My Mom Isn't Just Mine, but She Always Made Me Feel Like She Was

mother daughter

I really don’t know how she does it! Now, the woman that I’m talking about is none other than my mother. For as long as I can remember, my mom has been my everything -- from being the supportive parent who went to every single play, musical, and chorus recital, to being a doctor when needed, to being my spiritual and cultural adviser when asked. The list of hats that she juggles (for me) goes on and on. But it wasn’t until I actually left the nest that I truly realized that she wasn’t just mine. She belonged to a community.

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There is always that one person who is thought of as "the glue," and my mom just happens to be it for my family. She’s the linchpin. Really, it’s more like she’s always been that -- the person who has always looked out for others, which may have been why she decided to dedicate her life to helping children and teens as a social worker.

And she has a lot of children. I'm talking two that are biological but hundreds that are her "adoptive" school kids -- after having worked almost 30 years in the same field and spending a lifetime living in the same community.

My mom grew up in a small town, left, and came back, bringing with her a unique perspective. She’s lived and seen the changes and challenges faced by the system, so there is no one more qualified to take up the guard for the community.

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And she has done it with a grace, strength, and patience that embodies a style all her own. But it must be exhausting! In fact, I know it is. 

I am not ashamed to admit that my mother and I talk on the phone almost every day. Yes, I am a momma's girl and proud of it. Aside from that, we do live far apart, so those calls on my daily walks to and from the subway are essential if we want to keep up with each other. After all, we're both busy.

So, there's never a shortage of things for us to talk about. It's also no surprise that general mentions of her "children" tend to make it into the conversation. 

This is a woman who can't go into the local Walmart without being stopped by at least one of her former students. She has helped generations, and in some cases, she's seen both parents and kids of the same family come through her school hallways.

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And the crazy thing is that she remembers most, if not all, of their stories, even after all these years.

Though, the job isn't the only area where she's helping out. My mother is active in a number of clubs and organizations that do outreach within the community.

As if 180 days of keeping track of several hundreds of students and their problems isn't enough, she also spends part of her summer vacation helping to tutor preteens for the upcoming school year.

Again, I don't know how she does it.

But somehow she manages it all. If you ask her, she'll tell you that she chooses not to worry or stress. She's learned her lesson. She takes things as they come; one day at a time. 

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And that's a philosophy that I am working on adopting. I definitely don't have it down as of yet. 

Still, she gives it her all every single day and has always had energy to spare for my brother and me.

That's the strength of a mom. Moms keep going 24/7 for 365 days a year -- more often without sick days and no time off. Moms never stop, and mine is no exception.

She is my inspiration to press through whatever may be thrown my way. Because if she can handle her crazy schedule, then I can deal with mine.

 

Image via iStock.com/Spotmatik

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