I talk about being a mom all the time on here. So today, Mother's Day, I'm not going to talk about what it is to be a mom. Today I will think about the moms in my life.
Beginning, of course, with my own mom. When she found out she was pregnant with me, she was 15 years old. 6 weeks after finding out, she was married. She was 16 when I was born. She moved out of her parents' house and she and my dad got their own place. My dad was 18 when I was born.
Obviously, it wasn't easy. She was a teen mom 30 years ago, in a very very small town. She quit highschool and got a job...30 years later she has that same job in that same office. When she was 21, my brother was born.
She gave up everything, everything, to be our mother. School, a social life, prom, graduation, college, all that "stuff" that teens do and love was no longer a part of her life. She had and has a very supportive family, parents who really cared and did everything they could to help, and a big sister and 2 big brothers who loved her babies and spoiled them whenever and however they could.
But they were her babies, and it was her life. She was the mother, and we were her responsibility...not my grandma's, not my aunt's. It was her job to make sure we were fed, clothed, and felt loved.
And, at 16, and ever since, she did. She grew up much faster than most of her friends and other girls her age did. She missed out on A LOT. Her parents felt that if she was ready to play adult games, she was ready for the adult consequences. My grandparents loved her, and loved us very very much...but were not responsible for us. They played the grandparent role. Because that's who they were.
At 16, 17 and 18, she was living a life, making decisions and dealing with realities that other women twice her age were just starting to understand themselves.
She had help, but she was the mommy. She took care of us...she made us both into decent people, when I'm sure, many people at the beginning, doubted that we would ever amount to anything.
Now, at 46, she is a grandma of 2. She could very possibly be a great grandma someday.
She did have support. Her mother, my grandmother, was and is a very instrumental mother in my life. As my mother was working, my grandmother was looking after us. We spent every day there from the time my mom went back to work (7 weeks post partum) until I was old enough to stay home alone with my brother. I spent weekends camping with her, I went shopping with her, I spent a lot of time with her. I have a very close relationship with her. When Jeff and I were married, we had our family photos done in her backyard. My job allows me to have lunch with her every other week. She spends at least one week each year at our home. She taught me many things, about cooking, about gardening, about parenting, about life. She is a very special person in my life.
When I was little, my mom's sister, my "Aunti Di" was always my favourite aunt. She always appeared to be so "together". I always admired her as I was growing up, from the way she was as a mother to the way she was as a wife. She has a beautiful home and is a beautiful person. She was, and is, a role model to me. I have called on her for advice many times from help with breastfeeding to questions about Wills and Powers of Attorneys. She is an excellent mother and my cousins are very lucky to have her.
Once I met Jeff, I gained another mother. Not long after Jeff and I started dating, my parents separated, for the second time. My dad moved out in May, and I moved to University in September. Jeff's mom was very supportive of me, my education, my way of dealing with what was going on at home, and of my relationship with Jeff. She came to love me, and joked that if anything happened between Jeff and I, she was keeping me. She started as a teenage mom herself, and has been a farm wife for 35 years. She taught me a lot in the kitchen, in the garden, and about being a wife and a mother. She gave me a lot of insight in how to handle my husband, and she made me feel like a part of the family. When they came to visit us in the hospital after Makenna was born, she sat right down on my hospital bed, looked me in the eye and asked me how I was. I said "she's just perfect" and Jeff's mom said. "yes, she is...but how are YOU?". She brought us a fridge full of food after each of our children were born, and has a T shirt with the names of each of her grandchildren on it.
Three of my friends' moms have had an impact on me too. My friend Heather's mom Lois, my friends Adam and Jodie's mom Debbie, and my friend Angela's mom Tracey.
Heather's house was one of my homes away from home in highschool, and I spent many nights on her couch. Lois saw me at my teenage best, and teenage worst. She and her partner Jeff always welcomed me and always seems genuinely interested in what was going on in my life. In 2005 Lois was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and all of us were there to support her when we did the Breast Cancer walk in London that October. Thankfully, she is doing well now. She is always very kind to me, and when I was labouring at home with Makenna (the labour that went on, and on, and on...), she and Heather came to visit, bringing gifts to try to help me relax, and offering me words of support.
The first time I walked into Adam's house, I couldn't believe how great it smelled. After meeting his mom, I asked what smelled so good. She smiled and said "soup". It was the best soup I had ever smelled, I can assure you that, and I don't even like soup. I spent a lot of time at that home too, and Debbie was wonderful to me. Just wonderful. I had many long chats with her, and still do. She is a very special lady, and her kids and grandkids are lucky to have her.
And then Tracey. Her daughter Angela and I became friends early in elementary school. Tracey was the mom who baked the cookies, who volunteered in class,who offered to drive, who knew all of our names. She always had a warm smile and a nice thing to say about everyone. She made you feel special. We all loved going to Ang's house. Ang and I were usually in public speaking competitions together, and if she won first place, I won second, or vice versa. We both competed to be the "Ambassador" of our local fair, and I don't think anyone knew for sure who would win. She was named Miss Congeniality...and First Runner Up. I was named the Ambassador, and Tracey was sweet, gracious and...wonderful to me. And so was her daughter. Because that's who they are. Now Tracey and my mother in law are friends, so I see and talk to her regularly. She is still the same amazing mom, and now a grandma too. Tracey is affectionately known as "Mama Bear" and is another mom who I have admired throughout my life.
I am blessed to have had great mothers and role models in my life - both biological and through friendship. Being from teenage parents, I could have easily been "just another statistic" but my brother and I turned out just fine. We had a strong, healthy upbringing with strong female role models. I know that as my children grow, they will be influenced by other mothers besides myself. They have loving grandmothers, a loving great grandmother, and Jodi, who loves and treats them as though they are her own children. They have 3 terrific aunts, who I know would do anything for them, and will each be there for them throughout the years. As they get older and make best friends, I will depend on the mothers of those friends to watch out for my children when I am not there. To talk with them about things they don't want to talk to me about. To encourage them and to be their friend. Someday they will have mothers in law and I hope they enjoy good relationships with them as well.
On this Mother's day, I say thank you to my mom, and to all the other moms in my life, who have influenced me, encouraged me, believed in me, and loved me.
4 hours ago