I love the mother you taught me to be.

From the time you brought me home from the hospital and attentively saw to my most basic of needs, to the time you sat with me as I faced a devastating divorce and my world seemed to crumble at my feet in a destructive wake of denial, and everything we dealt with in between.

I know now when you dropped me off at kindergarten the first time, you cried private tears from the front seat of your car before pulling away. And you said a silent prayer for me to get through the day that, and every other, day to follow.

I know now when you wiped the tears from my face after my first heartbreak in high school, you were silently thinking back to your own heartbreak early in life and wishing you could take that cup from me.

You recalled your own emotional turmoil, but it was nothing compared to that of seeing the pain in your daughter’s eyes.

I know now when your parents died within a year of each other, you felt as if the world had harshly slapped you in the face. You felt like an orphan, standing on the precipice of a world you had no clue how to navigate without the very pieces of your soul that fundamentally made you who you are.

RELATED: Dear Mom, Thanks For Helping Me Go From Daughter to Mother

I know now when I suffered my first miscarriage, your heart broke right along with mine. You knew the pain I felt as you had been there years before. Yet you remained strong . . . for me. You knew I needed a shot of tough love so as not to dissolve into the sinking pit of grief that threatened to bury me alive.

I know now when you said no, you meant it for my own protection. You saw things I did not see. You knew things I had not yet encountered. You wanted to save me from me and tried to protect me from situations that could have meant harm to your little girl.

I know now when I left for college, you cried way more tears than I did.

While I was out having fun with friends and tasting my first sip of long-awaited and delicious freedom, you were sitting at home, watching movies we used to watch together and wondering what your little girl was doing without her best friend. Without you.

I know now you always wanted the heel of the homemade bread you made for Sunday dinners. But you pretended not to because you knew I wanted it instead. The sacrifice was easy to make. It was not even a sacrifice because it was part of you that experienced the pleasure of that fresh out of the oven, warm, buttery goodness. You were content with a regular piece while you allowed me the most coveted part of the loaf.

I know now you denied yourself new clothes, jewelry, accessories, and beauty appointments because you could not afford to indulge in your own fashion while simultaneously giving all you had to mine. I know you saw other women in new clothing and taking girlfriend trips or having happy hours all around you. But you were happy to go to work to help support your family and give your only child everything you always had (or desired) as a young girl yourself.

I know now you prayed more for me than I ever prayed for myself.

You prayed for my happiness, safety, peace, and to find my way in the world. You prayed that no matter what life threw at me, I would be strong enough to handle itwith or without you.

RELATED: Dear Mom, I Love You Now More Than Ever

I know now the love a mother feels toward her children is comparable to none other in this world. It is a bond that stands the test of time, physical dominion, and ability to be present with one another. It is an imaginary line of tenderness, protection, and pure, unadulterated passion that burns brighter than the north star against the blackest of nights.

I know these things now because of the mother you were to me. Because of the mother you are to me. Because of the mother you will be to me until your last day or mine.

I see you in the love I have for my sons. I recognize the love that ignited within my body when I first found they were growing inside. I vow to love them with the same fierceness, passion, and loyalty you have always shown to me.

I know now that being a mother is the one thing on this earth I was meant to be. Because of your love, I am able to love my children in a way no one else ever will.

I know now.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Manndi Maphies Wilkins

I am a boy momma of two, who works at a School of Pharmacy and enjoys freelance writing on the side. I enjoy sharing my daily adventures as a (former) single mom with anyone who will read them. Life is full of ups…and downs…and then more ups. The joy is in the journey and if others find my journey humorous, relatable, and inspiring, I will never quit sharing it! So happy to connect with such an inspiring group of writers!

Dear Mom, Thanks for Still Mothering Me in This Exhausting Stage of Motherhood

In: Motherhood
Mother with young kids and grandmother smiling in front of house

Dear Mom, It feels weird to be in my forties and still say I need you. But I do. Your selflessness has been present throughout my life, your generosity abundant. It wasn’t just perfect Christmases and fun family dinners and shopping trips so we could spend time together. It was when you went back to work so I didn’t have to take out college loans; it was supporting my choices, even when you disagreed; it was always believing in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. When I was on bedrest with the twins and my husband had to...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, I Didn’t Know How Much I Was a Piece of Your Heart Until My Babies Took a Piece of Mine

In: Motherhood
motherhood Mother's Day mom www.herviewfromhome.com

Dear Mom, There is so much I didn’t know about you and so much I didn’t notice growing up with you.  But now I see it. I didn’t know all the little comforts and conveniences you gave up for me. I didn’t realize that you took cold showers so I could have a warm bath. Or that you always shared your food—even when you were hungry—because I asked for it. You always gave me the best bite or the bigger half. Or how you would give me your pillow in car rides even though you wanted to use it. You...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, I’ll Never Be Too Old to Stop Needing You

In: Motherhood
Mother and daughter selfie

An open letter to my momma: Dear mom, How could I ever find the words to describe how much you mean to me? All the times you told me how much you loved me growing up, but never fully realizing the magnitude of those words until I had children of my own. I am grown, married, and a momma to my own herd of children, but I’ll never stop needing you. I’ll never stop needing the way you step in to help when I feel like I’m drowning. I’ll never stop needing to hear your voice when I pick up...

Keep Reading