Being someone’s mother is a bond that is unmatched in any form or other relationship. It’s a love that is instant but constantly changing, a love that always wants more and to be better. It requires you to put your whole heart in someone else’s hands every single day. It is equal parts exhilaration and dread. When it comes to how to raise a child, there are a million choices that polarize us. What we seem to have forgotten is we are more alike than different. We are all women who bend without breaking, who feel like we are never giving enough but couldn’t possibly give more, who consistently put someone else before ourselves.
So, here’s to all of us.
To the single mother or mother whose partner doesn’t contribute. Who handles every moment with as much grace and courage as she can muster. Who throws a glass or screams into a pillow at the unfairness of it all. You are right, it is unfair. It wasn’t supposed to be this hard.
To the working mother who has to leave her children every day to earn a living or to have something of her own. However decisive she may be in her career, mothering is the job that will cause her to second guess herself. She has a million balls in the air at any time and if she stops to think about the fairytale she was sold about “having it all,” they may all come crashing down around her.
To the mother who stays home with her kids. The one who feels lonely though she is never alone. Who doesn’t have coworkers to bounce ideas off or to ask for help when she feels like she’s drowning. Who keeps everyone’s worlds upright with little recognition or reward.
To the mother who stays in a bad marriage for her children, and the one who leaves for that very reason. The one who will forever second guess whichever path she takes. Whatever her decision, she is doing the right thing for her family. She is doing the best she can.
To the stepmother who was able to see firsthand how hard it is to raise a child. Who chose to opt in, not in spite of it all, but because of it. Who constantly has to bite her tongue even when she is right. Who puts in the effort every day and rarely gets the appreciation or acknowledgement she deserves.
To the mother of a sick or dying child. Who curls up on the hospital floor and watches her child fight cancer. The one who can’t fix what is broken this time. Who would do anything to switch places with her child if only she were given the chance.
To the mother who never got to experience a life growing inside her, whether by choice or circumstance. The one who chose to adopt her child but fears she may never feel like a “real” mother. Genetics rarely matter where parenting is concerned. She was meant to be her child’s mother all along.
To the mother that has to look after her aging mother. Who must make the emotional shift from being cared for to caregiver. Who can only look on as their rock begins to roll. The one who puts on a brave face when all she wants is to crawl into her mother’s lap and cry.
To the grandmothers, aunts, siblings, and friends who constantly step in at the exact moment we need them. It really does take a village and without you, our lives and the lives of our children would not be nearly as fulfilling.
Here’s to all of us.