You are the one and only mother of the children you have been given. Other people will impact your little ones and help to mold them into the adults they will one day become. Those individuals will play significant and valuable roles in the lives of your sons and daughters, but you will always remain their mother.
You will excel. You will make them their favorite foods and treat them to special desserts. You will chase them around the backyard and teach them games like hide-and-go seek and how to ride a bicycle. You will comfort them, kiss wounds, and mend broken hearts. You will be their safe haven, the place where they feel the most at home and fully accepted. Your arms will carry them to bed and hug them close before laying them down. Your lips will speak love and kiss dozing foreheads. You will pass on bits of wisdom and be their prayer warrior. You will be patient when it matters and encourage their unique talents and gifts. Your eyes will be opened by the individuals you find yourself raising, and your heart will burst at the sound of “Mom.”
You will mess up. You will inevitably burn dinner or cook something that makes them pretend to vomit. You will lose your patience and yell. You will say harsh words or give unfair punishments that are driven more by exhaustion and your own state of mind than by their actions. You will not always be the best example, and they are bound to learn at least one bad habit from you. You will bribe and give empty threats, feel unworthy and guilty, and you will doubt your ability to parent. Your children will see you cry, they will see you drained and weak, in your pajamas and on day 3 of no shower. Your children will see you when you are hiding from the rest of the world; they will see you when you are vulnerable and raw and they will still call you “Mom,” for you are their mother.
You have let them love you deeply by loving them with an intensity that uplifts and overwhelms. You have given them the freedom to be angry at you, to reject you, and to shut you out. You have allowed them to learn for themselves even when watching the process makes you cringe. Although you have not always been consistent in your parenting style, your love has remained constant and there you stand with open arms when they run back to you, back to their mother.
Your body grew their fingers and toes. Your heart pumped life into their heart. Your strength carried them as part of you and then either pushed them into or opened up the world for them for the very first time. Your warmth nourished them and your hands fed them because you are their mother. Home is where you are. You have shown them who they want to be and how they want to carry themselves, and have humbled yourself enough to let them learn from your mistakes. You have been authentic despite your desire to be perfect.
You will cherish moments and wish moments away. You will long for alone time and yet the chaos, noise, and never-ending demands will bring you peace and purpose. You will find solace in their hugs, joy in the pulling of pants and tugging on your shirt, and you will reach a point where your limbs are “touched-out.” You will embrace the bed being yours again and then bring them back into it in the middle of the night. You will marvel at the fact that life even had meaning before them, and daydream of the life you lived when it was just you. Nothing will seem to have one right answer anymore, but love will always have the final say, because you are their mother.
Whether they are 3, 36, or 92, you will be their mother. Whether you are excelling or feeling like a failure, forgiving or asking to be forgiven, loving unconditionally or wishing you had done more, you are their mother. It’s a title that carries weight, empowers, and inspires, and although many answer to the name you are not just a mom, you are the one mother your children have been given. Embrace it, answer to the call, for you are “Mom.”