This post goes out to anyone who has ever had a mom, is a mom, wants to be a mom, needed a mom, or has wanted to be a mom but never had the chance. I think moms are a misaligned, misunderstood bunch. We hear about tiger moms, helicopter moms, bad moms, absent moms, overprotective moms, soccer moms…there are even jeans named after us! Moms make headlines, too – like this now infamous mom berating her son during the Baltimore riot. I’ve read and heard a lot of commentary about this one, both positive and negative.
Enough. Enough I say.
Moms keep the world going. Moms rock!
Full disclosure: I am a mom of two teenagers. 🙂
Seriously, though, moms are the most needed people on the face of the planet. Just watch the news or Keeping Up with the Kardashians. But you know what? We’re only human. All of us. Even the Kardashians. We do the best we can with where we are at the time, to adapt a Maya Angelou line. We’re not superheroes. We’re just people and we have our faults and failings, good days and bad, just like everyone else. We are tasked with a monumental responsibility – raising good, healthy, happy people – in a world that does very little to support us. There are books, blogs, experts and advice aplenty. But there is no definitive guide for being a mom. There is no operating manual for kids. Much as we’d like one! 🙂
At the heart of true motherhood is this: a deep, passionate love. We love these little people more than life itself. Loving our little people gives our lives deeper meaning and purpose. Suddenly, it’s not about us anymore. We will sacrifice sleep, career opportunities, personal time, everything and anything to do what we feel is right for our children. It seems sometimes as if every decision we make is fodder for parody and coined terms; every choice is challenged, debated, mocked. The world attacks moms. Other moms attack moms. We attack our own moms – until we grow up and see our parents as real people with real feelings, faults and limitations. Just like everyone else.
We all do the best we can. Some days, we’re on our game. Other days, we’re totally off. And we beat ourselves up for it – and sometimes each other – mercilessly. Sometimes, we’re limited by circumstance, environment and emotions But we show up every day and fight the good fight. We protect our kids. We stand by them. We hold them when they are sad. We cheer them on; we decorate cupcakes; we make posters, buy school supplies, arrange haircuts and change endless gross diapers.
We know them better than anyone else – what makes them laugh and cry. How much sleep they need. Their strengths and weaknesses. When to hug them and when to hang back. We listen to things that are important to them and try to understand. We ask questions – will there be a parent there? Why do you need another piercing? Who is this new friend? What is Destiny and why do you need to play it 24/7? 🙂 We watch them try, fail, and encourage them to try again even though our hearts break watching them struggle because we know, ultimately, that this is what will prepare them for the future in a world that does not love them as we do.
We build them up in a world that is all too eager to tear them down.
We are guardians. Protectors. Shepherds. Playdate makers. Chaperones. Confidantes. Disciplinarians. We are their safe place to land. We have uncomfortable conversations that push us out of our comfort zones because we know it is necessary and good for them. We are all of these things and more, sometimes within minutes. After long days at work, at home or the office.It can be both exhausting and meaningful all at once. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.
If no one has been this for you…insert hug here. Know that it’s never too late to give this to yourself. Sometimes the greatest lessons come from what we don’t have or didn’t get.
Being a mom is the best – and toughest – job I’ve ever had.It has made me a better person and I have respect for anyone who takes on the challenge. We never know what struggles each mom faces – we all have our battles. But we find the strength and courage to look our kids in the eyes and say – I got you. We try, through every action, to convey this: I’m here for you. I am your home. I may not have the coolest jeans and I may not be able to help you with your math problems. But I believe in you. I love you just because you are you. I will always love you, no matter what.
What a gift. What a beautiful thing in a tough, unforgiving world.
For one day, we honor and celebrate moms everywhere with gifts, brunch, flowers, cards. I say it should be every day. Moms need all the help and support we can get. A mom can be anyone who was there for you. Maybe it was an aunt, grandmother, friend, father. Tell them what they mean to you. Tell them now.Say thank you.Appreciate. Cherish. Accept. Forgive. Celebrate. Be kind. Pass it on.