We had so many great entries for our Mother’s Day Essay Contest (read our May 2014 issue for more essays) that we didn’t want to limit ourselves by only publishing only the winner and honorable mentions. Here are five other entries that we felt deserved special recognition and attention. Happy Mother’s Day everyone!
What I Love Most About Being a Mom ...
By Gina Johansen of Wakefield
I always knew I wanted to be a Mom. It was such a natural feeling for me. I knew I wanted to love, nurture, teach, protect and respect my child. I just didn't know what my journey would be. After many years and many losses and many prayers – I was blessed with the gift of my son, Joshua. I knew he was growing inside me almost instantly. I just knew.
When he was born, the moment I saw his big eyes is a moment I will never ever forget: overwhelming joy. My cup runneth over! He was here! Finally here!
Naturally, my "plan" for my journey to motherhood would have been a little different than God's plan for me, but during these last five years of being Joshua's mom, I believe, of course, that God knew best.
I believe it gave me a different perspective, even a little more patience. Maybe it made me a better Mom and made me appreciate life and its challenges so much more.
I do so love all the challenges and rewards that motherhood brings. I've loved watching him grow from a happy, playful baby into a very active, outgoing, loving, smart, silly, kind and compassionate little boy. Oh, did I say active?!!
I love watching him learn and create and grow into the beautiful little boy he was created to be. He is all this and so much more. My life is so much richer, fuller and more meaningful because I have the privilege of being a Mother. I cherish every moment, every day. Being a mom has made me into the person I was meant to be. This is a love like no other. I am so very blessed!!
By Linda Orel of Sharon
Being a mom has been the most joyful experience of my life.
My 5-year-old daughter Samantha gives. She gives by allowing me to be imperfect by sharing her unconditional love, affection and admiration. She gives by challenging me to be my best, enabling me to be more patient, generous and thoughtful. She gives by blessing my life as I watch her learn and grow to become a compassionate, independent person. She gives by raising my spirits, by sharing her cheerfulness and unabashed laughter. Samantha reminds me to slow down, stay calm and to live for each day. She is really my greatest and most wonderful gift in the world.
By Iram Moazzam of Islamabad, Pakistan
“Gosh, you are so organized!” is what I was accustomed to hearing prior to becoming a mother, but motherhood made my world turn upside down. Now I find dinosaurs in my pillows and my drawer stuff in the oddest places.
To me, the best thing about being a mom is discovering your hidden abilities, things you never thought you were capable of. Not in my wildest dreams could I imagine that my kisses on the little foreheads would have immense healing power, nor did I ever think that I would be able to discuss potty colors shamelessly at the dining table.
These two little miracles I gave birth to showed me that I could survive watching the same cartoon movie twice a day the whole week through, and I could still manage with mere four hours of sleep, or even less. I found out that it’s OK to share my favorite chocolate bar and that I could be a queen of multitasking.
Motherhood is a roller coaster ride of emotions, one where you learn on the go. But it is also the best thing that ever happened to me. I can’t imagine my life without my two naughty boys who have made me more patient and let me rediscover my childhood. Lastly, the journey of motherhood revealed to me that my heart no longer beats inside my body.
By Sarah Gardner of Norwood
For me Mother's Day and motherhood are a bittersweet triumph and beautiful proof of my faith in love. My most wonderful realization of motherhood was discovering how truly easy and natural it is to love your child.
Despite a painful upbringing, I was able to bring two amazing people into the world and feel the most incredible joy in their smallest delights and developments. Wanting to keep their world safe and be there to see them become themselves in their own unique ways was (and is still) the best feeling in the world. It made me whole. Yet this was also heartbreaking because I was suddenly rawly aware of exactly how it was missing from my early life.
I could no longer make pitiful excuses. I immediately stopped sending Mother's Day cards to the alcoholic narcissist who often said "having kids was the worst thing that ever happened to me.” I became the mother I needed, both for my kids and myself. Knowing that natural “motherhood energy,” true caring and love coming from inside my heart takes good care of me now.
This may not be a typical Mother's Day essay, but it had to be written in case some young mother out there is trying to come to terms with this sort of thing. Know that being a mother is the best mother for you, too. Give yourself the same love you give others.
By Amy Ford of Quincy
“Don’t blink. It goes by so fast” has been the most consistent phrase I’ve heard from other mothers since becoming one myself six years ago.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, it seemed as if those nine months dragged, as did the first few months of Grace’s life when she had colic. I remember thinking, “Oh right, like I’m going to miss this. Not!” Or when my son, Tommy, spent his first few months in Children’s Hospital fighting for his life. I would’ve given anything to do an “I Dream of Jeannie” blink to make that time disappear.
Blink I did, however. This fall, Grace will be entering kindergarten, and I will be returning to the work force. Oh how I wish I could go back, only knowing what I know now, for perspective and appreciation’s sake.
I have come to realize that the true pleasures of motherhood are earned far more on magical ordinary days, the days with little-to-no expectations. Today, I know my kids are happiest when it’s “just another day,” when we have nothing on the agenda and the whole day waits to be filled like an empty canvas. On days where spontaneity rules, our kids realize they are truly the center of our universe.
I love that motherhood has taught me to slow down and appreciate days like this, marked not by one or two spectacular moments, but rather just by the simple joy, peace and fulfillment we get by being together as a family.
Read the winning essay and more runner-ups here.
When you came into this world, you brought a love into my heart that I had never before experienced. When you spoke your first word, when you walked your first steps, I was your biggest supporter and fan. With every developmental milestone you reached, I reveled in joy and celebration. You taught me the meaning of love -- true, unconditional love.
Now you are older, and what an amazing person you've become! You have your own personality, your own thoughts and opinions, and your own sense of humor. You have your own interests, your own talents, and your own way of doing things. I celebrate your individuality and uniqueness and am so honored to be part of your life.
As you continue to grow and become an adult, you will live your own life. You will have times of happiness and times of disappointment. You will fall in love, and you will have your heart broken. Life has its ups and downs and is not always fair, but I know your strength and resilience will see you through.
May you always know your worth and how incredibly precious you are! As your mom, it is my privilege to impart these important truths to you.
Be true to yourself always. There is no one else like you, so allow your uniqueness to shine through. You never need to change who you are for someone else. You are magnificent exactly as you are.
Live your own dreams. Figure out what makes you happy and pursue it. Follow a path of your own choosing - not mine, not your dad's or anyone else's. Your fulfillment is what I want, and it will come from following your dreams and living a life that has meaning and purpose for you.
Don't take life so seriously. Have fun. Laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Don't worry about things you cannot control. You get only one life, so enjoy it to the fullest.
Love and accept yourself unconditionally. You will always have yourself even when friends come and go, so make it your best relationship. The way you treat yourself will show others how to treat you, so treat yourself like you would your own best friend. Be kind, respectful, and loving to yourself no matter what.
Don't be afraid to take risks. Take big, bold risks! You can accomplish great things by taking risks. Living life too cautiously and keeping the status quo will leave you with regrets. Get outside of your comfort zone and watch as that comfort zone expands. The more risks you take, the easier it becomes.
Find your soulmate. You will meet someone one day with whom you fall head over heels in love and want to spend the rest of your life. Their gender, race, religion, and culture are irrelevant to me. As long as you are loved, respected, and treated well, I will always be happy with your choice.
And, last but certainly not least,
Know that I love you and will always be there for you. No matter what, I've got your back. You are my son and always will be. I adore you, and there is nothing you could possibly do to change that. There may be times when we don't always see eye to eye, but I still love you and always will.
Follow Grace Bluerock on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gracebluerock