If I’ve learned anything in the last 15 months as a mother, it’s that it truly takes a village to raise a child. And while I love being celebrated by my family on Mother’s Day, I believe it’s equally important to celebrate all of the amazing women who have helped mother me as well as my son. Some of them have children and some do not; yet every single of them is leaving a lasting impact.
By my account, I have the best mother in the world. She is the most selfless person that I know, and she has set an incredible example of how to raise happy and independent children. She was (and is) always there for us, and she is just an incredible grandma to my son.
However, she is not the only mother figure I have in my life. I have my mother-in-law, my California mom (who in technicality is my mom’s cousin), my best friend’s mom who basically shared joint custody of me in high school, and countless aunts – several are not even related to me. My grandmothers have also been huge influences in my life. All of these women have showed me courage, grace, strength, perseverance, and love throughout my whole life. I truly believe that having so many female mother figures has shaped me into a more compassionate mother myself.
And as I’ve traversed the first 15 months of motherhood, I’ve realized that I can’t do everything on my own. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. And that’s ok. It took a long time for me to realize that I didn’t have to be a Pinterest mom 100% of the time (helloooooo Amazon Prime).
But what I do have to be as a mom is something I didn’t expect, and in fact something that I don’t have to be – I don’t have to be the only mother figure in his life. Of course he will always know that I’m his momma (look out, future dates), but there are so many women that are providing him with the same well-rounded mother experience that I had. These women are providing my son with perspectives and knowledge that I may not have or simply cannot provide on my own. The value of that gift is one that is not lost on me.
In addition to all of the women who have helped to mother me, my son also has his amazing aunts. To clarify: I do not have any sisters, my husband doesn’t have any either, and my brother isn’t married. Every single one of my son’s aunts are friends of mine. They talk to him, they read to him, they FaceTime with him, they babysit him, and most importantly – they love him. They help teach and guide him. Each one is helping to shape him into an amazing little human. And not only that, but they have supported and encouraged me throughout every step of this journey, even when they have been going through their own struggles. Without these other women, my son wouldn’t be the person that he is now and will continue to become.
So to all of the women who make up the villages in our lives and help us to raise our children – thank you thank you thank you thank you. Please know that you are LOVED, APPRECIATED, AND NEEDED more than you can possibly imagine.