Not all of us are lucky enough to have someone in our lives who makes the transition from mother to mommy. Regardless of how many hours of labor you went through, or whether or not you chose natural childbirth over the epidural, becoming a mother by giving birth to a child is the easy part. Becoming a mommy is much harder.
I'm not sure which traits qualify us as good versus bad moms, but I think I associate the "mommy" title with how engaged a mom is with her kids. I frequently ask myself if I’m good enough for my girls, and my husband always tells me that the fact that I even ask myself that question makes me a good mom. He also is always quick to point out that, at nine and twelve years old, both of my girls are always singing, and he correlates singing with happiness, and happiness with how I parent them. So, in an If-You-Give-a-Mouse-a-Cookie-way, I am doing a decent job. But while going through the daily effort of trying to be a mommy, rather than just a mother, I can't help but reflect on my own mom, and the example that she set for me.
My mom has always been a worrier. Being that I was an only child, diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of four, I can't really blame her. Having kids is hard enough, but having one who needs constant medical intervention? I can't imagine it. As a kid, teen and pre-adult, I had a really hard time with her constant concern for my wellbeing. But now that I am an adult with my own kids, I totally get it. While my worrying style isn't as pronounced as hers, I understand how pure love for your children can make a mommy's heart worry.
When it comes to my mom’s heart, love incessantly pours out of her four-foot ten frame, touching everyone around her. Whether it’s love, time, loyalty, food, money, or even clothes, she is always emptying her pockets with an expectation of nothing in return. She rarely does anything for herself, and if she does, she figures out a way to give some of it to others. She gives one hundred percent of herself, sharing everything she physically and emotionally has with anyone who has the pleasure of knowing her. She is staunchly supportive and makes it abundantly clear that she is always on my side, and she extends that support to my husband, my kids, and even to my friends. She is the greatest cheerleader you can ever dream of having. But my favorite quality of hers is that she makes me feel loved.
Someone once told me that love is a verb, but being a mom has shown me a different definition. Sure, we all do whatever it takes to make our children happy. But for me, love doesn’t mean that you always have to be doing, acting, proving. Love, from a mommy’s perspective, is an invisible quiet feeling that is constantly coursing through your veins. And if you are successful at being a mommy, in the way that my mom is, you simply just make your children feel loved, without saying it, doing it, or proving it.
No matter how crazy your mom makes you, no matter how many mistakes she may have made, in the end, if you feel her love, then she gave you the gift of doing it right. She was your mommy, and always will be.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mommy, and to all of the other wonderful mommies out there who, regardless of time or distance, make their children feel that they are always loved.