I’m feeling nostalgic…or maybe just hormonal. As Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself reflecting on the mothers in my family tree and my surrounding motherhood forest of friends and how they all contribute to the mom I am and aspire to be.
My maternal grandma, Mimi, passed when I was a toddler. Sadly, I don’t remember her and she’s always one of those people I put on my short list of individuals with whom I wish I could spend a day. I know the ‘Mimi’ eyes have been passed down to me and I’m curious if there are some personality or character traits that transferred down as well. I know I didn’t get Mimi’s fashion & beauty sense. I’m pretty sure my cousin Jill got those savvy skills. I know my Mimi was a hardworking mom who loved her family and her small community. From stories I heard I know she had a sense of humor, made her presence known wherever she went and is portrayed as confident.
My fraternal grandma I remember extremely well. She’s pretty much what I think most people envision a grandma to be like. She spoiled us, but not in a rotten way, and she wove in lots of teachable moments but I wasn’t aware I was being taught. I only knew her as a widow and she exemplified an independent woman to me. She worked at a dress shop, had lots of systems and rituals in her day, and savored kitchen chats over chips and dip with my little sister and me even more than we did. She could be a bit stubborn but only because she knew what she wanted. I treasure a framed picture I have with her holding Natalie on my dresser. Grandma lived life fully up until her final days and her picture reminds me of her feminine strength and positive outlook on life.
I think about my mother-in-law, Carol, in an extra special way this year. This is the first Mother’s Day my husband will spend without her. I hate that. Carol’s motherhood approach was very different than the one I experienced but Jason is living proof that she used her resources to the fullest and exemplifies that there is not just one way to carry out these motherhood duties. I admired Carol’s playful view on the world and sometimes secretly envied how she could stop and smell the roses when all I could see was the pruning to be done. Carol, you are missed.
I think about my own mom, who now lives just around the corner, and how lucky I feel to have her with me another year. No doubt I have acquired lots of her traits and implemented many of her learnings. We both share a love of language arts, puzzles, games, and movies. I also recognize where I am making different motherhood choices. Mom gave unconditionally to her family of six kids for decades at what I feel was at the expense of her own health. I’ve watched it and caution other moms from following the same path. This personal experience and journey to prioritize my own health while caring for my family is the core foundation of this blog. It’ll be a treat to spend Sunday brunch sandwiched between my children, my sweet mom, and the rest of her local ‘chickens’.
I’m grateful that I have a solid network of moms to lean on. I have two sisters whose only mistake is that they don’t live around the corner from me. They get life. We support each other with texts, quick phone calls and treasure our annual sister weekend oasis. I’d say we each have slightly different parenting styles but again just more examples that motherhood is a lifestyle art. My network of moms also includes the ladies in my neighborhood and community. We share the good, bad, and ugly and learn from each other on a daily basis. The best moms are the ones that recognize that we are all a work in progress and support each other on our quest for motherhood mastery.
This Mother’s Day weekend children of all ages are thinking about what to give moms to show their love and appreciation. That’s good stuff and I will enjoy my special day but truly as I reflect on Mother’s Day I have to say I got my gifts already. These are the best gifts ever since they keep on giving. One is too pretty for my own eyes and wiser at 15 than seems possible and the other at 13 has a contagious smile and super soaker brain. How did I get so lucky? Just like I’ll confess that I’m not the perfect mom, they are not perfect kids. But, all together I think we make a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
I could go on and on about the moms that influence me. I have aunts, great aunts, cousins, and distant friends who excel at areas of motherhood but I need to wrap this post up so I can publish it before the holiday has come and gone!
My wish for all of us is that we celebrate each other’s motherhood wins, our unique gifts, and encourage each other to continue to prioritize our own health even when the load is heavy. I hope my blog compliments this wish and in the coming year grows into a large community of savvy sandwicher mothers. You can help. Sharing is caring! Comments, likes, and most of all social media shares help to organically get the word out. Thanks for all you do to support my message.
Happy Mother’s Day!!!! How are you planning to celebrate or recognize your mom?