In Celebration of Moms
  • Family and Friend

05/13/10 | The Women's Conference | 60 Comments




The Women's Conference Celebrates Moms

Maria Shriver on the profound power of motherhood and her own experience of being both a mother and a daughter.


 

We invited you to share your own personal stories about motherhood -- what your mom means to you or what it means to be a mom. The winners receive --


We've chosen the 3 winning comments. They are --

Kristy Campbell:

I’ve never felt as powerful as a mother as when I was 8 months pregnant sitting outside of the drug-testing lab with my teenage daughter. I had suspected something was going on with her and was adamant about finding out exactly what. As she screamed at me in the car about how much she hated me, I heard a voice come out of me that said… “Fine. Hate me. You'll hate me when you are 20, you'll hate me when you are 30, and you may hate me for the rest of your life. But, at least you will have a life from which to hate me. I am your mother. I am not your friend. And if you are doing drugs, I’m going to find out and deal with it.”

Our story has a drug-free happy ending and now 2 years later, my daughter is off to college and we are starting to evolve the mom/daughter relationship into a friendship. I love and value the current relationship I have with her, however, I know that if I hadn’t been a mother first to her, we would never be on this path to friendship.

stephsways:

I Love all the wonderful stories of 'Mommie and me,' by people who had warm milk by their bedsides and a fairytale told to them until their eye's were sealed with a loving kiss from Mom. At one time i couldn't stand to hear them. Mothers day was such a difficult time. It use to be, "Bah Hum-bug", on mothers day.

Mothers Day has always been a day of feeling guilty for giving Mom cards that didn't bare an ounce of truth of who we were. If i hadn't had such a great relationship with my own son, the yearly greiving over the relationship i never had with my Mom and achingly longed for, would have been unbearable. Yet as i go and grow through life i become more understanding of Mom's hurt and pain of never being loved by her own Mom. The suicide of my Dad, the loss of my oldest son, didn't help either one of us at all. But, when i tell you how much strength, courage, and love has risen in the midst of this family. Once i decided this generational abusive behavior would stop with me, It did. I was a single parent and my son who is now in law enforcement with a beautiful family. I was determined he would know without a doubt, he is loved. Now, i'm very passionate about leading others to a place of a 'Loving Reality'. I Love my Mom very much and now i know, she couldn't give what she never had.

Have a blessed Mother's Day and know, Love never fails.
May 2010

rrussell:

I and even more so my sisters are now my mother's mother. As my mother of 8 children in 10 years having just celebrated her 89th birthday is suffering from the early stages of alzheimers disease and her daughters have stepped up to care for her as she spent many years caring for us. I think how ironic this care is as we bath our mother in the same blue cast iron tub she use to bath us....was her hair as she use to wash ours, dress her as she use to dress us and feed her as she to feed us. But the one thing she still does for herself is to apply her make-up. Growing up I will always remember how mom taught us how to use make-up and to never leave the house without lipstick....needless to say my sisters and I always look fabulous when we leave our homes. 

Care for our parents comes full cycle. Many questions why we would do this instead of just putting mom in a 'home', but the choice my sisters and I have made is to care for mom as long as possible even as we care for our own families and self. Mom made room for us as we grew and now we are making room for mom. Happy Mothers Day..mom!


Explore the rest of the inspiring motherhood comments below:

60 Comments 60 Comments Digg Tweeter Facebook StumbleUpon Permalink Send To a Friend

Comments

  • My mom was an amazing, beautiful, kind, and giving woman, also a courageous fighter. She fought progressive breast cancer, more than 20 years ago - treatment and education for breast cancer was silent, speaking of a woman’s body let alone her breasts; was taboo. Diagnosed at age 38 she fought for 3 years and passed away at age 41. I watched her endure agonizing chemotherapy, painful surgery, and nauseating radiation this was the first round of her battle. The second and third battles progressed in severity of its punishment to her body; the last round was experimental requiring her in isolation for weeks. At age 15, I wonder why she put herself through the pain, suffering and torment. In the last week of her life she could hardly speak, just hold my hand. Her touch and smiles are memories filling my heart. As I grew-up I stated if diagnosed with cancer, I would not go through the torture Mom endure. At age 27 I had my first child…. the moment my daughter was placed into my arms I understood it all. Thank you Mom for the amazing lesson you gave me – the enduring love a mother has for their child.

