I’ve always associated the month of May with Mother’s Day. It usually fell around the time of my parents’ wedding anniversary, so I found it quite easy to remember. On the first of May each year, I would collect my allowance money and head up to Mays’ Department Store, where I would purchase a card for each occasion, as well as something special for mom. I always found it strange that only one day was dedicated to mothers, since my own mom was rather selfless and deserved more than one Sunday in May to give thanks to all she’s done. Here’s an ode to moms everywhere, in honor of this very special day, and the very special job that they do.
There were sleepless nights when you first found out you were pregnant, as you feared for your child and perhaps even the safety of your pregnancy. You felt bloated and exhausted, and you were slowly losing your physique. You ached in places that you didn’t realize could hurt, your feet swelled and you were woken by a sharp kick in the ribs. You watched as new life grew within you, and you marveled at the sight of a tiny heel as it attempted to stretch within your belly. You were an incubator, true, but you also were the strongest protector of that child within you. Mama Bear had nothing on you.
After your child was born, you continued to get up, even at ungodly hours, for nourishment and comfort. Colic and feeding issues aside, you singlehandedly were able to balance motherhood and a job, even on a few hours of sleep. You assumed the role of teacher, nurse, playmate and very best friend. You were your child’s entire world, and you thrived upon the knowledge that this little life needed you more than anyone else. You fell in love with your child, all the while aware that they would one day grow out of being your everything. You rocked it, from making clothing to feeding your children, and you didn’t have a handbook to go by.
The teenage years were the worst for you. Once your child’s best buddy, you became alienated as your child’s personality changed from the hormones that swirled inside of them. You tolerated being yelled at, being told you were hated and being told you were the worst mother in the world. All the while, you loved with a fierceness that knew no bounds. You felt the hurt, but the love was stronger. You were one fierce warrior during those turbulent times.
As your children graduated and grew to adulthood, you navigated the waters a little less easily. Here, you needed to watch your words, to suggest rather than direct. You were less needed in some ways, while in others, your guidance and presence was a comfort and a rock during bitter storms that life threw at your child. You hugged a lot, you offered your shoulder to cry on and although you were crumbling inside as your own child wept, you were the strength that was needed for them to keep going.
You may not think you’re needed now, but you are needed more than ever. As your adult child moves on with life, they will always need to come back to you, to ask you for a recipe, to just hear the comfort of your voice. You have always been their first love, and they will always be grateful to you for that. You may still be here for your children, or you may be long departed, but you will always be the indelible mark on your child’s heart that has mattered the most.
For all of my fellow moms in the trenches, this one’s for you. Here’s to you, and to all that you have done. And mom, this one is for you. You were a rock star, and you didn’t even realize it. Perhaps my own stab at motherhood has been a tribute to the wonderful woman that you are.
Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there. Every day is Mother’s Day, so celebrate the fabulous mom that you are, in each and every moment. From the highs to the lows, and for all those times in between, here’s to you. Keep on rocking it.