I was lucky to be raised by a wonderful, loving and supportive mother. She taught me to be kind and accepting and encouraged me to follow my interests. I wouldn't change my childhood for the world, and I am thankful to still have my mom as a solid support in my life.
I now watch my sister raise my niece and nephew and am just amazed at the relationship she has with them.
I have watched as many of my friends have had kids and how their lives and priorities change and how their hearts have expanded.
I am truly in awe of women who take on the unrelenting challenges of raising children. They have chosen sleepless nights, the ability to make impossible decisions that always put their children first, and they push themselves to the brink of sanity. All of this is done without a second thought and simply out of love.
These mothers deserve to be honored!
And what of the women who don't have children, whether by choice or by circumstances? Can they not also be considered mothers in other aspects of the word? Do they find other opportunities to nurture children, or even adults, that they didn't birth? What of the childless teacher who has "raised" hundreds of children? Or the woman who looks for opportunities to mentor young women into believing in themselves? What of the woman whose passion is her business and creating an opportunity for her employees to flourish? And what about the woman who finds happiness raising fur-babies?
I pose these questions, not to take away from all of the amazing moms out there who have given a portion of themselves to raising little humans. I have the utmost respect for them! I pose these questions to take a wider look at the concept of motherhood and all the ways one might experience it that don't fall into the traditional sense of the word. At the risk of being vulnerable here, I am actually asking for a selfish reason. I myself don't have kids and don't expect to. I am okay with this and am not looking for sympathy. But I do wonder sometimes what this means on a deeper level. Am I still valuable? Do I still contribute to the world in a meaningful way? I have a lot of love in me; is it being wasted on things that don't matter as much as raising a child?You may or may not be able to relate to these personal questions as it applies to children, but I'm sure that every woman has felt unsure about her course at some point. The answer I have come to for myself is that supporting others and nurturing love, no matter what form it comes in, can only bring more love and support into the world.
I believe it is this nurturing of love that is the true gift of women, of mothers.
This Mother's Day, pay attention to the women in your life. Recognize the love they offer, whether in the traditional sense of motherhood, or in any number of other creative ways.
Tell me, what defines you as a mother? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below and let me know!
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