Every Mother’s Day I find myself asking the impossibly layered question, “What does it mean to be a mother?” Through the exhaustion, the doubt, the gratitude, I find that there are moments of clarity about just what it might mean to mother, and then other moments I feel lost in an abyss of wondering if anyone ever “gets it”. I think about myself as a teenager, ignorant and self-involved – too busy hair spraying my bangs and crashing bush parties to really notice – was my Mom okay? Did she feel seen?
To be a mother is the ultimate paradox. Completely individual in that we all “Mom” uniquely, yet it’s one of the most universally shared experiences among those who identify as female. To be a mother means our kids can make us feel trapped and blessed at the same time – yearning for our youth but also experiencing a love that we could not live without. And sometimes, to be a mother means we carry our babies and somewhere along the line, we lose them. Motherhood is heartbreak and heart burst.
I think on Mother’s Day, we hold space for the people in our lives who take care of us, because the definition of Mom is far more complex—it’s a feeling, an action, a place. Love on the people who nurture you and be brave enough to tell her them how much they mean to you (even if they fuck it up 70% of the time). Whether those who have mothered you are here or somewhere above, know they would love to know if they mattered to you. Remind yourself that in the end, all we want is to know that we matter.