I am writing this today from La Barca, Mexico where they are celebrating Mother’s Day or Dia de la Madre. I’ll celebrate two mother’s days, one for Mexico today and one for Canada this Sunday. It’s a day I never really expected to celebrate, but I consider myself fortunate to spend it with many amazing mothers in both countries.
Mother’s Day to me is a very special day. It’s a day I have the chance to celebrate my mom who raised five pretty great kids. I know I’m not the only one who is incredibly grateful for having her as a mother, but I’m forever grateful to have her as a friend. She has dealt with a tremendous amount of shit (literally) which she never held against me, and always holds her hand out for me to hold as I cross the many intersections of this life.
How can I show my gratitude to this woman? My mom was there to witness me becoming a mom. She was in the delivery room with us and saw Joseph come into this world. She gave me support as our Doula, but she gave me strength as my mom. She has many roles in my life that are so much more than being a mom.
I saw a sign the other day on Instagram from Lara & Co. It said, “Mom, I know you’ve loved me as long as I’ve lived but I’ve loved you my whole life.” Truer words have ne’er been spoken. Our moms forever implant themselves into our hearts from the time we are born, the first times the hold us. I can only hope that Joseph feels toward me a portion of how I love my mom. If that happens, I’ll feel loved every day of my life.
These last 12 weeks of being a mother are equally joyful and terrifying. It is a terrifying responsibility to raise a child. We want him to grow up confident, kind, generous, thoughtful. We have so many wishes for him, and it’s scary to know we’re responsible for this. Each choice we make every day impacts him in so many ways, and that alone frightens me. But for every terrifying thought, there’s a counter-moment.
There is so much joy in being his mom. Every single moment he smiles it lights a fire in my heart. Every time he reaches for my hand and holds on tight while I’m feeding him settles me. Every millimetre of growth, every milestone he reaches is a reminder he will not always be a baby. Every time I can see him deep in thought or concentrating on a conversation or a song, I am reminded that every second of his life he is learning. He is the best parts of me, the best of Beto, and I think that in itself is incredibly special.
I feel terrified that I’m not living up to the expectations placed upon me, or at least the ones I perceive are on me. I worry that I’m not giving enough, doing enough, laughing enough, hugging enough. How is it possible to give everything and not feel it is enough? How can you ever feel you’ve given enough to your child? Clearly, I don’t have an answer, but I welcome any feedback!
I reflect on these days and want to celebrate my wonderful friends who are walking this journey with me. Some of you have kids that are all grown up, and some of you are hoping to start your families soon, and some of you have not reached that season yet. Some of you are not raising children that you have birthed, but they are no less your children. Kids just need love, and love comes in many forms, doesn’t it? Whichever season you are currently in, I am so grateful for your friendships, the lessons you’ve taught me, for your love for me, Beto and Joseph, for your excitement, and all of your support.
Today is not a day only for mothers who have children earthside. Some of you have faced great losses that I will never begin to understand the pain of, and some of you are weathering a storm hoping to come out the other side. I want to extend my hand and help you through these difficult times, and I want to say that you are no less a mother. Being a mother is so much more than having a child to hold, and I do not take this role lightly. There are many forms of mothers, and though it’s difficult to find the words to say, I hope you know that my admiration for you all and your strength and resilience surpasses words. My thoughts are always with you hoping for the outcome of your dreams.
I am fortunate. The gratitude of that is not lost on me and if I have one thing to be forever grateful for it’s this little boy who chose me as his mother. Joseph, who is healthy, happy, and whose smile lights up the room, whose hand I will always be here to hold.
And to all of those who are missing their mothers, remember that you have loved them your whole life and will continue to wherever they may be, so tell them. They may be near, far, in this world or the next, but the greatest gift to a mother is knowing her baby loves her.
Happy Mother’s Day ❤