Because you can't, you won't and you don't stop
Updated: May 14, 2019
I'm a big Beastie Boys fan, so you're welcome for that title. But really it's the perfect intro to talk about moms...because they cant, they won't and they don't stop. Moms make the world go round. The other day I was in Target shopping for Mother's Day cards (me and about 5 other women staring at the wall of cards). I couldn't find the Mother-In-Law cards so I asked out loud if anyone had seen them. One woman responded that she couldn't find the Stepmom section and another couldn't find anything with appropriate content because she didn't have a good relationship with her mom. The woman looking for the stepmom cards could commiserate, she did not like her stepmom, but was buying the card nonetheless. Another woman had tears in her eyes and simply gave up searching for whatever card she was looking for and walked away.
Mother's Day is hard for a lot of people. For a lot of different reasons. It's hard for people who have lost their mom. People who desperately want to be a mom. People who don't have good relationships with their mom. It is a hard, sad, lonely day for so many people. But I hope this will help. This little idea to focus on all the moms in your life (or even just pick one!) on Mother's Day - because when you stop to think about, you're probably surrounded by all sorts of exceptional moms, just like I am. If there's hard stuff you're dealing with this Mother's Day, try to focus on the good instead. Because moms don't just shape their own kids - they can't, they won't, and they don't stop there. Your own life has been shaped by all sorts of moms...
My own mom is the definition of cant stop, won't stop, don't stop. She's a force of nature, really. She's my hero. Not because of her career (and it's an admirable one), but because she lost her own mom when she was only 18 and despite that, despite entering the world of motherhood without a compass, without anyone to guide her, she managed to raise my brother and I on her own. And we didn't just get by, we thrived.
And then there's my Godmother. She has loved me like I was her actual child from day one. And she still loves me today with that same unending momma-bear love. And don't even get me started on the incredible moms who are my own children's godmothers. I would go to the ends of the earth for them both and they for me...and my kids.
And my mother-in-law? I don't quite know that I would have survived the first few days postpartum with both of my girls had it not been for her. Plus, she raised my husband and he's the absolute best husband of all the husbands. Need I say more?
My aunt raised three boys who are quite possibly three of the most upstanding gentleman on this planet. All three of them are brilliant, kind, funny, and driven. And in the midst of raising those boys she baked brownies for me to take to camp on my birthday year after year. And she loves my babies something fierce and drops everything to take care of them every single time I ask her to.
My stepmom (who is actually now my ex-stepmom) is one of my best friends. There was a time many years ago when I couldn't imagine saying that, but time is a funny thing and gratitude and respect have the power to change even the most stubborn minds. I am grateful for her love and her friendship and I respect her beyond words could explain. She raised my baby brother and sister to be kind, strong, beautiful human beings and that alone makes her exceptional.
My mom friends: where in the world would I even be without them? They are there when I need to ugly cry or celebrate a milestone or rant and rave about Lord knows what. They get me. They know me. They are my people and I am a better mom because of them.
My best friends mom taught me long ago to never let anyone else define me.
My sisters-in-law, and all the other moms in my life who were moms (and stepmoms) before me: they've given me wisdom I have clung to for years now. They've answered my frantic late night texts about fevers and weird rashes, they've taught me about the importance of advocating for my kids and being their voice. They've commiserated with me about the daily struggle.
This is just a handful of moms who have shaped my life. I could go on and on about these woman and so many more. All of these ladies are someone else's mom, and yet, they didn't stop there. They can't, they won't, and they don't stop there.
So on this Mother's Day, I am grateful for all of the moms who have raised me. It does indeed take a village. In the words of the late, great, MCA, "To all the mothers and sisters and wives and friends, I wanna offer my love and respect to the end.”