Here's to Mothers

Mama. Mommy. Mom. Mother.  So many ways to say it.  So many mothers in the world.  We all have/had one.  Mothers have an important role—to teach, nurture, and comfort—and a million other jobs.  This Mother’s Day, I honour mothers, all kinds of mothers.

Here’s to mothers of babies and pre-schoolers, who give and give and give, whether tired or not (but mostly tired).  Your love and care in these early years is crucial.  Enjoy the smiles and giggles and “firsts” now and remember that your time invested  will reward you later.

Here’s to mothers of children and pre-teens.  Many of you have launched your kids into the world of school and some of you have chosen to directly shape your child’s world through home schooling.  You are helping your kids discover their gifts, develop skills, and create healthy habits and relationships.  You may be weary of making lunches and after-school snacks, driving kids around, or telling them to practice or do homework, but hang in there.  Embrace the moments and the conversations you already know are fleeting.  And keep looking ahead as you make decisions. 

Here’s to mothers of teenagers and young adults, who love and don’t necessarily feel love back.  You are shaping the next generation of adults.  Your job is getting increasingly hard as pop culture and peers fight for influence.  Keep trying to connect.  And tell me how to let go of children gracefully, because I have no idea how I will do that.  

Here’s to mothers of kids with special needs.  You are troopers.  You are extraordinary.  You see beyond appearances.  Your rewards are different.  I hope when you are discouraged or weary, you have people around to support you.  I hope you can teach the world to be kinder and more accepting, more thankful, and more understanding.

Here’s to mothers who have adopted.  Whether you have experienced the ache of not being able to bear a child, or whether you have opened your arms to an orphan and expanded your family, you have chosen to care for the most vulnerable.  You have likely or will likely experience heartache like no other because of the unique situation of your child: the insecurities and questions, the anger, and the longing for belonging.  Yet you travel this road and you love.

Here’s to mothers of children who have been placed in the care of others.  You know what it’s like to have your heart ripped away, to feel helpless, and to despair.  You struggle to make your life better, but many times the cycle continues.  Visits are pain and pleasure—sometimes too much to bear.  Whether your kids are allowed back or not, you are a mother.  Though everything else changes, that will never change.

Here’s to mothers of children who rebelled, ran away, got mixed up with drugs or gangs, or went to prison.  You have been through the ringer.  You have loved, you have been tough, you have felt intimidated, you have questioned your decisions, you have endured the judgment of others, but you have kept hoping the best--longer than many thought you would.

Here’s to mothers who have lost children: through miscarriage, stillbirth, illness, accident, or the taking of a life.  You have known sorrow in a way like none other.  Your world has shattered.  You have known darkness.  You have known grief.  You never forget that precious life for one moment.  Yet you go on with life and try your best to live and take care of the others entrusted to you.  Mother’s Day holds sadness with it.

Here’s to those who have experienced neither the joy nor the ache of motherhood, but have longed to.  You have watched friends and family make the transition and leave you behind in many ways.  You have asked “why?” a thousand times, and endured the pain of trying many things without success.  For you, Mother’s Day can be too hard to bear.

Here’s to single mothers who have lost the support they were meant to have, who work hard to earn enough money and still take what little time and energy they have left to care for their kids.  Making ends meet is challenge enough, but so is finding positive male influences, allowing anyone into your heart, and feeling accepted by other mothers.  I hope you have the support you need.

Here’s to working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.  You each make a unique contribution to the world.  You each must strive for balance in order to keep your sanity and your values intact.  You each feel moments of guilt and doubt regarding your decisions.  Yet each of you has made a valid choice.  The most important thing is to be present to your children when you are with them (and somehow, that is not as easy as it sounds).

Here’s to grandmothers and great-grandmothers.  You have wisdom and love to share, yet you must restrain yourself in order to avoid crossing lines.  You have such a special place in your heart for the children of your children and hold such a special place in their hearts, too.  You have the unique opportunity to make an impact on another generation without all the responsibility and hard work.  Yet it is not easy to balance making time for your own pursuits as well as making time for your grandkids.  One or the other will feel more natural, but both are valuable.

Last of all, here’s to my own mother.  You gave me life and love, taught me faith and perseverance, helped me develop my gifts and talents, and prayed for me every step of the way.  I love you!