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"Thank you for being our fearless leader".

That's how the Hubs signed my Mother's Day card this year.

I've never thought of myself as "their" leader. I associate the word to work, my old job anyway. They used to call me that. It was my so called job title and core function. I hated that job. The workload, the stress, it was never ending at that place. I was emotionally and spiritually drained. Every single day. I really hated that job. But, that job was my security blanket. I thought it was my career. I convinced myself it was my career.

I quit that job. Cold turkey. I wanted to spend more time being a mom. My time was beginning to feel extremely limited with my kids. It was obvious with each growth spurt and milestone. Survival as a young parent took a lot of away from us. Sacrifice is what they call that. And you know what? The job replaced me in a heartbeat. Just like that (snap) everyone moved on.

Admittedly, the personal aftermath was tough. I was broke financially but I was rich in spirit with my kids. These moments we're living are priceless. So, when in doubt remember what's important and who's important to you. Unlike any job, your children cannot replace you, their Mom.Their one and only Mom.

I've been a mom for half of my life. I was 18 when I found out I was pregnant. I didn't know how to be an adult let alone a mother. In fact, I knew nothing about myself. Nothing at all. I was dealing with every form of doubt and insecurity. Everything I did was a matter of trial and error. I wanted a voice. To be heard. To be seen. To be whole. I was a fragile child constantly trying to please people. My parents. My so called friends. My family. Wherever I was, whoever I was with, I did what they wanted me to do. What they expected me to do. The desire for approval was real I took it into adulthood with me. That's how I ended up working my ass off for a job I hated so much.

I tell you this to tell you that two things are certain in motherhood; irreplaceability and the opinions of other people. A lot of people! Walking around with a baby at 18, I heard a lot of opinions and I saw a lot of disappointment in people's eyes. They didn't have to say a word. The energy in the room was always enough. It spoke for itself. I understood the obstacles and hurdles I had created for myself. I understood their disappointment.

That's how I learned that the opinions of others do not matter. Free yourself of that burden. The sooner the better. I didn't figure it all out overnight. I still don't have it all figured out. Seventeen years later, there's no "right way". There are resources to help and guide us along the way but the journey is still very much ours as individual mothers. Every mom is different, every child is different and parenthood will change throughout the years. I'm living with those changes right now. I'm not the parent I was at 18. I'm not the parent I was at 21 or even 30. As I mature in mind, body and spirit, my parenting evolves. Although I'm grateful for the growth, I still suffer from guilt. Somedays I wish I could give my oldest the wiser, calmer version of myself. That wish is short lived because the logical person in me knows that I can only be better today. I did my best with what I knew at the time. We all do. Motherhood is a series of doing your best every single day with unconditional love. Don't let any job or any person ever stray you away from that. The relationship you build with your kids is unique to you and your children. That alone is enough. You're doing great. Please, remember that and continue to lead fearlessly (as best as you can of course).

Happy Mother's Day!


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