    Posted by Srami74, 7 May 2010.

  • What does it mean to be a Mother? It does not just come with intuition or book learning. Being a Mother is an evolutionary process, stemming from varied lifetime experiences. I became an unwed Mother at the age of seventeen, actually turning eighteen in the delivery room. My precious daughter was born a couple hours after my birthday ended at 12 a.m. She was my birthday gift from God. Having a child at such a young age forced me to make early decisions regarding my future. I knew I could not take any detours in my education, so I finished high school and went directly to college. The support of my Mother and aunties allowed me to meet my goals. My daughter was raised by this "village of mothers" who instilled values and love of self and others. Having and caring for a child, and then having grandchildren by that child, has been the most fulfilling motherhood event one could ever experience.

    Posted by Donna Adams, 7 May 2010.

  • MOTHER

    I am the mother I am today because of my mother. My grandfather passed away when my mother was only 11 years old and my grandmother was only 27. My grandmother had to go out into the workforce to make a living in order to support her 6 children. My mother quickly acquired the responsibilities of being a mother as she learned to take care of her 6 brothers and sisters. My mother’s childhood and dream of an education had been forgotten. After many years of my grandmother working long hours every day she decided that in order to get ahead and provide a better life for her children she would have to follow her long awaited dream of moving to the United States. Soon after that became a reality. My mother missed her family dearly and she as well as my father also dreamed of coming to the United States for a better life. She had to make the painful decision of leaving my older brother and sister in the care of my father’s family for about a year since they were still in school. Both of my parents have worked full time – my father worked 3 jobs and my mother also worked to help make ends meet since we were a family of 9. Although my mother worked outside the home and attended night school at the Junior College, she always made sure the household was well stocked, we had clothes on our back, and she provided everything we needed for school. She taught us how to clean our home and do our laundry as well as take care of our younger siblings. My mother worked hard for many years with a goal in mind - to help my father buy our first house. Once their goal was met and my father was able to start his own business, my mother decided to focus on the family and work part time.

    Throughout the years my mother nurtured her sisters as a second mother. When they were pregnant she always made them their favorite dishes to eat and helped out once they became mothers for the first time. She was there for her sister when her doctors strongly advised her to abort her son when there was a chance the baby may be born with mental retardation. That son has grown up to be a very successful man with his own business. I can still remember my aunts and uncles coming over to the house at any given time to talk to my mother about their lives in general and seeking her advice, approval, or a warm shoulder to cry on.

    To this day my mother is still a strong woman taking care of her family. Every time one of my sisters had a baby she was there to help with everything they needed. Even though I was 100 miles away, she came down to help my husband and I after the birth of each of my 2 children. When I was ready to give up breastfeeding my son after only 2 days in the hospital, she was there to encourage me to keep trying and because of her, I was successful. After my cesarean and a week in the hospital my mother cooked our meals, cleaned our home, sponge-bathed me, and washed and brushed my hair every single day for about a week. She has also extended this act of kindness to my sisters in law.

    My mother is the 24 hour care giver to my father who has been suffering from Lymphodema since his last cancer operation in 1995. She drives him to all his appointments and makes sure he is well taken care of. She helps raise my sister‘s 4 kids and she has welcomed my brother back into her home with his 2 children. She is also like a second mother to these children and she helps them out with whatever they need.

