It is amazing what a 20 second conversation can contain and how much what mothers teach daughters plays out in our lives.

At the supermarket today I took a handful of groceries to the express checkout and said to the lady serving me that I was going to grab a packet of nuts. The nut shelf was 10 steps away and when I returned to the register, my groceries were cleared and the station was empty. I put my nuts down and a few seconds later my shop lady returned. She apologised for not being there, saying that she had to use the spare moments to do something else. I understood what she meant and asked her (and myself) ...

‘Why do women have to fill every moment doing something?’ ...


Straight away, before the words even had a chance to hang in the air, she said: ‘Because our mothers taught us that whatever we did, it was never enough’. I was lost for words: what a gem of wisdom – so honest, matter of fact and instant.

We talked a little more as she scanned and packed the nuts, saying how she grew up feeling guilty if she was not filling every waking moment doing something, and decades later this was still with her.

What is it about women that we are always compelled to do something, if not multiple things at once, and how do we feel when we don’t – when we slow down or just do one thing at a time or even stop for a moment – like waiting for a customer to come back from the nut section?

Our mothers teach us what they learnt as daughters themselves – to keep busy. Over generations it has become something we just do. A woman who is NOT playing the multi-tasking, keeping busy, always be doing something game – unless sick – is regarded, by herself and others as selfish, self centred, lazy and useless.

"Your daily deeds and chores do not add up to your worthiness, for the loveliness was there at the birth of the day."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, p 539

Even when seriously sick, I’ve seen women struggle to allow themselves the space and time to rest because the activities of meals to prepare, washing to be done, family and work life to be attended to, have become worth more than her.

We may have won the right to vote but women remain less whilst we continue to depend on what we do for others to be what lets us feel of value – or even like ourselves.

This long-played game that mothers teach daughters robs every generation of seeing, knowing and being enriched by who women really are. When we step out from behind our cloaks of busyness and always needing to do something, there is the chance to taste not the feared void of self-worthlessness, but the fullness of the woman we actually are: wise, warm, aware and self possessed. When this woman tends to the needs of work, home and life, it is not to her own detriment or to prove or gain her worth, but to bring it – that is, to bring the absolute worth she knows herself to be – to whatever is needed.

When our mothers truly know themselves as worthwhile, long before anything they do, our daughters will too. If this becomes what mothers teach daughters, we wouldn’t use Mother’s Day to remind us of our value – it would be known every day.


You may also enjoy:

Finding My Self-Worth – Is there more to me than all that I do?

What Defines A True Woman? Returning to Be You.

Filed under

Self-worthRole modelsMother's DayMotherhood

  • By Adrienne Hutchins

    I’ve always been interested in understanding the underlying cause and effect behind what we experience in life and for this the heart is the greatest teacher any student could have.