Here’s to the mamas who have taught me everything I need to know about motherhood.
Here’s to the mamas who pore over parenting, child development, and educational resources, striving constantly to be the best moms they can be. From you I have learned that motherhood is a perpetual learning process, and that there are no real parenting experts.
Here’s to the mamas who feel like they’re barely hanging on, who question if they have what it takes to do this, and who keep on loving and feeding and nurturing their children despite their doubts. From you I have learned that even the most amazing moms sometimes feel like they’re failing.
Here’s to the mamas who found themselves pregnant when they didn’t plan to be, and who have embraced motherhood with humor and gusto. From you I have learned to go with the ever changing flow of life.
Here’s to the mamas who have struggled with infertility, who have wondered if their dreams of motherhood were really meant to be. From you I have gained a greater appreciation of the miracle each child truly is.
Here’s to the mamas who have welcomed children into their families through fostering and adoption. From you I have learned firsthand that family is not defined by bloodlines.
Here’s to the mamas who have broken cycles of abuse, addiction, and dysfunction from their own childhoods with beautiful examples of mindful parenting. From you I have learned to be conscious of every interaction with my children.
Here’s to the mamas who are parenting on their own, who don’t have a partner to share the load. From you I have learned that women are capable of amazing feats, and not to take help for granted.
Here’s to the mamas of kids with special needs. From you I have learned to see the unique gifts every soul offers, and to think long and hard before complaining about my parenting woes.
Here’s to the mamas who have lost their precious babies, who have had to endure the grief most of us won’t even let ourselves imagine. From you I have learned strength and faith in the face of unfathomable suffering.
Here’s to the mama I know who wakes up at 4:00am every day to go to work early, so she can be home in time to meet her kids at the bus stop after school. From you I have learned the beauty of sacrificing my own comforts for my children.
Here’s to the mama I know who is a recovering addict, who begins each morning with prayerful conviction and ends each day calling herself to account. From you I have learned the importance of taking life—and motherhood—one day at a time.
Here’s to the mama I know who has twice as many kids as I do, yet takes the time to cradle her young child’s face in her hands and smile when he asks her a question. From you I have learned the value of giving kids your full, loving attention.
Here’s to the mama I know whose husband took his own life, and who has carried on by pouring her heart and soul into her children and her faith. From you I have learned that nothing in life is guaranteed, and that “with God, all things are possible.”
Here’s to the mamas who love, teach, nurture, worry, agonize, relish, laugh, cry, yell, apologize, wonder, ache, dream, counsel, encourage, pray, and play their way through the adventure of life with children. From you I have learned that motherhood is both an individual and communal undertaking, and I am ever so grateful for your examples, inspiration, and support.
Peace and gratitude to each and every one of you, mamas.
(Image via J.K. Califf)