“Motherhood is a choice you make every day, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”
―Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm
This quote spoke to me because it’s how I feel that I will feel as a mom, wanting so badly to do the right thing but thinking I am doing everything wrong. I simply can’t imagine it and that is why I am even more inspired by the women around me.
Almost all of my best girlfriends are moms and among all of them I think we have counted about 30 kids. The oldest child is 12 and the youngest is going to be born any day now. For a long time I was not sure if I wanted to be a mother. I made a pact with the Universe and said “I know that I want to have children in my life and that I want to impact the lives of youth, but if I am not meant to bring one into the world then I will trust that.” The crazy or maybe not so crazy thing is that now, because of my age and because of the strong partnership I am in, I want it very, very badly, but will still be ok with whatever the Universe has in store for me.
The beautiful thing in waiting so long to have my own has been the opportunity to watch my incredible friends turn into these incredible mothers so instantly. I hear their struggles and KNOW that it’s the hardest job in the world but I watch how they are with these little humans, the ones depending on them for everything, and what I see is women effortlessly doing what they were born to do. I see their children who have turned out to be these awesome people– they are kind, funny, thoughtful, playful and compassionate. I am blown away by their vibrant personalities and love seeing my friend’s attributes and quirks in them. I have been able to witness how each one of them parents differently but also the common bond they all share of loving these little people with every fiber in their being.
I have heard over and over again, “you don’t know what love is until you hold your child in your arms”, and I see that every single time I am around my best friends. They love and they give everything for their children, and each one of those humans is so lucky to have landed on this earth right where they did. I don’t know if I can explain to my friends how much I look up to them and admire them for the mothers that they are but I try. I try very hard. I also don’t take for granted how lucky I am to have such incredible role models to lean on and get guidance from when the Universe chooses to bless me with the opportunity to bring my own into the world, or provide a loving home to one that may not have been given the best shot the first time around.
“To my dearest daughter, as you grow older I want you to fly out like a free bird. Go forth and pursue all your dreams. Live life to the fullest and make sure that your happiness is second to none. And while you are at it, just remember that every time you need a hug or a place to call your own, I’m always here. Love you.” -Unknown
This is the quote that reminds me of my own sweet mom. She lets me fly, she supports me, she loves me through it all but I always know I can come right back to her, that she will be there, that HOME will be there. That is something that not everyone has, a true home to always call home. When I was deciding to move back to the East Coast after being in LA for 15 years and said part of the reason I was moving was to be closer to your family, I remember a friend saying “I moved here to get away from my family”. That struck me because that was the hardest thing about moving away. I moved away to find myself, to gain independence, to screw up, to learn lessons and to take risks but I never moved away to get away from my family. My mom has always been there and even though we have had the typical mother/daughter tension, I am realizing at this moment that it was usually during the times when I didn’t love myself and found it hard to understand how someone could love me unconditionally. I still will not understand the depth of her love until I have one of my own but I know that I am one of the lucky ones. My mom is giving, loving, stylish, and cheerful and can make friends with ANYONE. It is one of the things I love so fiercely about her– the ability to see the good in everyone, the ability to connect with anyone on their level and to make them laugh. She brightens people’s days, I can see it in their eyes and it makes me so proud to call her my mom.
Mom, thank you for loving us unconditionally and for standing by us no matter what. Thank you for being a mom to all of my friends, for showing me how to love, for making us your top priority and for teaching me why it’s important to be kind, accepting, and loving. You are brave and smart and I look up to you in so many ways. Thank you for you. I love you MORE!
Featured art by: Drawing Sarah