Friday, May 6, 2016

To Mother Means to Nurture

Mother’s Day can be tough. Amiright, sister-friends?  

     Imagining the “perfect” Mother’s Day – a quiet, clean house, meals already made and dishes done, the children playing ever so nicely, “Dear sister, I believe it is your turn. “ “Oh, sweet brother of mine – do go first. By the way, have I told you how much I love you?” and then, maybe – just MAYBE, dare I say it, a nap. Then, the let down because our husbands are at work and kids are being kids and of course we won’t get a nap – we need to make dinner and do laundry and clean up messes and, and, and…

OR, if the stars align just right, and ALL of the “perfection” actually happens, it’s over in one day and we think, “Why can’t it be this way every day? Why does my family need a one day a year excuse just to be perfectly nice to me?” And then, realizing all the reasons we fall short as a mother. Don’t even get me started on these.

OR, we have a terrible relationship with our mothers and so this day brings feelings of resentment and anger. Maybe we feel like it is never enough with her.
OR, for my sweet sister-friends who have lost their mamas or babies or are unable to have a child and who desperately want one, this day…oh this day. My heart aches for you.

Oh, mercy. Motherhood.

And yet, when I was asked as a pig-tailed, gap-toothed seven year old, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” without hesitation, I would respond, “A mom.” Here’s why. My mama.

Whew. Dang genetically weak tear ducts. My mama is why I wanted to be a mom. Some of my favorite things that I learned from my mom…
     1. Service & Compassion. I watched mom take cookies to struggling sisters, listen to their troubles and dry their tears. I saw her run across the street to check up on our sweet widow neighbor, Valene, just to make sure she was okay. Now, it is standard at MY house for the kids to ask, “Is this dinner for us or is it for someone else?” Thanks, Mom.
2. Solitude. I saw my mom learn to be still, listen, and quiet the world’s noise for just a bit. I always knew my mom had a relationship with God. Now, my kids wait at the door of my room until I get off my knees before they ask their questions. Thanks, Mom.

3. Coke. I think I am allowed to blame this addiction on her. Just look at the picture. Also, Coke is delicious. Thanks, Mom!
     4. Education. My mom graduated from high school in the midst of serious family turmoil. She graduated with her Bachelor’s at eight months pregnant. She always had a book to read and music playing. She paid for piano lessons and sat through basketball and volleyball games. Shakespeare, the Beatles, Beethoven or jump shots were just part of our daily routine. I graduated with MY Bachelor’s with two little monkeys under three. I think there are five (?) books on my nightstand. I am teaching my three older kids to play piano. Our routine is made up of school musicals and soccer games. And I love it. Thanks, Mom.

5. Courage. I don’t need to re-hash all of the hard things my mama has been through. But, damn. This woman is a warrior. I’ve lived through some stuff myself and wouldn’t have if my supportive mom hadn’t been there telling me she’d been through it too. Thanks, Mom.

To all you sisters out there, who struggle with Mother’s Day, read this quote from mama blogger, Glennon Melton:

To Mother, to me, means to nurture. To heal, to help grow, to give. And so anyone and everyone who is involved in the healing of the world is a Mother. Anyone who tends to a child, or friend, or stranger, or animal or garden is a Mother. Anyone who tends to Life is a Mother. [Let] Mother’s Day be a celebration of all the healers and hopers and lovers and givers and tend-ers.

I am blessed to be a mother – to join ranks with my Mama, Healer, Nurturer, Hoper, Giver, Tend-er, Best Friend, Confidant, Sister and, now, Grandma. How I love you, Mom. Thank you for teaching me, putting up with me and encouraging me. I cannot thank you enough or find the words to tell you how much I love you.

Happy Mother’s Day!


  1. OH MY!...tear duct overload!!! Thanks for the healing words, and Happy Mother's Day to one of the greatest examples of motherhood in my life! Love you forever sister!