Mom to Mom: A Tribute To Moms
Even though I'm a mother, I always think of my mom and my mother-in-law on Mother's Day. I still believe the day belongs to them and all they have done for me (and my siblings, children, spouses, brothers-in-law, and many others).
For as long as I can remember, I have always had a special relationship with my mom. I can't explain it – but it’s an inseparable bond we share. Throughout my school years, she knew which friends I was having problems with or which boy I liked at the time; she also encouraged me to do my best, and helped give me courage when I needed it. To this day, there is little I don't share with her. We speak just about every day - if not more. She is always there for me to offer help, advice, or just to lend an ear. I always tell her how grateful I am for our relationship and I pray I can be the same to my kids.
My mother-in-law is just as special. Pushing 80 years young, she reminds me of my grandparents. She has such an outlook and perspective on life that I find so intriguing, yet fulfilling. Her father was in the Army, and she has such keen memories and stories of history no textbook could teach me. I never get tired of hearing her stories. She is so wise - I can call her whenever I find myself in a jam. She has ideas, cures and remedies few can challenge. Plus, she also offers me support whenever I need it.
These two women have taught me so much about the love, kindness, understanding and patience of motherhood. I aspire to be like them and teach my kids all that I can about love, life and the world.
I know Mother’s Day is a time to reflect and celebrate the love you give your family. As I look at my growing children, it’s always easy to question myself as a parent. Do my kids fight too much? Do they watch too much TV? Are they getting enough exercise and eating the right foods? Am I making each child feel appreciated and loved? Do I spend enough quality time with each one? Parenting truly is harder than I ever imagined.
I cherish the moments the kids are outside on the swing set – where they seem to get along the best; I love hearing their laughter ring out and seeing them collaborate on a special “spy mission.” There are special times, too, like when my youngest makes my bed just because he likes to. My kids surprise me sometimes with their genuine kindness and help toward each other. And they know I’m there for them as well. It’s the late-night trips to the hospital when someone wakes up in pain; it’s the simple act of buying their favorite food as a surprise at the grocery store; a hug at the end of a rough day, or a gentle good morning squeeze to get them out of bed.
I’m not sure what Mother’s Day has in store for me this year. We don’t have any traditions. Sometimes it’s breakfast in bed for me, or sometimes it’s just the thrill of sleeping in a little later than usual. But when I’m surrounded by my children on Mother’s Day and I see their smiling faces and love in their eyes, I know I’ll feel blessed and will be able to tell myself, “Yes, you’re doing all right.”
Mom to Mom is a column written by Mary Parra, an Ahwatukee mother of four and a local journalist.