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A tribute to Mom

The other day, a man yelled from his car window “you mother *&%*” as he waved his finger at me. I just smiled. It’s good to be somebody’s mother.

Where would the world be without us?

I agree that we can sometimes be bossy, overbearing and worry-warts. But I need to interject that it’s in the job description.

We are also our children’s biggest fan, loudest cheerleader, and life’s leaning pole. We love our kids endlessly and protect them at all costs. Nobody does it better. It is a blessing and a curse.

Anyone who knows me knows I love my kid. She has come first in my life since she entered it. She is my light and my pride and my joy. I love her with the breath of me.

Still, motherhood has not been easy.

You know that excruciating labor pain and delivery? The yelling, screaming, crying and cursing? The blood, the sweat and the terror? That was the easy part.

Being a mom is tough business. Once you’re there, nothing is optional. You’re in. You can’t change your mind, you can’t call in sick, and you can’t take a day off. It’s a lifetime gig.

There were a lot of different hats to wear, big decisions to make and curfews to levy. I confess that I didn’t always make the right decisions, but I always made them for the right reasons.

There were late nights sitting up soothing an upset tummy or calming a nightmare. That matured into waiting up for her to come home. The younger years were easier.

The sleepovers, the parties, the boys, the tears, the dances, the heartbreaks, the carpools, the shopping excursions, the drama!  I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for a million bucks.

Teenage years were beyond challenging.  I personally think that all mothers of girls between the ages of 13 and 21 should be given a medal of valor and a lifetime supply of chocolate brownie ice-cream.  It’s only fair. They say boys are easier. I hope so, but I think it all evens out in the end.

I still don’t know why we don’t get paid for this job. I am venturing to guess that the pay level would be in the 6 figure range. Whatever it would be, it wouldn’t be enough.

Mothers are the only sure thing most of us can count on our entire lives.

I remember being with my boyfriend as we cleared out dozens of boxes that he had saved from his deceased parents. He had never gone through them and they had died a decade prior. We dove in.

I was not surprised to find that one entire box was filled with cards he had given his mother throughout the years. She saved every single one of them. That’s what mothers do. We preserve and we cherish. We save memories for when we are no longer here to hug and to hold.

Cherishing is a good thing and no one does it better than moms.

It would be a mistake to underestimate mothers. A mom will be the first to remind you that she brought you into this world and she can take you out. It would be foolish to challenge her.

I always said if my daughter didn’t fear me, then I was doing something wrong. She did. But what I later found out, was that she feared disappointing me most of all. What she didn’t know, is that she never could.

Mothers will always remind us of who we are, what we are worth, and how we should be proud of ourselves. Mothers see what others miss and what we forget about ourselves.

As mothers, we are proud to see our babies fly on their own, accomplish their goals, live loving lives. The fact is we were always proud of them no matter what they did … or didn’t do. What moms don’t tell their kids when they have left the nest … is that we miss them every single day.

At the end of the day, my biggest and best accomplishment isn’t the money I made, the businesses I ran or the big homes I lived in. It is that I am the mother of a beautiful little girl who grew to be a beautiful, responsible, funny and wicked smart young woman. That is my mother’s day celebration. That is my gift.

And so, I say thank you to all the mothers who have sacrificed so much, cried rivers, spent many a sleepless night worrying, cleaned up vomit, buried fish and hamsters, forfeited the vacation for fender repairs, went without so their kids could have. YOU are my heroes.

Happy Mother’s Day.

*this is an encore presentation … an oldie but a goodie!

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mercyn - So well stated and have a wonderful Mother’s day!

Liz - Thanks for the reminder on how awesome we moms are! Sometimes we forget that we are doing a good job. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day Tammy.

Tammy - Hi Liz, we ARE awesome, aren’t we?! Many wonderful returns of the day to you. As my daughter has repeatedly told me throughout the years, “Every day is mother’s day”! Funny, I thought every day was “kids” day! Have a great one and thanks for posting!

Tammy - Hi Mercyn, thanks so much for the good review. Every once in a while (once a year to be precise) I sputter a few words of wisdom. Of course, I am a bit biased. Have a graciously wonderful Mama’s Day! And thanks for stopping by and posting!

Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Hi Tammy:
Ain’t it the truth! Especially the part about being all in!
I’m so looking forward to your appearance in the new Blogging Boomers’ Carnivals!