    My mother has been involved in her church and community for 24 years. She is a volunteer Catechism teacher and helps prepare her students for First Communion. She uses her own money to purchase all her teaching supplies and gifts for her students. She has watched many of her previous students leave to defend our country, including a son in the Air Force who is stationed in South Korea, a nephew in the Army who has served two tours in Afghanistan, and a grandson who enlisted in the Marine Corps at the young age of 17. She provided a home at one time for her Compadre (Godfather to her daughter) who fought in the Vietnam War and suffered from mental illness. She has also helped them spiritually through her prayer groups. She collects clothes and food donations for her church. She has guided many people in need in the direction where they may receive assistance for themselves and their families. When the Haiti quake hit she called me and told me she sent a check for donation; she asked if I could call it in to donate it to UNICEF along with my donation. Of course I did and during this phone call my son was listening in and was encouraged to start his own contribution to Haiti.

    Throughout my mother’s life she has not only taught me but many other women the ideals of nurturing, volunteerism and sacrifice. She raised her brothers and sisters when her mother had to work. She sacrificed being away from her 2 children so that she can provide a better life for her family. She has given her time and energy to teach our family how to take care for one another and especially how to take care of our children. I can pass these fine qualities to my children as I know my aunts have passed on to their children as well. I still have so much to learn from her. I thank God every day for her.

    Posted by LisaDavis, 7 May 2010.

  • I’ve never felt as powerful as a mother as when I was 8 months pregnant sitting outside of the drug-testing lab with my teenage daughter. I had suspected something was going on with her and was adamant about finding out exactly what. As she screamed at me in the car about how much she hated me, I heard a voice come out of me that said… “Fine. Hate me. You'll hate me when you are 20, you'll hate me when you are 30, and you may hate me for the rest of your life. But, at least you will have a life from which to hate me. I am your mother. I am not your friend. And if you are doing drugs, I’m going to find out and deal with it.”

    Our story has a drug-free happy ending and now 2 years later, my daughter is off to college and we are starting to evolve the mom/daughter relationship into a friendship. I love and value the current relationship I have with her, however, I know that if I hadn’t been a mother first to her, we would never be on this path to friendship.

    Posted by Kristy Campbell, 7 May 2010.

  • I can't remember when I first had the desire to want/have childred. Many, many years ago, I did a lot of babysitting. One of the families that I sat for, had adopted 2 children. I had decided that when I did get married, that I would want a child naturally (God willing) and to adopt one too. I was fortunate that when I did marry, I did have a son and we then adopted a one and half month little boy.

    I enjoy the time that I spend with my boys, or should I call them men, and they are grown and out on their own.

    They have not graced me with grandchildren (yet), but they know how much that would make me happy.

    It was such a wonderful feeling to look at your children and see that you and your husband did alright in raising them.

    I enjoy being with them and talking with them, and sharing.

    Posted by alysmom, 7 May 2010.

  • My mom was a brilliant woman. She had numerous graduate degrees and I remember her working diligently on her dissertation when I was a kid.

    The most important lesson she taught me had nothing to do with academics though. She taught me that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. My mom struggled with depression and alcohol abuse for much of my life. She and I had a tumultuous relationship at times but I always knew that she loved me. She would have given her life for me but she couldn’t stop drinking for me. As I grew older I developed acceptance around the situation and soon realized that she didn’t have to stop drinking for us to have a relationship. That acceptance brought our relationship to a whole new level and not too soon. She died about 6 months ago and I will always cherish the time I had with her. You see we didn’t have to be the “perfect” mother/daughter or have the perfect relationship for there to be love. She taught me that even if I wasn’t perfect I was still worthy of love. What an amazing legacy to leave.

    Posted by mpfluge, 7 May 2010.

  • Motherhood... It's more than the "stopping to smell the roses" change in your life. The hilarious anecdotes of baby diapers, tantrums and challenges they throw at us. The events it causes with sleepless nights, loss of couple time, a new way of worrying and that you're no longer your own person. You belong to someone else now. They need you, they mimic you, they learn from you, they test you... they... my daughter... makes me a better person and see life as if I were just born as well. I thank her every day... even when near tears from a long day... that she is in my life.

