Motherhood doesn't come with any guide books to help us navigate the sometimes choppy waters of raising children, and yet there was never a moment when I felt that my own mother was lost at sea. She tackled motherhood with great gusto, and despite several college degrees, she chose to stay home to raise my brother and me. For many, many years, we had the luxury of coming home to homebaked snacks, homemade meals, books at bedtime, and hugs at night.
My mother often talked about her ongoing dilemma of career vs. home, and it wasn't until I was in middle school that she returned to the work force after 18 years of being a homemaker. She felt that it was important to regain her identity outside of being a mother, and she managed to balance career and family so well. I've always admired my mother for her determination and strength; she was definitely the captain of our ship.
My mother is retired now, and just recently she has started to care for my father who has fallen ill. Her days are so very long, and I can see the exhaustion in her eyes, and I can hear it in her voice. And yet, somehow, she manages to keep a smile on her face. I wish her much strength for my father's journey back to health. She is my mother, my strength.
To all the mothers, I wish you a very happy mother's day.