As mothers, our Creator has assigned us the daunting task of shaping the hearts, minds and souls of other human beings—our children. We have been divinely appointed to be role models, teachers, counselors, healers, nurturers and caregivers. We give life, and we keep on giving. That’s the nature of the mothering business. While there’s no promise of ever getting anything in return, we end up getting back more than we can imagine.
On this Mother’s Day, while children across the country are thanking their moms for everything they do, I want to turn the tables and thank my children for everything they have given me. Without them, I wouldn’t be a mom. That’s simple logic. But it goes much deeper than that.
Without my two daughters, I wouldn’t know what it’s like to love so deeply and unconditionally; a love that’s vastly different than the love you have for a spouse, because this kind of love lasts.
Without my children, I wouldn’t know the unselfish joy of living for someone else. Before I became a mom, it was all about me: my dreams, my goals, my joys, my pain. When I gave birth, what a profound relief it was to shift from selfishness to selflessness. It lightened my heart, and lighted my way.
Without my girls, my future wouldn’t be as certain. I remember when I was a young woman, I couldn’t ever imagine myself with kids. Now I can’t imagine my life without them. (And I can’t wait for the grandchildren someday!)
Without my daughters, I wouldn’t have been able to witness—twice—the beautiful miracle of an innocent girl flowering into a young woman. Sure, it happened to me, but it seemed so bumbling, awkward and self-conscious when I was going through it. Not until I became a creator could I appreciate the creation.
Without my daughters, I wouldn’t understand the power of forgiveness. Much of mothering is on-the-job training, so we’re bound to make mistakes. It’s a good thing we teach our children to be forgiving because you never know when you’re going to have to ask to be forgiven.
Children change you from the inside out—in a good way. You create a physical home for them, and they bring you closer to your spiritual home, closer to understanding who you are and what it’s like to be human.
I know Mother’s Day is supposed to be the one day of the year when I sit back and allow my daughters to shower me with love and appreciation. But I wouldn’t be a real mom if I took it all in and didn’t give it all right back.
That being said, contributing Writer Lynn Armitage will still be expecting her annual breakfast in bed. This year, I hope they don’t pour the milk into the cereal too far ahead of time.