William Makepeace Thackeray
On this Mother’s Day we celebrate the Art of Motherhood. It is a joyful experience, filled with immeasurable love, sometimes immeasurable grief, and always a lot of giving. It is undoubtedly an art form, a craft, a creative, undefined, makeup-as-you-go noble profession that takes what seems like a lifetime to master. More importantly, it is a privilege.
What is the Art of Mothering?
I think Reena Burton said it best:
“It is the richest, deepest, most beautiful experience of my life. It is also the hardest and most painful. In our culture, there is a lot of room to share in the beauty and joy of motherhood, but it is rare to find support and acknowledgement for the challenges and grief. For every day of perfect smiles there is also a night of crying without sleep. For every exciting new development there is also a new challenge to go with it. It is made even more difficult by how invisible the work of mothering can be. It is giving every single second of your life and every single cell of your being, and so much of the time there is no one to witness it.”
My mother raised five children, worked full-time as a special education teacher to middle school children with emotional/educational disabilities, and managed to earn multiple postgraduate degrees including two masters and law degree. Her support for us, even though she wasn’t always physically there, was unwavering. Her passion for life and her involvement in our lives was intense–you could say she was one of those overbearing Italian mothers who always had a strong (usually objectionable) opinion on everything we did (or should say “do,” because she hasn’t let up once ounce) in life, from the lipstick we wore, to the people we dated, to how much we studied, to where we went to college, our choice of profession, and so on…
My foundation in life came from my family and the church. In my family, my mother was (and still is) the patriarch. Growing up, my father, who is quiet, calm, brilliant and always loving, was not the patriarch really, my mother was. She ran the house and no one dared to disagree with her. Looking back, she showed me so much toughlove and, at the time, I didn’t understand why she was so hard on me. She used to say, “I am not your best friend, I am your mother. I will stalk you, I will be your worst nightmare and I will never leave your side. I will be a part of every breathing waking moment you have in this life, because I love you and it’s my job to show you that tough times come and go, but tough people last.”
As a woman on my own, I understand that now.
“When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself.” Nancy Friday
A mother can come in many shapes and sizes. Mother’s Day is not solely a holiday to celebrate woman who’ve given birth/adopt/foster-parent; Mothers Day is to celebrate every woman who chooses to nurture, teach, guide and love a child.
I had many moms. My mother’s close friends were always there to keep an eye on me and comfort me, my dad has eight sisters (yes that’s right, eight), and they were always there when I needed them. I had some teachers who were more than teachers–they were women who taught me about life, and I visit with and think of them often, even 10-20 years later. These are all women who are mothers. They come in different shapes and sizes, fulfill different roles and different influences, but they are all my mothers. As Oprah famously said,
“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.”
THANK YOU to all women who nurture, guide, teach and love children.
Happy Mother’s Day from The Better Business Babe!! xo