Writing a Mother’s Day column is challenging despite the fact that nothing has shaped my life more than becoming a mother – except maybe having one whose influence on my life remains one of my greatest blessings. Yet, I don’t know what to say about motherhood that hasn’t been said a thousand times before.
Writers are supposed to write about what we know. Well, I have no clue what I’m doing. None. For 23 years, as a mom (and most everything else I’ve done), I’ve winged it.
I’ve shared my personal definition of motherhood before, but I’ve altered it as my own kids grew into adults. Here it is: Becoming a mother is like giving birth to your heart, letting it run with sharp scissors and untied shoelaces directly into rush hour traffic on a very busy highway, while it’s wearing headphones that block out your warnings to stop. Yep. That sums it up.
My parenting philosophies have been a mixed bag of trial and error, blind faith, and a healthy dose of fake it ‘til you make it. Gut instinct and Gravol. I’ve been influenced by amazing women who are authentic in their role as matriarch.
I’ll rally for the mothers who freely admit that they can’t do it all, that they don’t have all the answers and that yes, it’s chicken fingers and frozen french fries for dinner again, because that’s all her bandwidth for coordination can handle today. It’s enough.
I’ll load my car up with the moms who are struggling at the school drop-off to tell their child to stay true to their character, no matter what, in hopes that the other kids will be kinder. And she knows they won’t. And she knows she can’t throttle the punk who’s making her child upset, because grown-ups lead by example. Then she heads to work where the school ground personalities now have pay grades and grown ups don’t always behave. Resiliency is learned over and over again. Yet, she leads.
I’ll knock on the door of the mothers whose homes look like tornados have gone through them, and who don’t apologize for the chaos, because they were too busy playing with their children, or working long hours to support their kids to be bothered by stressing over it. They know the cost of living and the cost of actually living it don’t add up. Besides, a clean house does not guarantee a happy home.
I’ll share a laugh with the moms who realize that motherhood has made them slightly unstable, for which caffeine or wine are likely their re-calibration method. Everything in moderation, I say.
I’ll listen to the moms who have lost their own mothers. It doesn’t matter if you’re six, 16 or 60, the loss of a mother leaves a hole in your heart. I send them strength. And if their mother was not who they needed her to be, I wish them the courage to break generational curses.
I’ll hug the moms who have lost a child, carrying on with what surely feels like wind through their souls. It’s a grief I cannot imagine. I won’t try too. But I will always take their call.
I’ll cheer on the mothers who go it alone, whether by choice or circumstance. I see you. You’re carrying a weight that, though heavy, will help your children fly one day. Trust that. They see you, too.
Thank you to all the mothers who supported me on my journey. I’m grateful. Happy Mother’s Day.