Hooray for Mom!

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Mother’s Day is a very meaningful holiday for me. For those who know my story, you know that the home I grew up in was not peaceful because my dad was angry and prone to outbursts. However, throughout my childhood, I could always count on my mom to be there for me and to love, nurture, and protect me. After I left home, and when Jane and I eventually moved away from South Carolina, Mom continued to be my biggest cheerleader and prayer supporter.

Despite the fact that my job took my family about 700 miles away from her, Mom was always supportive and never guilted or pressured me about her grandkids living so far away. In many ways, she laid the roadmap that I try to follow as I parent my own kids and invest in my grandkids. Mom passed away in 2015, so Mother’s Day is not a completely joyful holiday for me anymore. It’s a day when I look back with gratitude for her, but it’s also a day when I feel that loss more acutely.

I know I’m not the only one who had a complicated childhood or whose mom has passed away. I’m not the only one who feels both joy and pain on Mother’s Day. If you are in any of those spots, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Days to celebrate specific people in our lives tend to be multi-layered and complex, just like the people and relationships those days represent.

No matter how complicated your own feelings may be on this day, I want to encourage everybody to find ways to celebrate the moms in your life. If you’re like me, the sheer number of mothers that are part of your life is pretty astounding when you stop to think about it. My wife is a mom and so are my two daughters. One of my daughters-in-law is a mom and so are several of my sisters-in-law. Several of my nieces, neighbors, and the women who I work with at Winning At Home are also mothers. That’s my list, and I’ll bet yours is full as well!

Let’s find ways to celebrate all of these moms. When you stop and think about it, the previous paragraph represents years and years and years of love, support, guidance, friendship, hurt, discipline, joy, loss, and everything in between. Many of the moms in our lives are spending their time and energy investing in kids who are too young to realize the gift that they are being given right now. They’ll understand it eventually, but kids and teens typically don’t have the awareness to properly thank these women for all of their investment into their lives.

That’s where we come in! As the adults, we need to set the example of celebrating and thanking moms, pointing out all of the ways they are giving of themselves in order to make their kids’ lives better. When we do that, we can help their kids see things from a different perspective. “Mom” isn’t just a role that somebody fills; being “mom” is a daily commitment to sacrifice, help, love, support, and believe in your kids. No matter your relationship with your own mom or your status as a parent, let’s make time to celebrate the moms in our lives who are making such a difference and who are helping so many people win more often at home!