Happy Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day means so much to me. It’s a day to honor my own mother and grandmothers and a day to reflect on being a mother to my children. Motherhood is by far the greatest joy I have experienced in my life. Granted, it also can be the hardest job ever, though it comes with many rewards and children are priceless treasures. I am a better person in part because of each of my three unique and precious children and, of course, my own mother.
In thinking about Mother’s Day, I must first mention my own mother who is not perfect but she is mine and she did her best for me and is a wonderful, caring mother. I love her and admire her so much. I am truly blessed that she is my mother. She helped me become who I am today. She taught me about unconditional love, the importance of family and so many life lessons. I am forever indebted to her and thankful for her.
Being a mother is not always flowers and hugs and declarations of “I love you, Mom,” though those things do happen. It’s often the hard choices of laying down boundaries and rules and making difficult decisions instead of the easy ones because you know long term it will be beneficial for your child(ren). Often times, saying “No” is so much harder than giving in. I have told my daughters that, “I instill rules and boundaries not because of spite but because I love you so.” Someday they will understand.
I also have found that my children teach me so much if I remember to listen to them and observe the world through their eyes. Listening can be hard to do but essential for figuring out their unique needs. Each circumstance requires different responses.
Being the mother of a special-needs child is really the hardest thing I have ever done. In the beginning, it was just about basic survival and dealing with the pain and loss of what happened. Seeing a child go through a life/death situation and the struggles that no one should endure breaks a mother’s heart into a million pieces. There really are no words to describe it. Then it was about trying to heal his body and brain and my mind. It is a continual struggle, but with much less intensity as the years go on. And within all of this, I have become a full-time parental case manager. I manage his health care, his education, his recreational and therapy activities and the list goes on and on. It really is a 24 /7 job. Through the struggle of being Austin’s mom, I have evolved and grown and done things I would never have thought I would. He is my greatest teacher and inspiration.
Being a mother to my daughters also is extremely rewarding and important. This new era of being a mom of a teenager (not sure how this happened so fast and how I got this old) is a whole new stage with a huge learning curve. As my daughters have grown, they have started taking more and more responsibilities for their lives. I still oversee much of their lives, but each year my role is slightly smaller as they grow and mature. My relationship with my daughters is ever transforming and growing as their needs evolve. They need me less in many areas and differently in others. It’s a constantly changing role. Finding the right balance between their desire for freedom, privileges and needs can be quite the challenge.
My daughter Amber recently asked me, “Mom, what do you want for Mother’s Day?” What a loaded question. Wow. If she only knew. She was probably thinking I would ask for some clothing or a household item. Only those things are not that important. I like to tell her that the most precious things can’t be bought. The best Mother’s Day gift is just her happiness and love, but a small handwritten card is also well appreciated . I want the best life for her and her siblings. I want her to grow up with compassion and empathy and care for others as well as love for herself. I want her to be kind to herself and enjoy her life and live it to the fullest. I want her to find her calling in life and fulfillment and joy in her choices. I want her to grow up to be a person who is comfortable in her own skin.
In the end, as a mother I try my best and I hope that my children know the depth of the love I have for them. Sometimes, I have to make the hard choices, but it’s because they mean so much to me and I greatly desire the best future for them. I will and have made mistakes but I hope they know my intentions are good and meant to bring them fortune.
On Mother’s Day and every day, please appreciate the women and mothers in your life. It’s a hard job. But the hand that rocks the cradle really does rule the world.