You know how people say that you can never truly appreciate your own mother until you become a mother yourself? Well, that statement is absolutely 100% true. I always thought my mom was pretty great, but it took becoming a mother myself for me to really take note of all the little things she did that helped to shape me into the person I have become.
Leaning in is all about “encouraging and supporting women leaning in to their ambitions” and my mother has always done that for me. From the time I was a little girl she has always been my strongest advocate and my biggest fan. Whether my ambition at the time was to wear pink sparkly cowboy boots every day of my kindergarten career, or whether it was to switch my college major four times – she was there giving me room to learn and grow and realize my ambitions, no matter how big or small they might have been.
That’s the wonderful thing about my mom. She has always been a bit of a “worrier,” but has given me the space to figure things out myself and she has always trusted me and my decisions and made me feel like I was totally strong and capable. I remember how my “worrier” mama handled my plans to have an out-of-hospital, all-natural birth when I was pregnant with my daughter. I fully expected her to extol a list of her concerns on me, but instead she told me she was proud of me for educating myself about birth and making an informed choice. She said that even though it worried her, she trusted that I was making the best decision for me and she supported me 100% in that decision even when others thought I was a little crazy.
That’s basically what my mom has been for me my entire life…the most wonderful cheerleader supporting me fron the sidelines. She was always there and ready to drop everything for me at a moment’s notice if I needed something, but she also trusted me to do things on my own. She was super involved in my life, but never made me feel suffocated. Because of her, I have felt strong and capable to take on my life’s greatest journey yet: motherhood.
There are definitely times as a mother that I feel so inadequate and ill-equipped, but it is in those moment that I remember that my mom believes in me and that I can do this. I hope and pray that I am half the mother to my own daughter as she was to me. She has been such a beautiful example of the selflessness of motherhood in everything that she does and she is such a blessing in my life.
Thank you mama.
We’re celebrating Mother’s Day by celebrating leaning in to motherhood, and by recognizing the extraordinary women that are our own mothers. We hope that it will inspire you to thank your own mother, or the mother who most inspires you. Find more letters and stories about leaning into motherhood here. And, of course, find your own Lean In inspiration at LeanIn.org.