It’s that time of year again! All the mothers are getting their cards and the children are covered in glitter and the fathers are wondering if they actually have to cook all three meals that day.
I love Mother’s Day. It reminds me of making crafts in Sunday School to give to my mom, feeling like a boss because even though I didn’t have money I still had a gift to give. One year our Sunday School teachers sent us all home with plants in Styrofoam cups to give our moms. It was a really sweet, very terrible idea. The plant did not live. I was sad.
About a year ago, I was telling a friend of mine that I struggle with female relationships. And instead of nodding her head like most women do, she asked: “Why?” She wasn’t content with my BS answer about emotions and pettiness – she pushed me to think about why I disconnected myself from ladies, often even before I’ve gotten to know them. And it surprised me to realize that beyond the drama, the hormones, and the comparison games that often get the blame for why girls suck, I was battling with being known.
When you connect with another woman and bear your soul to her, you are known.
Men are wonderful creatures, and I would be lost without my level-headed husband who reigns me in when I am spiraling, but women see conflict or complexity and dive deep into that pain with you. If you’re sad when around a guy friend, he’ll ask what’s going on and then move on. There’s no pressure to unveil your heart or your scars. You can hide behind the laughter, the jokes, the conversation about nothing. (I’m obviously generalizing here, but after spending middle and high school surrounding myself when mostly boys, that’s just how it went.)
I’ve heard many times that women can over-complicate things, but I think we’re actually just pros in unraveling things. Though we can be easily offended and prone to drama, we are fierce in our love for our women.
On this Mother’s Day, I am celebrating all my “mothers.”
Since that revealing conversation last year, I’ve become so aware of the women who carry my burdens with me, who care about my struggles, who call out the good things in me, and who allow me to do the same with them.
Sometimes I am so focused on surviving, on avoiding scrutiny, on carrying my burdens and fighting my battles alone, that I do not see the goodness or grace of the women who are surrounding me on all sides ready to carry me.
When I look up, I see a mother who raised me to be fierce and loud,
grandmothers who introduced me to baking and God in their kitchens,
aunts who exemplify grit and beauty,
cousins who will not settle for less than extraordinary,
friends who refuse to let me be anything but myself,
and sisters-in-law who are tough as nails and still soft in heart.
Women who are mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends, and cousins have all written their names on my heart with indelible ink. As I celebrate the one who brought me into the world, I celebrate the ones who’ve made my world possible as well. Without the ferocity, faith, grit, determination, authenticity, and kindness of these women, I may not believe that we are anything more than dramatic, petty, back-lashing beings. But the truth is we are a force.
I look forward to the day I raise my daughters, my nieces, my friends’ little girls in a community of women who are for each other.
Thank you women for being for me.
Happy Mother’s Day