    Posted by kmathieu, 7 May 2010.

  • And then came my third child. Except this time he was not like my first two. He didn’t do the normal and typical things my first two had done. Unlike them he DID need me in a very overwhelming way. He needed me to keep him alive initially by feeding him through a dropper. He needed me to take care of his needs when he did not meet his milestones. But most importantly he needed me to be his voice. And then he consumed me. And then my two daughters lost their mommy, the mommy that had coddled and over did it on everything to keep them happy. As the years went on and we each dealt with our pain and losses over my son’s situation, we grew as a family and as individuals. And what I am so thankful for is, despite our challenges I instilled a lot of love, caring and happiness into my children. You see, now that my daughters are adults, they tell me that of all the very happy memories I gave them during their mommy-tried-to-make-it-perfect childhood, the best thing they remember is knowing how very much I love them!

    Posted by Angela Schaefers, 7 May 2010.

  • frozen at the doorway
    it was a dream, no
    a movie I watched once
    lights flashing like red lightening, or
    a projector,
    not an ambulance
    not that ambulance
    everyone in slow motion—
    You, Mother
    on the floor, tiny and still
    Father crying


    I lost my mother when I was thirteen. Cancer. She had cancer. Sometimes I like to say cancer twice to give it more impact. Sometimes still, more than thirty years later, I have trouble saying my mother died. It’s not like I can just introduce myself and say, “Hi, I’m Jennifer, my mother died when I was thirteen.”

    For a long time I let memories of her death cloud memories of my mother’s life. It was through writing about her, about her life and about my own life that I realized how much more there was to her. To both of us. I keep on my wall beside my desk a scroll, decorated with purple and pink tissue paper flowers and a poem of sorts from second grade:

    MOTHER
    Great, Fantastic,
    Helps, Thinks, Cares
    Loving, Joyful, Warm, Fun-Filled Mother

    That is the mother I want to remember. That is the mother I want to be like.

    Posted by JeSais, 7 May 2010.

  • My mother married at 29 years of age. She was bi-polar and didn't think she'd marry and have a child. She was thrilled when I was born and then two years later my sister came along.
    As the years went by her mental illness became worse. In the 50's and early 60's hospitalization was common as today's modern medicines were not available.
    During our early years my mother had extended stays at mental hospitals. Then to make matters worse my father was not supportive of her and devalued her verbally as a person. This suppressed her personality, therefore when she was home she spent many days in bed not being able to interact with her family.
    My sisters and I were lonely children. We needed our mother's love and attention but she was unable to give it.
    I however am so fortunate that when my parents became elderly and needed help I was able to be there for them. I became their caregiver. During those years I learned to appreciate them for all the hardships they had gone through. At the same time I was able to get to really know my mother. I begin to see how much she had longed to just have an ordinary life with a house and a family and someone to love her.
    Now that I have become close to her and understand the person she was meant to be. I love her and I realize how thankful I am to have her. She is now almost 92 and I almost lost her on Easter Sunday. This poem below I wrote is how I feel about her.

    Mother’s Smile

    Unlike Mona Lisa
    There is no mystery, in this smile

    The smile begins with a twinkling of the eyes
    Uplifted cheeks
    The beauty of first light
    The joyful singing of morning birds
    The smile greets me when I enter her presence.
    I am bathed in the rays of her caring heart,
    Her radiating love
    Encompasses me

    At my birth
    When we first gazed into each others eyes
    Moonlight met Sunlight

    Mama’s warmth encircled me
    Her love responded to my every need
    She protected me from shadows and rains
    Held me under her umbrella
    Cradled me in rainbow’s promise
    Filled my world with joy,
    And the beauty of butterflies

    Now during the winter of her life,
    I brush her hair like she once did for me
    Admiring the beauty of her pure white crown

    I see How much I’ve been blessed

    Knowing forever
    I’m centered in her corona
    Living in the spectrum
    Of the prism of her smile




    Posted by Ono1one, 6 May 2010.