5 Reasons I’m Thankful to My Mom

Nicole's mom with her grandbaby

This Mother’s Day, Hallmark has issued a challenge that I absolutely love. They’re daring all of us to put our hearts to paper and really tell our moms what they mean to us. I’m not talking the simple “I love you” that we all put at the end of the card before signing our names. I mean really digging deep and saying WHY you love mom. I’m definitely up for that challenge, as I have a pretty awesome mom!

Obviously, I’m thankful that my mom made sure I was fed and clothed growing up. That I had a roof over my head, a good education, etc. The basics. I mean, we’re all thankful for those things, right? But they’re not what really makes my mom different. When asked to put my heart to paper, these are the things I’d thank my mom for:

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  • 1. Giving birth to me.  Yes, it sounds like it belongs up there in the basics, but it doesn’t. My mom was only 18 when she got pregnant with me. She could have chosen a different path for herself. She didn’t. I know it had to be difficult, raising a child while still growing up yourself. I was almost 30 when I had my son and it was still tough!
  • 2. Letting me be an individual. I was (still am!) a punk rock girl all through my teen years. I shaved the back of my head, dyed my hair, hung out with guys who wore spiked combat boots and listened to loud music. My mom never judged. She did make me dye it a different color when the Lush orange faded and looked horrible for family pictures, but she let me go with a lovely shade of burgundy. By letting me be who I was, I learned to respect others’ choices in life.
  • 3. Letting me make my own mistakes. My mom TRIED really hard to steer me away from a few bad choices, but in the end realized that I had to make - and learn from - my own mistakes. As it turns out, those mistakes were entirely necessary to make me who I am today. They were also necessary to produce my son! So thanks for letting me live and learn!
  • 4. Always coming to get me. When my mistakes ended up in disaster, my mom didn’t say “I told you so,” she just came, packed me up and brought me home. She drove to Maryland to get me from a nightmare situation. She drove to Maine to get me again. When I moved to Japan, though, she drew the line. Fortunately, Japan worked out fine. I moved back home after two years, though and never left. Although now, my mom lives with me. Which leads me to my next point.
  • 5. Helping me raise my son. I never planned to be a single mom. Life happens, though, and here I am. My mom lives with me and is a huge help with Jacob, just like my grandparents were with me. Without her help, I don’t think I’d have any of the opportunities I have. I wouldn’t be able to do anything for my site that actually requires me leaving the house! Money was so tight for years that I never would have been able to afford a babysitter. I’m thankful that Jacob has the chance to have a close relationship with his grandmother, the same way I had with mine. My grandmother was one of the most important people in the world to me.

My mom is pretty amazing. I admire her a lot. Not just because she raised two kids who turned out pretty well (my brother is a lawyer and I’ve managed to become pretty successful in my own ways), but also because, at 50-something (after the company she worked for closed down), she’s launched her own business from scratch. She works with independent authors, doing everything from designing their covers to formatting books and setting up their promotion. She’s one of the smartest people I know, which is probably where my brother gets it from. I’m lucky to have her.

This Mother’s Day, put your heart to paper and tell your mom (or grandmother, aunt, or any other special woman in your life) how much she means to you. Take the time to go beyond the simple “I Love you” and really let your words pour out. Hallmark has the beautiful cards and inspiration to help you get started, but the meaning will come from your heart.

What makes your mom special? How would you put your heart to paper?

 

This post is brought to you by Hallmark. All opinions are my own.

Nicole Etolen of Pretty Opinionated has been writing for as long as she can remember. She started out with pen and paper, moved on to a standard typewriter, an electric typewriter, and finally to a computer in her early 20s. She’s also mom to an 8-year-old boy and a plethora of pets! 

Images courtesy of the writer

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