By: Kristin Orr
To the superheroes that don’t wear capes,
Yes, moms… I’m talking to you!
If you are a mother and didn’t immediately think this letter was written for you, then you must be incredibly modest. You know you’re a superhero, but sometimes [most times] moms need a reminder of how your superpowers are real and the children you’re raising are proof of such.
This year I’m celebrating my first Mother’s Day. I became a mother in January and am excited to be part of this popular club called motherhood. I thought I’d be anticipating Mother’s Day with the kind of excitement similar to birthdays: a whole day devoted to me, where my husband and children will shower me with love and gifts! Being that my little guy is only just about four months, I’m not expecting much this year. But honestly, I am much more interested in celebrating other mothers, especially this year, on May 13th.
This year I learned what it means to be a mother.
It is the hardest, most selfless thing I’ve ever voluntarily taken part in. I had a rough few months with my little one, and at the end of each day where I struggled, the thought on my mind was always, “How do moms do this?!” I always knew it would be hard; I just didn’t expect it to be this hard. My own experience in motherhood gave me such an appreciation for mothers everywhere. This Mother’s Day, I want to recognize just a few that helped me survive my first months as a mom:
The mother that raised me, who I’ve learned everything about parenting from, who was not only there when my son was born, but stayed with me for weeks to help with cleaning, laundry, feedings, and ultimately became my unpaid night nurse. How she handled two babies under 2 years old is beyond me..
The mother I was gifted with in marriage, who shared the grandma responsibilities and was available any day or night we needed her to give us a break and take over the mom duties. The person she raised is the person I chose to raise my children with, which says a lot about my trust in her parenting wisdom.
The mother who is not only my cousin and best friend, but thankfully lives next door, who was a constant presence, lending advice, food, baby supplies, you name it. She not only gave so much of herself during those first months, but did it with a contagious smile and amazing attitude. She is my mommy idol.
The mothers that shared in my same journey. At around the same time my son was born, I had friends and relatives also with newborns. All of these women showed me the strength and patience needed to be not only incredible mothers, but even better moral supports for me.
And to all the mothers reading this post: you are more heroic than you even know. If a day goes by and you’re feeling down about anything, just remind yourself of the role you play in your child’s life, and quite possibly, the influence you have on others like myself. Even if I don’t personally know you, thank you for all that you do.
Very often I see on social media “mother shaming.” It’s so disappointing to me that mothers are actually insulting each other for things from parenting styles to the clothes they dress their child in. In a world already filled with so much hate and negativity, shouldn’t we mothers raise each other up, rather than bring each other down? We might be drastically different in opinions, but ultimately we all want the same thing. We’re all just doing the best we can in the situations we’re given.
On this Mother’s Day, I ask that you “build up” another mother.
Besides the usual suspects of mothers and grandmothers that you always acknowledge, go out and find a mother that may really need a boost and raise her up. Find the woman at Target with the screaming baby in the stroller and tell her, “You’re doing a great job.” Acknowledge the mother of the polite child in the schoolyard by saying, “You’re raising a great person.” Find the mother of the child covered in dirt, digging in the playground, and congratulate her; “Good for you for encouraging his exploration!” Sometimes a gentle reminder of her worth is all a mother needs as a gift this Mother’s Day.