As I get older each year, it becomes more evident to me how helpless I would be without my mother. If you ask her, she doesn’t think she’s a good or “natural” mother, which is completely disagreeable based on the simple fact that she’s pretty much good at anything she wants to be. As a mother, she had everyday responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, and caring for me as needed topped with a full-time work schedule, and she still always remained several steps ahead of me. Because of her, I never really had to second guess my surroundings – my mom had everything under control, with everything where it needed to be.
The idea of eventually fitting into that “mother” role is something that overwhelms me at times. How will I have time for myself or let alone have time to think for myself? Will I also think myself a bad mother? Will I have the capacity to raise an amazing person for the future? I would have to be fully in charge and completely aware of the human(s) I am raising at all times of the day while trying to care for myself, nurture my other relationships, and follow my ambitions. I’ve expressed this sentiment to other mothers (because it’s mind-blowing for me to believe), and they all say the same thing: “Well, duh. That’s what it’s like being a mother. Get used to it.”
But then, I think about the different women I have encountered in life, and that’s when my anxious sentiments are finally appeased. Most of the women I’ve come to meet have fundamentally known how to care for and love someone since they were young. People spot a fierce mother from a mile away and think, “Wow, she’s developed such great instincts from her time as a mother,” but you can also feel that same protective love from a stranger, for example, who senses you’re uncomfortable and comes to your rescue. Or from the girl who watches over each of her friends at the bar to make sure everyone’s safe (aka the “Mom” friend), even if no one watches her back. Or that one teacher who courteously lets her students eat lunch with her, wanting to take her job a step further by becoming a friendly adult mentor to them. The best part of experiencing this love is that you don’t even have to be a mother to show or receive it in the first place; we’re all capable of it when we want to be.
So I’ve come to the realization, if there comes a time in the point of a woman’s life where she decides to become a mother, letting out those fundamentals from deep within herself, she will be more prepared than she thinks because chances are, in some way, shape, or form, she’s already shown that love elsewhere in different ways. Knowingly or not, she will teach these fundamentals to her children, and her children to their children. It’s a beautiful, constant cycle of paying it forward, and I’m sure you can see it unravelling in the women who grace each of your own lives. This Mother’s Day, hold these women even closer and show them some extra, well-deserved love after the many years full of love they’ve given you. We would not be the same without that special motherly love.