As the days following Mother’s Day have come and gone, I have found myself reflecting deeply on what it means to hold the title “Mother.”
Anyone who is a mother knows it’s much more than a title to be held, but more a badge of honor hard won. Not all of us who hold the title live up to its true meaning — or even want to for that matter — but for those of us who do, we know that our roles as mothers mean everything!
It has been said “being a mother is a hard and thankless job.” The days are long and the nights are even longer still. There are no holidays, breaks or weekends off and there is no pay. You often lose all sense of self, privacy, dignity and may even find yourself hiding in the shower as you silently cry, so your children will not see you in such a state.
While all this is true, it is also true that as mothers, we would not change it for the world. Being a mother has become everything to us and from the moment we laid eyes on our children, we realized that while we may have given them life, in that instant, they gave us our reasons to live.
I recently talked with one mother, a best friend of mine Carrie Ann, and asked her what comes to mind when she hears the word “mother”. She said her “children instantly come to mind (as she is reminded of how) fast they are growing up and would do it all over again if ever given the chance”.
I asked her what she thought a mother ought to be for her children and she said “A mother is a soft place where your children can feel safe to fall, learn from their mistakes, and know that she’ll always be there for them, no matter what!”
I asked her what being a mother meant to her and without skipping a heartbeat, she replied, “It means everything to me and is what makes me proud to be me!”
Having met and spent lots of time with Carrie Ann and her children, I can tell you her pride shows in every single one of them and she has raised some pretty amazing children.
For anyone reading this who may be expecting their first child or considering having children of their own, I asked Carrie Ann how her life has changed since having children and she answered that while her life has changed in many ways, having children has taught her to think beyond herself and as a mother, she puts her children and their needs first in all that she does.
Finally, for all moms out there, I asked Carrie Ann if she had any advice to share with other mothers or parents out there. What she said next is so simple and so profound, and yet can be the hardest piece of advice to apply. She said, “Enjoy every moment and do your best in all that you do!”
I think for many of us, myself included, we may spend so much time trying to do everything right that we sometimes forget to stop and just enjoy being with our children.
When my first was a baby, I remember thinking it would take forever for him to start to grow up so we could experience all of his firsts. Now that he’s grown, 19, and I have 3 small children, I wish they would slow down in their growing up so that I could enjoy them forever.
Neither is possible, but the memories we’ve made, the “tools” we give them to use in life, and the bonds we’ve created will last a lifetime.
And while Mother’s Day has past, I hope I have shared the heart of one mom to another and that you may always cherish the greatest gift life has to offer, being a mother!