to be happy.  Nobody else will ever know the strength of love that we have for our children.  They are the only ones to know what our heart sounds like from the inside, imprinting on us immensely right from the start.

I have 2 wonderful sons, now in their early twenties, living their own unique lives independently.  They will probably not understand, until they have children of their own, how loved and meaningful they truly are to me.

In those early years, I think a lot of us do not comprehend the significance that we make in our parents lives.  It wasn’t until I become a mother, that I truly did appreciate and re-evaluate the extent of the relationship with my parents.  I think it is then, that I finely appreciated and formed a lasting friendship with my own mother.  To watch a grandmother display her love and affection to her new grandchildren, is the most beautiful and selfless act one could see.

My sons were fortunate to have been raised on a farm too, giving them the freedom and space to evolve.  Boys and mud, went hand in hand, nearly every day.  I remember when they were newborns, all I wanted to do was stare at their beautiful faces and tiny helpless hands.  The love was overflowing, but also burdened with new responsibilities.

When my boys were toddlers and dragged along to cattle sales or farm outings, they would take their bag of matchbox cars and plastic farm animals.  I was always amazed how they created their own fun and their personalities were coming through.  They would make car tracks in the dirt and have pretend cattle sales in the background.

As they got older, there was always the inconvenience that they lived too far from town and never got to do the things that their peers were doing.  But weekly sport involvement, weekend entertainment and other extra-curricular activities, ensured they were able to keep up with things the best way possible.

Then they mature and find their own paths in life.  It gives me a sense of contentment and pride.  My work is done.  But they still need reminding in life, how much they are loved by us and that we will support them always.  No matter how big they get, they will always be our babies in our hearts and our love will be eternal.

Our children need to understand that when we say “I love you”… this is not by habit… it is to remind them that they are the best thing that ever happened to us and they bring us so much joy.  Mothers think about their children every single day at all hours, even if they are not with her.

There is no right or wrong way to raise children whilst ever we love them and want them to grow into loving respectful people.  Doesn’t matter if we breast-feed or bottle-feed… a single parent or a couple… work full-time with childcare or a stay-at-home Mum… or even live in the city or country.  One way is not better than the other.  There is no competition needed.

Each family is unique and each child is unique and that is what makes our lives so interesting.  No family is perfect… we all have our own problems and find our own way to work through them.  As a parent, just do the best job you can with the knowledge and expertise that you have.  And enjoy the process of raising your beautiful children to adulthood.

Take care, Karen.

“A mother holds her children’s hands for a while,

but their hearts forever.”

~ Author Unknown

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