One of the greatest privileges of my work is talking to families from all walks of life and being allowed a glimpse into their world. One of the things that all of these families have in common is a mother, a step mother, a grandmother or a mother figure who fights like a lioness to protect those children in her care.
From the time of conception, a woman is changed forever and irrespective of the journey that she takes from there, her life (possibly her body) and her mind will be permanently affected. Conception is where this bond begins (biologically at least) and as any mother will attest, it lasts emotionally for eternity.
There are so many kinds of mothers out there and I would like to pay tribute to just a few.
To the mom who has just become a mother or is about to – whilst you may feel overwhelmed and there will be hurdles ahead – trust your instincts, they won’t steer you wrong. Enjoy the moments in each time and stage and allow yourself to find support systems that don’t pressure or judge you.
To the mom who is working fulltime because she has to but permanently feels guilty that she doesn’t see her children enough. Remember that you are building foundations for your family’s future. Outsource whatever you can, it doesn’t mean you don’t care. Your children will remember the times you were there and not the times you weren’t. They will one day recognize and appreciate your juggle – you are doing an amazing job.
To the single mom who is on her own and finding the juggle unmanageable – you are a superhero. Your children feel loved and adored because you have built a family unit that is enough for them and is allowing them to grow, develop and reach their milestones. They are also learning resilience and how to face challenges head on because you show them by example every day.
To the mom whose child has additional needs, your fight for your child to get the best of everything and achieve their potential is astounding. You are stronger than you think you are and no one should judge your decisions and choices until they have stood in your shoes. Your other children see that and will learn empathy and compassion for those who are different from them. They will learn to be accepting and inclusive without you saying a word.
To the mom who feels judged and pressured, remember no one knows your child like you do and recognizes and responds to their needs as instinctively as you. Try to block out the noise of the voices that tell you that you are “doing it wrong” or that “you aren’t good enough” in order to focus on your family and their needs. The world is too busy to allow every voice to cause self doubt, and by ignoring it, you show your children that standing behind their opinions and beliefs is important.
Abraham Lincoln once said “ All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother.” I think this is true of the all the mother figures I have worked with over the years. So Happy Mother’s Day to you all, whatever your circumstances are. Take this day and know that whilst you aren’t recognized enough, the work you do is shaping the world of tomorrow.
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