On this Mother's Day, in addition to honoring your mothers and mother-figures, I encourage you to celebrate the mother within. You are at the center of not only others that you care for but yourself, too. You are doing the best that you can, and yes, you may falter at times. Don't keep going in those moments and at times of exhaustion. Instead, find ways to replenish yourself.
As the holidays near, I can't help but think of the relatives who won't be with us as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, and the other holidays that follow soon after: Hanukkah (we're a multicultural family), Christmas, the New Year. But while my surface thoughts are about the individual people, I find that a deeper dive leads to what I learned from them, and what they taught me about gratitude.
There's nothing quite like trying to do something yourself and someone barging in to do it for you. Still, I offered in a gentle voice, “Would you like some help?” Her reaction could not have been greater had I offered her a pot of gold. Wide-eyed, and so very grateful (if also a touch embarrassed) she replied, “Oh, you don’t mind?"
Our relationship with our mothers may shift over time, but the love remains the same. Some of you may be caring for your mother now, as she once cared for you. Others like myself have lost our mom, and this day can be difficult. What can you do for such a special woman, guide, and warrior?
When I was a caregiver for years for my mom and brother, I realized I was in uncharted territory, but the moment I connected with other caregivers, my life shifted. Whether it was hearing about emotional issues or discussing navigating healthcare, the connection piece became a powerful lifesaver. That experience is the core of why I started Breathing Spaces years ago. I wanted to offer a connection for others from a place of understanding, and the knowledge that voices must be heard, and stories must be told.
Practicing gratitude balances your emotional well being, and you can help others through it.