Mother’s Day with a difference – Marian Fitz-Gibbon

Happy Mother’s Day this Sunday to all our Gateway New readers worldwide. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, be gracious to you and grant you great favour.

Mother’s Day has become traditional with a special meal and a reflection on how marvellous mum is — with a bunch of flowers, some hand cream, her favourite perfume and some chocolates to top it all. While some may argue it’s just a “commercial drive”, we as mums wait with great anticipation to read the cards and share the chocolates while watching an afternoon movie. This year is no doubt going to be very very different.

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How has life been with COVID-19 and our special women?
Artists help capture the message of motherhood. Mom’s value, her economic contribution, educational support, the emotional and spiritual underpinning in her family. The recent closure of some long-standing women’s magazines in South Africa leaves an even greater opportunity for women to become a positive voice in our children’s lives. Women are to be honoured and so I asked well known South African artist and art teacher Rona Zwarts how women and art link-up.

She says: “Working with women, especially with the visual arts, I’ve seen them become free of fear and work with colour, shape and form. A woman is inclined to beautify her surroundings, whether it’s her house, herself, her cooking, her clothing – she tends to make things beautiful. Whenever you are in a creative space concerning the visual arts you escape the mundane and in escaping that you go to a higher level away from your fears and you become like a child again. In that space, you usually connect with the Holy Spirit and its very freeing. You get touched very deeply”.

Karen Harkema (early student of South African art teacher Rhona Zwarts) captured the heart and times of her darling mother using colour to bridge the times (PHOTO: Supplied).

Mum the teacher
My thoughts went straight to something my eldest daughter mentioned about having little ones away from school for so long. Martie Du Plessis from Dynamis Empowering Parents gave some sound advice: “Parents are not the teachers; they are the first educators. They are the ones from whom the child learns communication, love and the goodness of God. The values and principles are learned in meal preparation and around the table eating”. She referred to the fact that parents should impart knowledge and skills to the children. Motherhood is a constant classroom from the moment the little ones open their eyes until the last prayer is said.

Little Zoe Staveros loves putting on her ballet outfit and dancing along with a dance-workout TV show (PHOTO: Supplied).

The balance of play
Keeping Sunday as a playday, and ensuring that everyone is included, is a challenge that the Staveros family have managed to navigate. They play bingo, croquet, all-in art and dance to your music choice just for starters. Little Zoe puts on her ballet outfit and dances daily to a TV show. It all sounds such fun and well thought out. Helen, the mom, says they are using things around them to keep busy. Everything needs to be age-appropriate. She has also understood that she does not have to play with her children all the time. She is relaxed and present but not controlling.

“A strong woman knows she has the potential to shine in this world, but true strength lies in her ability to lay down her life so that God can shine through her” –Darlene Schacht



  1. Lovely Marian, as always!!!

    Thank you so much.

  2. Beautiful Marian , thank you. May the Lord stir the creative spirit in all of us that we make things beautiful!