Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What Truly Matters About Moms

Another Mother's Day has come and gone, and as usual, I spent the day with my head full of thoughts.

^ My mom and me at the beginning.

I thought about my mom, and our complex, confusing, often conflicted relationship. Never imagined that her battle with dementia would level me up to a whole new understanding of our mother-daughter dynamic and bring me peace, but that's exactly what happened. 

 ^ Little miss third born, at the wise age of three months.

^ My first born on her first birthday. 

And I thought about my adventures as a mommy to my own four girls. Hard to wrap words around how much we have all grown and changed in their relatively short lifetimes. Hard to even remember who I was before they came along to make me a mom.

^ We mothers are as plentiful as flowers on a vine, and just as closely connected.

I thought about the beautiful sisterhood of mothers. Here's the thing - once a woman becomes a mother, her heart is permanently changed, and every other mother on the planet understands and shares in that transformation. No matter how different we may be in other ways, I feel a deep connection to any mom who shares her mother's heart with me.

 And lastly, but perhaps most importantly of all, I thought about daughters who think about motherhood. Among the endless parade of sweet and loving Mother's Day posts that flitted through my social media feeds this weekend, many boldly claiming that this mother was the "best mom ever," the "coolest mom," or even "better than your mom," came this little pearl of wisdom and insight from one of my sixteen-year-old math students:

^ My algebra student, Natalie, and her perfect-for-her mommy.

"Happy Mothers Day Mom! I love you so so much and everyone talks about how they have the best mom in the entire world and let's be honest - to you, she is. God gives us a mother who is exactly what we need and want. I thank God every day that he gave me my mom because she is the best mom for me!" 

Yes. YES. Thank you, Natalie Jean, for reminding us moms that mothering is an art and a science but never a competition. There are countless "right" ways to be a mom, and an infinite number of moms who intuitively know what's best for their kids. And what's more, our sons and daughters need us to be exactly the kind of mom we were each born to be, because they were born to us for a reason. 

So,  here's to the bio moms, step moms, foster moms and adoptive moms of the world. Let us celebrate on this Mother's Day who we are and what we do. And let's carry Natalie's wise words with us throughout the year - we may not always feel like the Best Mom, but we are always the best mom for our kids.

And that is what truly matters.

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