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I will never forget the day I chose to stop speaking to my mother. I was sitting in a booth at Sonny’s BBQ across from my husband when my phone dinged. I exhaled slowly and passed the phone over for him to read. I thought I needed time to figure things out, but the text message was enough for me to realize my relationship with my mother just wasn’t working anymore. I realized I needed to stop putting off the one thing that was keeping me from moving forward with my life. I had spent so many years letting myself get hurt over and over again, until I finally realized it was time to stand up for myself.

Now I see the posts at least once a week. “I wouldn’t be the mother I am today if it weren’t for my amazing mom.” It’s such a wonderful sentiment and testament to some of the amazing mothers in the world—I just can’t relate to it.

I’ve wanted to be a mama for as long as I can remember, and even when I became an adult and began to understand who my mother really was, it never deterred me from that desire. But when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, the questions started coming up, burning holes in my mind. How would I be a good mother when I don’t even know what that looks like? Will my daughter question my love for her the way I questioned my own mother’s love for me? And the inevitable, what if I become just like my mom?

Deep in my heart, I knew the answers to these questions. I didn’t need to have a great mother in order to become one. Before I ever felt the first flutters of my daughter moving and kicking inside of me, I knew to be a great mother meant loving my child and putting her needs before my own. I knew my husband and I needed to a be a team, and even though our roles were different, they were equally important, and our daughter would grow and thrive under the support and love my husband and I both gave her. Deep in my heart, I knew I was nothing like my mother and I never would be.

I couldn’t always keep the fears and the questions at bay, but every time I saw my daughter’s sweet face smiling at me, her bright blue eyes shining underneath a mess of curls, I knew being a great mother was something rooted deep within me. Every time I made a decision to put her desires before mine, I knew I was building a foundation of love and trust between us. Every time she ran to me for comfort, I knew I was doing my job well.

I may not have had someone to teach me how to be a great mother, but that’s OK. We are changed by our experiences, but it doesn’t mean we have to be held captive by them. I didn’t need anyone to teach me how to be a mother and I’m starting to realize the ability to be a great mother was within me all along.

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It’s Hard Being a Mom When You Don’t Have Your Own Mother to Lean On

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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Amy Williams

Amy is a freelance writer who believes in the life-giving power of the written word. With a bachelor's degree in English and endless notebooks to fill, she writes about marriage, motherhood, and the faith that keeps her going each day. When she's not chasing her children around, she's either reading or writing, most likely while drinking an enormous cup of coffee.

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