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  • Writer's pictureTori Leto

Thank You Mom: Honoring the Unmatched Love of Mothers

Updated: May 14

I believe the highest form of success, yet the most elusive, lies in parenthood. Defining a "good" parent is deeply subjective. As it is Mother's Day, let me elaborate on what it means to embody successful motherhood: It's about fostering a nurturing and supportive environment for your children's growth and development. Providing unconditional love, guidance, and encouragement while also setting boundaries and imparting valuable life lessons.

A successful mother is adaptable, patient, and empathetic, recognizing that each child is unique and may require different approaches to parenting. Furthermore, she prioritizes her children's well-being and happiness while also tending to her own needs and personal growth. Ultimately, a successful mother leaves a lasting positive impact on her children, helping them become confident, compassionate, and resilient individuals. 

It's important to acknowledge that no mother or mothering experience is ever perfect. Each journey is unique, shaped by individual circumstances, strengths, and challenges. Therefore, no mother deserves to be compared to another. Being a mother is a deeply personal and beautiful journey, and deserves to be celebrated in the way it differs and the love it brings to each family.

Society often leads us to believe that a good parent is defined by their children's achievements, the praise they receive from others, or the popularity of their family's social media posts. However, true success in parenting cannot be quantified by a rubric or any metric system. A good mother is simply one who strives to do her best.

Throughout my life journey, I've been blessed to carry the boundless love of many remarkable women. From beloved grandmothers to caring aunts, supportive mentors, and even teachers, these individuals, though not my biological mothers, have showered me with their nurturing care. Their love, marked by unwavering devotion and unconditional support, knows no limits. It's a testament to the profound impact that women of diverse roles, not bound by biology, have in shaping and nurturing young lives. They deserve recognition, validation, and celebration for the invaluable roles they play in the lives of many children.

It's easy for kids, caught up in their own growth, to forget that their parents are also navigating parenthood for the first time and deserve patience and understanding as they learn along the way.

Having faced mental health challenges during my early teens, I understand that at times, my mom blames herself for what occurred, feeling like she "failed." Yet, I am eager to continually reassure her that I am immensely grateful to have had her unwavering support by my side during that difficult time and still today.

When sharing my journey with fellow parents facing challenges with their children, I emphasize the importance of recognizing that it's not their fault. I stress the significance of their unwavering love and support during tough times, highlighting how invaluable it is for a child grappling with mental health issues. Even if they aren't told enough, I reassure them that their efforts won't go unnoticed and that their child will ultimately be grateful for their commitment and care.

As a young adult who engages with numerous kids and parents, I see the importance of conveying some essential reminders:

  • You don't need to have all the answers or fix every problem. It's important to recognize that learning is a two-way street between parent and child. Sometimes, what a child needs most from a mom is simply a hug, words of encouragement, or perhaps their favorite treat like cinnamon toast (which happens to be my personal favorite).

  • Give yourself credit where it's due. When I was younger, I'd tease my parents, saying, "Well, I could be doing worse," trying to lighten the mood when I fell short. Now, I see a clearer truth: as a parent, you can strive to do everything right, but sometimes you must acknowledge that some things are beyond your control, no matter how much you wish otherwise.

  • As a mom, it's important to remember that you're not alone in your feelings or struggles. Many other mothers experience similar challenges and emotions, even if they may not always openly express them. Be patient with yourself and understand that it's okay to have moments of doubt, frustration, or uncertainty. Remember that you're doing the best you can with the resources and knowledge you have, and that in itself is enough. Reach out for support when needed, and know that you are valued and appreciated.

  • The greatest gift you can give your children is to prioritize your own healing, self-nurturing, and patience. Investing time in yourself enables you to better serve and support your kids. Remember, you deserve care and celebration too (not just today). It's unfortunate that society places immense pressure on you as a mother while offering minimal support in return. However, I believe in you and know that you have the strength and capability to succeed.

Happy Mother's Day! This special day is dedicated to all the incredible mothers out there, in every form they take. Whether you're a new mom, an empty nester, a devoted dog mom, someone longing to be a mother, a cherished godmother, an adoptive mom, a mother-in-law, a mother who has experienced loss, a dedicated caregiver, a nurturing mentor, a supportive teacher, or any other role that involves maternal love and care, this day celebrates you. Thank you for all the love, sacrifices, and countless acts of kindness you offer each day. You are appreciated more than words can express.

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