Have you ever wondered if what you do for your children is ever enough? Have you ever secretly wondered in the stillness of your silence whether what you do as a mother really matters? I want to share a story with you that quite frankly, I have never shared with anyone so publicly to show you just how much what you do as a mother really does matter.
Twenty four years ago, I embarked upon a journey that would completely change the trajectory of my life. A journey that has molded me and shaped me into the woman that I am today. At the age of 25, I found myself in the position of being an unwed mother, which at the time, was not exactly the life that I had planned. As a Baptist minister’s daughter, I had envisioned a much different future not only for myself but for the child that I would one day carry. Although, at the age of 25, I was not a teenage unwed mother, I still felt totally unprepared and unsure that everything would be really be okay.
Finding myself pregnant and alone during which should have undoubtedly been the most joyous time in my life, left me with fear, doubt and uncertainty for the future. Although, my heart was full of love for this beautiful life that God had now entrusted to me, at the same time, I was consumed with worry and anxiety and paralyzing fear as I prepared for my future as a single mother.
I forged ahead, on a journey like millions of other single mothers before me and millions of other brave women that came after me. I did the things that a woman does to prepare herself for the arrival of her baby. I attended prenatal appointments, read everything I could get my hands on about becoming a mother. I remember the day I had my ultrasound and found out that I was carrying a girl. My heart filled with love and a sense of pride that even as a writer, I still to this very day find hard to put into words.
Although, I was filled with overwhelming love for my unborn daughter, my fears constantly consumed me. I was always in a constant state of worry. I worried if she would grow up to be happy. I worried if I could fill her up with enough love that she would love herself in a world that would constantly will tell her not to. I worried if I could teach her to be kind in world where kindness is often exploited. I worried if I could teach her to be strong and “fight like a girl” as my father taught me. I worried about being a good mother, and sole provider. I worried about taking care of all of her financial, physical, emotional, spiritual and healthcare needs.
I not only worried for her future, subconsciously I worried about my own. Would my peace and happiness continue when the overwhelming stresses of raising a daughter alone attempt to wear and tear me down. Would another man ever love me, did I even love myself. I worried if I had what it took to raise my daughter alone. I worried if I would be confident enough. I worried if I would be good enough.
I worried if I would BE ENOUGH.
After the birth of my beautiful daughter Taylor, all of the love that I had carried for her over the last nine months was multiplied, it engulfed my entire existence. I never knew that I could love another person and much as I loved her from the very first moment, I heard her cry. I knew that her cry represented the longing she had to be loved and comforted by the voice that she had grown accustomed inside my womb for the last nine months. She longed to be held and comforted by me as much as I longed to finally hold and comfort her.
Although, the love for my daughter existed in every fiber of my existence, so did my lack of self confidence. I still secretly lacked confidence in whether I really had what it took to take on the responsibility that was now a 7 lb 13 oz, living breathing reality.
After bringing my daughter home from the hospital, my mother took extra special care of me as she had done for each one of her children, all of her life. I tried very hard to hide the mounting fears that I felt during that time. I didn’t want my mother to worry about me the way I worried about myself and my daughter.
One life changing day, my mother came into my bedroom as I put my newborn daughter back down for a nap. I was having a particularly difficult day. It was all I could do to hide what I was really feeling from the rest of the world.
There was a soft knock on the door as my mother entered the room. She brought with her a beautifully wrapped gift that she no doubt hand wrapped herself. Before she presented me with my gift, she said the following, “Some times after a woman has a baby, she can find herself feeling a little blue. This is just a little something for you to make you feel pretty”.
After those profoundly powerful words, not only did my heart begin to fill with an overwhelming sense of love and admiration for my mother, my eyes begin to fill with tears. How could she know exactly what I was feeling, and more importantly how could she know exactly what I needed at that very moment? After thinking that I had done such a good job hiding my feelings of inadequacy and insecurities. How could she possibly know?
How could she know that after all I had been feeling and struggling with, that at my core, I didn’t feel pretty on the inside or outside?
I opened up my mother’s gift and inside of that delicately wrapped box was a beautiful blue Vanity Fair night gown that was the most beautiful gown that I had ever seen. The true beauty of that gown wasn’t it’s fashion and design but it’s beauty lies within what the gown symbolized.
Although my loving mother may have thought that all she was giving me was a beautiful gown to wear. A gown that was soft, warm and fuzzy that was simply a gesture of her love for me. Although, that gown was all of those things, my mother actually gave me much more that day. On that day at that precise moment, my mother didn’t just give me a gown.
My mother gave me, my CROWN.
She gave me, my crown of confidence that day. The crown of confidence that conveyed to me, that no matter where my path would take me and my daughter, I had her love and support. The crown of confidence that she STILL believed in me, even though I didn’t believe in myself. The crown of confidence that I did have exactly what I needed inside of me, because SHE had loved and cared for me since the day I was born. She had already given me every thing I needed to rise to the occasion even if I had to rise alone.
At that moment, as a result of my mother’s loving words and gesture, I knew that I was not only enough but I was worthy to wear the crown that she passed along to me. Every time I wore that gown, I was enveloped in love and in the confidence my mother had in me.
Every time I touched that gown, I touched my mother’s crown….
On November 28, 2005, God called my mother home to receive her final crown. For the crown he had given to her to share with others, she gave to me that day. I will never forget that day as long as I live because it now represents the core of who I am not only as a woman, but as a mother. I can only hope that I am able to one day pass along a crown to my daughter and my sons as meaningful as the one my mother gave to me that day.
If you’ve ever wondered whether what you do as mother really matters in the lives of your children, I am here to say, that it indeed matters more than you may possibly realize. A mother’s love truly possess transformative powers though the eyes of a child.
Your words matters, your support matters, your love matters.
Every child has the potential to grow into their greatness. A big part of that development is the love and nurture they receive from the first woman they love and trust. There’s nothing more powerful than the love you have for your child. A loving word, a simple gesture from you can fill a child with the love and confidence they need to carry on and pass along their crown.
It’s not the big grand gestures that really matters the most, it’s those things you do every day that make all the difference in the world. The powerful message my mother gave me that day, is one I still reflect on when times get tough. She taught me that I had everything I needed to go on even when she would no be longer here to guide the way. During one of the toughest times in my life, I started to believe in me again, because the woman I love and trusted MOST in my life, believed in me.
You too, my Queen are equipped to climb the mountain you’ve been assigned, because you are strong enough to climb it. You are indeed worthy of your crown. You have everything you need to rise to the occasion.
I hope you take the time out this Mother Day’s to remember that what you do for your children matters, each and everyday even though they may not fully realize it YET. There’s no greater responsibility than the love and nurture of a child entrusted to you. There is NO greater love.
All Hail to you Queen, this Mother’s Day!
Please feel free to share your most favorite thing about being a Mom OR the most favorite thing about your mother in the comments below!