May is, as we all know, Mother’s Day.
A time when we honor our mothers and get ourselves into a frenzy of buying the biggest bouquet we can to show them our love. Joking aside, I have an amazing relationship with my mother, and am very fortunate to have been raised around my aunts (who are like mothers to me), AND I am one of those people who actually enjoys my mother-in-law! So for me, Mother’s Day is kind of a big deal. I will also acknowledge that I am extra excited this year since I eschewed the people trying to celebrate ME last year while I while I was pregnant (my favorite joke of I’m not actually mothering yet, just incubating!). This year marks my transition into actual mothering and being celebrated for being a mom.
Which got me thinking about my own mom and who she is and how much she has done for me. And her mom. And my father’s mother. And my aunts. All of these amazing women who had a hand in raising me and guiding me into the woman I am today. It’s crazy for me to think about how many factors have gone into what made me the mother I am. Then I look at my friends, and think about their relationships with their mothers, and in some cases their relationships with their kids. How I knew in my bones that I would never do some of the things my friends do with their kids. (Feeling really happy that I kept my opinion to myself now that I actually know what I am talking about) There are so many different ways to mother, and kinds of mothers, and looks of mothers, and now that I have JL I look at every woman around me as a potential mother. In some way we are all pulled together into this crazy tribe called motherhood, and it transforms us into totally different people than we had ever imagined we could be- and I love it.
I could wax poetic about the many ways in which my mom is the best mom of all and how I am constantly afraid to fall short of her shoes with JL. I could tell stories about my Nana and how I still feel her presence when my son crinkles his nose to throw his head back and laugh like she did. I could reminisce about my aunts and the memories I have of reading stories on her lap and how I enjoy doing that now with my own son. I could enlighten you all to how I smile and snuggle JL a little tighter when I watch how my husband treats his own mother, because she’s so wonderful, and think about how one day JL will be like his daddy. And setting aside how wonderful all of these women are – because we all think our mom is the best mom, I have been blessed to have an amazing crew (tribe as it were) of friends. One who decided that she was going to become a yogi while pregnant with her second and was practicing and teaching until she delivered. One who finished a thesis and doctorate while raising two small children (both under 3!) and handling a move among many other things. Another who has raised the most perfect little girl I know (clearly I’m not biased) as a single mother going back to school and re-entering the workforce.
The point is that we all have these women. We all have our tribe. Women who have shaped us and showed us how to mother. What they did right (or wrong) is the stuff that makes us into the mothers we are. And I know that they all have left their marks on me and influenced the way I want to raise JL. So this post is to you all. To my mother, mother in law, grandmother, aunts, cousins, friends… To all the woman I have been lucky enough to learn from- Happy Mother’s Day! To all of you reading this, Happy Mother’s Day! Because there is no mother like the mother you are, and you are the best mother you can be. And likely there is a little sticky set of hands reaching up to you right now to remind you how loved and amazing you are. So put down your phone/tablet… whatever it is, and give that munchkin a squeeze.
Happy Mother’s Day!