Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate our own mothers and all they do for us. I am close with my mom and she deserves to be celebrated every day. I always say that she sets the bar high, as a person and as a mother. But it’s also a day to celebrate the other women in our lives who might be mothers, aunts (real and chosen), grandmothers, friends, or otherwise. These are the women that form the tribe helping to care for and raise our children. I am grateful for all the strong female role models that my daughters have in their lives.
All that being said, Mother’s Day is often a difficult day. It’s difficult for those, like me, who have had issues with infertility or experienced miscarriages. It’s a difficult day for those who had stillborn babies or have experienced the loss of a child. It’s a difficult day for those with mental health issues. It’s a difficult day for those who aren’t connected with their mothers or who lost them too early. It’s a difficult day for those whose mothers had long lives, but are no longer with us. It’s a difficult day for those whose mothers aren’t well.
Even though I have been blessed with two amazing daughters, I still don’t feel like a mother. Why is that? Is it that the shoes I’m filling are so vast that I don’t feel I’m enough? What is a mother anyway? Someone who cares for you, feeds you, and puts you to bed. I do all those things for my children, but I did those things for other people’s children too, as a babysitter. Is being a mother seeing your children and knowing that you would do anything for them? I feel that very strongly, but I would do anything for other important people in my life as well. Is being a mother noticing your own traits in your children? I see them, but I also see that they are their own people already too. Some would say being a mother means unconditional love, or eternal support, or providing wisdom and guidance. I would argue that any number of people in my life both receive and fulfill these as well. So, what makes me a mother, aside from the obvious?
I feel like a mom when I’m answering a tough question that will shape my daughters’ perspectives of the world. I feel like a mom when they are hurt or sick and they want mommy snuggles. I feel like a mom when I take my daughters somewhere new or fun and see their looks of awe. I feel like a mom when I share what I went through in order to have them. I feel like a mom when I read to them at night until they fall asleep. These are just a few examples and I know I will discover more and more as they grow up, but if you’ve ever done any of these things for a child in your life, I think you should be celebrated on Mother’s Day. It takes a village, and I’m thankful for mine. Happy Mother’s Day!