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Point-Counterpoint

Daughter – Michele Seiler lives in Rehoboth and works at Beebe Healthcare in the Cardiac & Vascular program.

 

Q: What Makes Your Mom Special?

Michele: My mom, Mary Anne Seiler, has been called a “mother to many,” but I am proud to say she was first a mother to me. She never ceases to amaze me. In most cases, she ends up ALWAYS being right. Sooner or later, I will end up saying, “MOM WAS RIGHT AGAIN.” She has been a great teacher and role model, and I must say that things have turned out pretty well for me. I wouldn’t be who or where I am without her.

 

Q: What Are a Few Things Your Mom Has Taught You?

Michele: If I had to sum up what she taught me, three things come to mind:

A sense of humor.  Mom taught me how important it is to be able to laugh at yourself and the curve balls life throws you.

Friendship is a thing to be cultivated.  Mom is always thinking of other people, dropping a pot of her “homemade” soup and bread off to anyone in her wide circle of friends who may need a pick me up.  She always has something planned with “her girlfriends” – keeps the gang moving and laughing!

And here’s the BIG ONE: The importance of education.  She always stressed education as a way to achieve and maintain independence – “the goal is to get lots of letters BEHIND your name – they mean more than “MRS” BEFORE your name.”  Being able to support yourself and look proudly in the mirror each day is something she instilled in me.  And she was right!  I have seen her plant this education seed in others – in grocery store cashiers, in restaurant servers – planting the seed that there may be more for them, encouraging them to look in to school, and then encouraging them as they finish their programs.

 

Mother – Mary Anne Seiler lives in Rehoboth and raised four children – two boys and two girls – in Delaware and New Hampshire. Her daughter, Michele, is the oldest of the children.

 

Q: What Tips Would You Give Other Mothers About Raising Children?

Mary Anne: Try not to judge your children. Be open to their thinking. It’s not my way all the time. Hear them out. I’m famous for rash judgments but I always try to remember to listen more.

Size up the friends – be aware of the friends and which ones might be catalysts for bad news down the road. There’s a guardian angel on every mother’s shoulder, but you have to listen to that angel when you sense something isn’t right.

 

Q: You and Michele are close, but how have you maintained that closeness over the years?

Mary Anne: As the children grow, I continue to support their decisions. I don’t try to run things for Michele. We talk in a more open way these days. I am not her dictator. We keep an open line of communication.

Michele has grown up to be a great woman. I feel like I learn a lot from her and how she reacts to situations. She does a great job thinking things through. She’s not impulsive. I try to learn from her and think it out instead of acting immediately.

Michele and I love to travel together and spend time having new experiences.

“We enjoy traveling together because we both love to laugh and have great senses of humor. We leave our worries at the door and just enjoy each other.”

 

Q: What concerns do you have for mothers/parents today? What would you say to them?

Mary Anne: I worry about the openness of how we are today with social media. People compare themselves to others on Facebook and that’s not healthy.

I was a mental health and addictions nurse for 54 years, so I worry about how young people are impacted by social media. I think parents today need to monitor children’s social media pages. It could be dangerous for the kids and parents need to keep lines of communication open but also monitor what is going on for these kids online. They don’t always know how to handle their emotions.

The dinner table is important here – talk to your family around the table. What happened in the day, was there anything that upset you – this should be a daily practice. It’s something I continue to do with my children even today. I talk to them and to my grandchildren. It’s a very good tool and it’s a very easy tool, but you have to encourage everyone to come together and sit down at the dinner table to talk without any distractions.

Cultivating humor with the family keeps us all entertained. Even if there is a serious time, I try to bring in a humorous moment. It’s important in the family and it keeps the parents approachable. I always wanted my kids to know they could come to me no matter what.

Beebe is celebrating a “Month of Mothers” throughout May. Join the discussion on our blog and find resources, information, and stories about motherhood on our Women’s Health microsite at www.beebehealthcare.org/be-there. Follow along on Beebe Healthcare’s Facebook page and follow BeebeWomensHealth on Instagram.