My latest article for the guest columnist spot in the Telegraph:)
'‘Everything becomes a little clearer. I realize what life is all about. It’s hanging on when your heart has had enough. It’s giving more when you feel like giving up. I’ve seen the light. It’s in my daughter’s eyes.”—Martina McBride
“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” However silly it might sound, this quote by Tenneva Jordan sums up motherhood perfectly. As a child, this was my momma exactly. No matter what, my mom would always eat the broken cookie, the slightly burnt piece of chicken, or give up her serving of green beans because her two daughters wanted more. Unfortunately, I don’t think I really appreciated how important these seemingly small sacrifices were until I grew up and matured a little. Now I realize that this was just one of the many, many ways that my mom showed her love for her family, one of the countless circumstances in which she put her daughters before herself. Now that I am the mother of a spirited little girl myself, I often look to my mom for support, guidance, a shoulder to cry on, or simply a person to share the joy of every new experience with my own daughter. I can’t think of anyone from whom I have learned more from than my momma—Anne Mottaz.
For those who don’t know me, I have a tendency to be quite dramatic and worry about concerns far too much. Before I was a parent, I often stressed that these characteristics would show up in my parenting skills as well. I listened to friends who talked about how hard being a parent was. However, while I can’t say I am never frustrated, being a mom is one of the most rewarding and “easy” things I’ve ever done. My daughter is my “happy place” and my calm in the storm of life. I know this attitude is a result of the excellent guidance I receive from my own mom. Anyone who meets my mom can tell how happy her daughters make her and how thankful she is to be a parent. My mom’s attitude on parenthood helps me find peace through everyday hectic situations that so often arise while being a mom. While I certainly get stressed when my two-year-old is acting like a two-year-old, I have also learned from my mom to pick my battles and find great joy in all the little moments with my daughter. Whenever my daughter, Grace, does something aggravating, I hear my mom’s voice in my head and I stop and ask myself why I’m irritated. Then, if the situation isn’t truly a big deal, I find the patience to laugh it off. If it is something she needs disciplined for, I find the patience to calmly discipline her without screaming my head off (which any parent knows, can easily happen!).
I feel that this special relationship with my mom started when my little sister, Rebecca, was born. While pregnant with Rebecca, my mom ruptured a disc in her back. My sister had already had a scary birth, one in which my mom had to have a caesarean section and they had problems getting her out (She is still a stubborn girl!). Shortly after this complicated birth, my mom had to be put under anesthesia and go right back into the operating room for her back. Because of this, she wasn’t able to hold Rebecca much right after she was born. I remember having to help my mom quite a bit at home because she couldn’t lift anything—not even her new baby girl! Although my mom looks on this memory with sadness, I don’t see it as a bad situation at all. I know my mom was in a lot of pain, which makes me sad, but I think this made my family extremely close. Despite the fact that I was only five, I had to step up and help my mom. Our family had to learn to be a team. Even at such a young age, I recognized the strength that my mom has always possessed. As easy as it would have been to give up or to hide in bed, my mom spent every day of her recovery (and always!) playing with my sister and me as best as she could, teaching and loving us. My sister and I deserved a mom who would be there for us no matter what she was personally going through, and my mom delivered on that beyond all expectations. It is this strength that I have often remembered when I was sick. My mom taught me to be a good mom no matter how I felt physically.
My momma has taught me so many different lessons about life, love, challenges, and friendship. However, I am most thankful for her excellent example of how to be a good parent. My daughter means more to me than anything, and, if I can be even half the mom my own momma has been, my daughter will be one lucky girl. My mom is so much more than a mother. She is best friend, mentor, counselor, partner-in-crime, and teacher. I strive every day to be like her.