With Mother’s Day coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about the moms I know. The proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I believe that’s true, but I also know it has taken a village to raise this mom.
The mothers who came before me and welcomed me into motherhood are the strongest and most beautiful women I know. I am overwhelmed by the love and wisdom they’ve provided me on my journey. This is my love letter to them.
The moms I shared pregnancies with, while we bonded over growing bellies, pregnancy symptoms, and swapping notes on what to expect. One of my favorite things is watching our babies grow together, even miles and states away from each other.
The mom who laughed with me as science and statistics failed my ever so calculated life plan; and assured me that I’d be the best mom I could be, I just needed a new, flexible plan.
The mom who I called in a panic because I failed the first glucose test and was terrified for what that meant. Her gentle voice assured me that whatever the outcome of the second test, I was in good hands and would be given a plan for care.
The mom who heard the terror in my voice when Lucas wasn’t kicking in my belly, and told me to come into the hospital. She was the head nurse, and after finding Lucas’s heart beat, and seeing his lack of movement was irregular, promised me she’d make him “dance.” She stayed with me for over 11 hours, brining me juice and telling me stories of her twin boys to keep me calm. Lucas arrived, healthy as can be, 5 hours after her shift ended.
The mom who showed up with a box of my favorite donuts to celebrate me graduating from complete bed rest, to being able to sit up on my couch. Those were the best donuts I’ve ever eaten in my life, hands down.
The mom I called when I woke up at 37 weeks, six weeks into bed rest, because I couldn’t be sure if my water broke or I wet the bed. My water was broken for me with Lucas, so I didn’t know what a spontaneous break felt like, and we both laughed because I’d obviously not wet the bed and we celebrated the end of my prodromal labor.
The moms who reassured me when I returned to work after Lucas was born, who uplifted my heart with sweet messages of understanding, offering hugs and tissues when I cried, and assured me I was doing the best thing for my family. And then when I decided to leave a career I loved, reassured me that I was doing the best thing for my family.
The moms who have lost their babies, either those they’ve raised for a few minutes, hours, days or years. The moms who never got to meet their babies. The moms who pray over their babies to regain their health. The moms who mother babies born from their heart, if not from their womb. The moms who enter motherhood through marriage or partnership and love fiercely, even when unappreciated. The moms who mother with titles of Aunt, Auntie or Tia.
The new moms. The seasoned moms. The single moms. The military moms. The warrior moms. The Pinterest moms. The hot-mess moms. The crunchy moms. The working moms. The stay at home moms. The moms who love their babies more than life itself. They’ve all raised me.
And then there is the mom who I owe everything to; my momma. She raised her two boys and this girl alone, on a shoe string budget that fed us, clothed us and sheltered us. Even more than that, her love has blanketed us in its protection long after we have grown. She taught me to stand on my own two feet, and taught me to fly towards my goals. She introduced me to the man of my dreams, and she walked me down the aisle to marry him. She is the ultimate grandma, or Tudy as her grandbabies call her. She held my hand (and leg) as I brought my two babies into this world, tears rushing down her cheeks as they took their first breath. She is everything I know about generosity and unconditional love. I love you, momma, thank you for being mine.
Happy Mother’s Day, moms!