This Mother’s Day was a first for me. For the first time I knew in my heart that I’d never be a mother in the traditional sense. In years past, I’d always approached Mother’s Day by thinking that “someday” I would, on that day, be greeted with flowers and children’s laughter, breakfast in bed featuring burnt toast, and a bowl of cereal filled to the brim with overflowing milk. All this would be presented on a tray marked with a sad-looking dandelion in a vase. But this vision changed at Christmas when my husband and I made the decision that we’d remain childless.
Since then, I’ve had lots of time to reflect on mothering. Specifically the different ways in which women can be that nurturing presence. And it doesn’t always involve children. Today on my blog, I’d like to pay tribute to the amazing women in my own life that mother in ways that have made the world a better place.
To the mother who raised me to be the woman I am-thank you. When I was first-born there were so many unknowns, but you carried on and raised me to think I could do and be anything I wanted, despite my disability. Because of your influence, I have the confidence to face the hard stuff with faith and trust.
To my mother-in-law who singlehandedly raised three boys-thank you. Thank you for raising three of the most self-less, compassionate, generous, kind-hearted gentlemen on the planet. All three of us wives appreciate the hard work that went into raising boys to know how to properly treat a woman. Trust me when I say we count them as tremendous blessings every day.
To my amazing sisters-in-law who have worked tirelessly to foster shelter pets, and raise pit bulls from birth to prove they really can be sweet and loving-thank you. It’s because of your work and love that dogs and cats are given renewed chances at life they wouldn’t otherwise have if it weren’t for you.
To my friends who’ve recently miscarried, but choose to continue to serve in the nursery at church-thank you. Seeing you choose to fulfill your calling despite your loss has served as an encouragement to others, and an example of what true bravery looks like.
To my kindergarten teacher who never had children of her own-thank you. Through you I’ve learned that I can still be a positive influence on many children without parenting them. More often than not, this influence can last a lifetime.
So Happy Mother’s Day, whether your children have two legs or four. Whether they live in your house or just visit your classroom. Or even if they’ve earned a fast pass to heaven. Know that each of you are valued, loved and appreciated for all the hard work you do.