Motherhood is Forever and Always





I’ve been called them all in these last 10 years and each time I hear my sons utter “my name” I mentally pinch myself because I still can’t believe I’m actually their mother.

I didn’t grow up thinking about being a mom. I didn’t think about how many kids I would have or pretend to be the “mom” when playing with my dolls in my room. I liked knowing I was the child and my Mom was raising me. I just always saw myself as my Mother’s daughter.

I marveled at my Mom. She was larger than life to me and I wanted to spend every second with her. She made me feel so loved, so beautiful and flawless, and she was fiercely protective of me. I know I probably wasn’t the easiest little girl to raise. I had lots of quirks and loved to be on the go, but in all my years with my Mom, I felt nothing but complete and utter love and adoration for her and from her.

As I got older and my brother joined our family, I still saw my Mom as involved and engaged with us as ever. But, she seemed more tired. She seemed older and less effervescent. Don’t get me wrong, she was still as amazing as ever in my eyes, but she had grown more weary.

However, she still continued to be the hostess with the mostess, planned impeccable parties and family gatherings, carpooled my brother and me everywhere while singing to the oldies, was available to her friends and family whenever she was needed, stayed up late on the weekends playing every Super Mario Bros. game with me until we beat them all, and made sure she tucked us into bed every night.

I could always sense her pride in being a mother and how much she adored her children…even when I knew she needed a break from us. She could get upset with us. Grow frustrated with our need to always be with her. She would scold us when we were on her last nerve, which would make my brother and I sad, but no matter what….our Mom was still our everything. She could do no wrong in my eyes.

When she passed, I read a letter she had written to me about four months earlier when I went on my senior retreat. I had read it originally at my retreat, but it didn’t speak to me in the same way then as it did when I read it shortly after she died. In reading it again, l realized for the first time how hard my Mom was on herself. She did not think she was a great mom. She felt like she made a lot of mistakes, wasn’t patient enough, didn’t help me enough, didn’t give me enough…didn’t know how to love me enough.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. This wasn’t the Mom I had in my heart. My Mom was the exact opposite of this letter. All my most treasured and fondest memories were centered around my Mom because she was ALWAYS there for me.

When I looked backed on my life with my Mom in those months after she died, I didn’t think about what she gave me or didn’t give me, how often—towards the end of her life— she would get impatient with me (thanks to menopause and quitting smoking), and I never ever felt like she didn’t love me enough. All I kept replaying in my mind was the thought that she may have left this life thinking she was not the best mother to her children. I actually felt like maybe she loved my brother and me too much.

She spent her whole life filling up our cups— both literally and metaphorically speaking— that she forgot about what was best for her…what she needed. And now she was gone and I would never be able to give back to her like I envisioned myself doing when I became an adult.

And now as a mother myself, I can completely understand my Mom’s feelings of inadequacy. I, too, feel like I am shortchanging my boys. I’m so tired and overwhelmed at times, I work full-time and can’t always just sit and give my undivided attention to them, I become consumed with worrying about my Nico and his special needs, and I have definitely lost my patience more times than I’d like to admit, but boy…do I adore my sons.

I just think it’s really tough to be a mother. Period. It doesn’t matter if you have one or several, work full time or don’t, have special needs children or neurotypical ones. Being a mom is the most demanding role you can ever take on.

And it happens to also be the most labeled role I think I’ve ever known. A mother can be a:

Working mom

Stay-at-home mom

Single mom

Tiger mom

Sports mom

Dance mom

Fun mom

Strict mom

Creative mom

Lazy mom


Absent mom

PTA mom

Classroom mom

Special Needs mom

And the list goes on. No father has this many labels attributed to him, that’s for sure. If being a mom was easy, they would’ve had fathers do it. Ha.

And what’s insane is that a mother can embody many of those labels in just ONE DAY. God knows I have simultaneously been those moms in the course of a day for my boys.

But what I hope and pray my sons see when they look at me is a mom that loves them fiercely and beyond measure. A mom who is always there. Who advocates for them, teaches them, guides them, supports them and loves them.

That’s what I wish I would’ve told my own Mom on her Mother’s Day. That she was all those things for me and more: an advocate, teacher, guide, supporter, and the one whose love I felt the absolute most.

And although Mother’s Day is meant to be a time to recognize and celebrate all the moms in our lives, it’s not always a mom’s favorite day. I’m sure it wasn’t my Mom’s at some points in her life. She lost her own mother when she was young, so I know she probably felt the same sorrow I have felt when Mother’s Day approaches.

It can be a heartbreaking day, a lonely day, even a bitter day because with motherhood comes an indelible bond and infinite imprint between mothers and their children which, when broken or worn thin due to the cruelties of life, can make this day a hollowing reminder of what was, what could’ve been, and what is at this moment in time.

I have experienced all those Mother’s Days in the past as I’m sure others have too, but what I hope for all mothers, present and passed, is that you know just how remarkable and revered you are. There is no one stronger and more empowered than a mother.

So before you think about dismissing the day or praying that it goes by quickly, give yourself some grace and allow yourself to be pampered because there is no one more deserving than you.

You, my friend, are a mother!

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