Why I Celebrate Mother’s Day

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Before becoming a mom, I always appreciated Mother’s Day and knew it was a day to celebrate my mom. Typically, I celebrated all that I knew she did for me and my family. However, since becoming a mom myself, I have taken on a whole new understanding for why we celebrate Mother’s Day and just what I am celebrating my mom for.

I am celebrating patience. The patience that my mom gave me growing up and the patience I give to my toddler (boy, is it a lot!). I never realized how little patience I had and how quickly I’d have to get some until I became a mom. Patience when I am going to be 15 minutes late to work because my son insists on having a full-on conversation with a slug on the driveway before he gets in his car seat. Patience when he is throwing a temper tantrum in the grocery store because we do not need a “Congrats on Your Retirement” balloon. Patience when he refuses to put on his clothes in the morning because going to nursery school naked should be totally acceptable.

I am celebrating unconditional love. No matter how many sticky hand prints I find on my pants, skirts, and dresses, I will still love him. No matter how many picture frames he breaks, I will still love him. No matter how often I could rip my hair out when he yells “NO!” one more time, I will still love him. I never truly understood unconditional love until I had a child. 

I am celebrating hard work. One of the best things my mom ever did for me was work hard and make it not look easy. She didn’t sugarcoat it and I so appreciate it now. Hard work is running errands on your hour lunch break because when else are you going to get to them? Hard work is finding the energy to run around the yard and play before bedtime after a day that seemed like it would never end. Hard work is showing up and being present when all you want to do is take a nap. Hard work is managing every aspect of your life like a juggling act hoping you do not drop a ball (and forgiving yourself when you do).

I am celebrating imperfection. Motherhood in my opinion, is by definition, imperfect. I have found it is the one thing that I can never, and will never, be perfect at. There is no such thing, and that is often the beauty of it. Imperfection is sending my toddler to nursery school with mismatched clothes because it’s all that was clean. Imperfection is turning on Thomas the Tank Engine instead of doing an art project on a rainy day. Imperfection is having cereal for dinner because no one wants to cook. Imperfection is mom bun all day, everyday.

I am celebrating my mom and my tribe. Because, let’s be honest, without them, we wouldn’t be half the mom we are.

But most importantly, I am celebrating all of these things in me. Patience for myself when life is really, really, really hard (98% of the time!). Unconditional love to myself because I really am doing a great job even though I do not always feel like it. All of my hard work in all of my roles at home, at work, with family and friends. Imperfection and the imperfect moments that make my life so rich.

So, Happy Mother’s Day moms! And, a special Happy Mother’s Day to my mom (all the times you said “Just wait till you have kids”…I really get it now!).

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Ashley Byrd-White identifies as a Yankee-Carolinian who was born and raised in the tundra of Upstate, New York but currently calls the Midlands her home. She began her professional career in Buffalo, NY in higher education. She continues her dedication to education at USC working full-time as a Career Development Coach to college students. She currently holds a BA in psychology and an Ed.M. in higher education administration. Moving to Columbia, SC 4 years ago so her husband could pursue his teaching career was the most challenging time in her life … until motherhood! She has been together with her high school sweetheart husband, Chad, for 13 years (married for nearly 4). Ashley is a first-time mom as of February 2016 to Oliver. She loves being a mom, is proud of her continuing breastfeeding journey, and is thankful for her mama tribe. Ashley enjoys spending time with her family, drinking coffee and wine, pinning crafts she will never have time to create, and making her son laugh.

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