One way or another, we all wouldn't be here without our moms.
Mother's Day is a time to make the moms in your life feel special and important. Yet Mother's Day can also be a little tough, if, say, your mom isn't here for you to celebrate with. This post is a compilation of perspectives from some of my favorite people on how they've been impacted by their moms, and I'm so thrilled to share it with you.
Below, eight daughters and one son reveal what they love about their moms and what they've learned from them.
"My mother, Nancy, is and has always been the unconditionally supportive parent in my life. Adolescence was a difficult period for me and I would not be here today without her love and support. She believed in me when I didn't have the capacity to. In times where I saw no future, she encouraged me to build one. She saw potential in me that I could not recognize.
She is an amazingly loving woman who is kind and brave. Her personality is silly and loving and her use of social media is hysterical. She is and always has been very passionate about her work as a librarian. I only hope that I can walk away from my career having helped as many people as she did.
When I came out as being gay, she was nothing but supportive. She truly loves me regardless of my sexuality and has always supported me. As my wedding nears, she is a source of calm and joy in times of stress."
—Kate Smith, 30
"My mom, Alka, is amazing. She had a difficult card dealt when my father passed and had two teenagers to help grow up on her own, with no real extended family support. She worked long hours so her children could focus on their education. She is so selfless. Even when she was tired, she would always have a smile on her face and most nights cooked a homemade dinner.
I believe I am a lot like my mother and I'm proud of that. I'll sometimes hear my mom singing with no music while doing something, and guess what? I do the same thing. She always has a smile on her face. She is funny and silly. We make each other laugh to the point were I'll have tears running down my face, having a difficult time catching my breath.
My mother got married early in life and had a family soon after. She has overcome so many difficulties but she has embraced them and not allowed them to bring her down. She goes with the flow and tries not to worry about every little thing. She is always providing encouraging conversations. She always supports me. She will offer her thoughts on topics to make sure I see all angles and I'm not so focused on one viewpoint.
My mother is my rock. I love spending time with her and love her more than she knows."
—Kirti Patel, 29
"My mom, Lori Lee, was a very headstrong soul who was passionately always there to support her friends and family, no matter what. She knew from a young age that her passion was art. She grew up to be a graphic designer who traveled an hour each way to commute to and from Manhattan while pregnant with me.
Any southern-style food, especially corn bread, reminds me of my mother. She used to eat her eggs scrambled with ketchup on them. She used to brew the best sweet tea. Her entire family is still in Tennessee, where she grew up, so I'm visiting them this week and spending Mother's Day with my uncles and aunts. I'll also be visiting her grave and spending time there.
She taught me to never go to bed angry. She also taught me how important self-care is, and pursuing your dreams and goals.
She also used to say 'Love you more,' so that phrase holds a lot of weight for me."
—Leah Noreman, 24
"Mama is a ball of adventure, love, fun, strength, grit, and brilliance all wrapped up into a cuddly bear. This past week, I created her Instagram account over Chipotle after we both finished work. In spite of our 40 year age difference, she’s my best friend, and the only person (other than my partner) who I could spend every waking minute with, and I would still want more time.
Starting from when I was very young, my mom opened up about her life experiences. When I am faced with a challenging situation, I recollect the stories my mom shared about the decisions she has had to make. Last week, I had to forgo an opportunity that was of great value to me—then I thought about some of the sacrifices my mother has made for me, and it didn’t seem so difficult. When I am lost, I turn to her, and somehow I am found."
—Kavita Mehra, 33, on her mother, Karni
"My mom ('Momma Bear') knows me best. A couple of weeks ago, I had a rough week at work. I had a lot on my mind and no one seemed to make me feel better. I had been playing phone tag with my mom all week and I finally got to talk to her about everything. She said at one point during our conversation, "You are a shining star and I don't like to see you being treated this way." When I got off the phone, I felt better. Not that my problem was solved or now I had all the answers, she's just that person in my life who gets me and loves me unconditionally.
My favorite things about my mom? She always makes me potatoes for dinner when I go home, because potatoes are my favorite. I love her laugh, not just the sound, but the idea that I make her so happy that laughter bursts out from within."
—Anna Furlow, 28, on her mom, Heidi
"I remember my mom, Delia, as being incredibly hardworking, stylish, and loving. She always put family first and made sure she showed up for people in the ways that were important to them. There was a time when my uncle had just moved into his house and I had a piano recital that morning and after my recital, we trekked from downtown to uptown to buy a present and then got in a cab to Queens. All because she needed to give him a present on his first day [at his new house].
When I was kid and I got upset my mom would tell me, 'Well, now you have two problems: being upset and making yourself happy again.' It's something that I've always told my friends and reminded myself of because, while certain things are outside of ourselves, others are in our control. And we have a right to be happy."
—Vivian Nunez, 23
"My mom, Jeannie, is one of the kindest, friendliest, and most loving people I know. She's very easy to talk to and has the best advice.
She's taught me to not sweat the small stuff and that, at the end of the day, it's the relationships you form with people that matter above everything else in life."
—Tom Schelling, 26
"My mom, Diane, is the strongest, bravest, and most selfless person I have ever known. She has been through a lot ever since she was a young girl and she has always managed to have faith, stay strong, and put everyone before her; particularly me, my brother, and my father. Her love and support has always been unconditional.
My mom is an observer. She's quite, patient, and she listens. She takes everything in and truly appreciates and values her relationships and friendships. When I think of her, I always think of warmth and love.
'Do your best. That's all you can do': She has said that to me since I was young. To this day, when I'm stressed with schoolwork or anything, I text her and she always tells me to do my best and realize that it will be enough.
'God has a plan. Let it be.' I like this even though I'm not as religious as she is, but when things are difficult, she reminds me that 'there will be an answer, let it be.'
As I'm getting older now, exiting my 20s, I'm beginning to have these feelings of worry that I may have missed out, or that it's all downhill from here. I asked my mom about this once when she was visiting me in Ohio [where I went to grad school] and she told me that it gets so much better. Each year it gets better because you continue learning and evolving and you feel better about being yourself. That is something I will always remember and instead of dreading the inevitable, I can look forward to it."
—Margaret Leddy, 29
"My mother was very proper, yet down-to-earth. She was outgoing, kind, and inviting. I remember, when I was a child, she would reapply her lipstick and comb her salt-and-pepper hair before my father arrived home from work.
She had a contagious laughter and a very strange sneeze. She didn't know how to cook when she came to America from England; she grew up with maids and cooks. My father's mother gave her recipes and she learned to cook different meals.
Her greatest advice was an open-minded acceptance of all walks of life... despite their background, faith, or place of birth. I developed a confidence which went beyond my gender; my gender didn't define me. I was a nonconformist and I reveled in the fact that I was different as a result of her being different. And that was ok."
—Heidi Furlow, 59, on her mom, Rosemarie
Thank you so much to Kate, Kirti, Leah, Kavita, Anna, Vivian, Tom, Maggie, and my mom for contributing to this story.
Happy Mother's Day to all of the amazing moms out there!