-Laura Lee

Tammy - Hi Laura Lee, yup the lifetime gig, aka known as the gift that keeps on giving! Hope you have a smashing Mother’s Day. Oh my goodness, I have to get busy on my Blogging Boomers Carnival submission. If only there were more hours in the day! Thanks so much for being here and posting!

mickey - Tammy- thank you! for sharing some of those drama filled mom years with me. And sharing so many memories. Our girls turned out great, didn’t they? Love you.

Tammy - Hi Mickey, drama was the key word back then … I don’t miss that! So many memories, tears, worries and fears. But it is the friendships that stand the test of time. And those friends that stood beside us as we did the best we could for our kids are our friends for life, for only they know how hard it was and how much it meant. You, my lovely, are one of those friends. Color me grateful. Thanks for sharing little Mickey. I love you right back!

Joan Cooper - Have a wonderful Mother’s Day, Tammy, but do not forget – that selfless act of bringing a person into this imperfect world has a difficult act attached – you have to let go and let the child become an individual.

I have friends that are the most perfect parents. They even plan scenerios of situations to train their two boys. In spite of all the care they took, the Mom discovered that her eldest was trying drugs. He goes to an upscale school – nothing but the best. It took a lot of talking, but he finally gave in and confessed and has thanked them ever since. But their fine parenting couldn’t stop the peer pressure. They still have to live in the world as it is.

Thanks for giving me a time out in my difficult world of dealing with adults.

Joan Cooper

Tammy - Hi Joan, I agree. It is the only job I know of that requires every moment of your day for 18-21 years only to reach the ultimate goal of setting them sailing their own course without you there. From a mother’s perspective it’s tough business letting go. But we do, and they fly the nest. And then we are left to rediscover ourselves. Necessity is truly the mother of invention. I feel for your friends, but they were vigilant enough to see the problem and rescue their child. Kudos for that. So happy you popped in and shared. You are pretty wonderful.

Jeffrey Davidson - Moms are in a class by themselves. Kudos to all of those who became mothers and gave of themselves unselfishly with love.

Nice commentary!

Rick - I once rolled my eyes when my Mom would give me advice and even into my older years, say I will never be too old and will never stop being her “little boy”. Now with grandchildren my Moms comments to me are welcomed, because over the years I see the same thing happening. I will just smile and say thanks Mom. Today, I treasure my son coming to me and asking for advice, encouragement and understanding. He will never be too old, but also has been an incredible blessing. Growing never stops. Thanks Tammy.

Tammy - Hi Rick, you are not alone, my friend. We have all rolled our eyes, lost our patience, became disgruntled with our moms. And then it happens; we become parents. That’s the time we learn that they were right to guide us, that they couldn’t help but worry and that they never stopped praying for our safety. I always tell my daughter that she will understand me clearly when she becomes a mom. Something happens to us when we become parents. We suddenly “get it”. We respect and welcome all that our mom and dad tried to share with us. You’re right … growing never stops. Thank YOU, Rick.

Tammy - Hi Jeffrey, ditto your sentiment. Simple but oh so sincere. I don’t think that there is a being on earth that will give more for a child than a mom. Appreciate your post … and you!

Cynthia - What truth lies in those words Tammy. Being a mother of sons, I can also relate to the words I gave my sons and those given to them by their (now deceased) father….so different and yet so valuable. It was so wonderful to see you last weekend. You, my dearest, are a fabulous mother and mentor. Your daughter is a very lucky young woman.

Suerae Stein - You are my hero, Tammy! Your post is so perfect and so wise, witty, and funny. Yet it made me cry. How do you do that? That’s what makes you such a great writer – you’ve been there and you know. You bring out all the emotions that we need to feel. So beautiful – thank you! ~ Suerae

Ande Lyons - Tammy!

I la la LOVE this post… how it starts all the way through to the ah-mazing finish. BRILLIANT!

I agree with you re: the hairy eyeball approach. With two boys, it’s been key. That and teaching them to open doors, kill bugs, take out trash, lift heavy objects, put down toilet seats, come when I call them from across the house… and to worship their Mother.

In case they forget that last part… I wear my heavy, jewel encrusted tiara… just to remind them.

Thanks for always uplifting my day and making me smile Tammy!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Ande

Susan - A delicious post ! I have lost my mother, but am myself a mother, mother in law and grandma. I never take it for granted, and am blessed with those in my life, including my very precious son, who I almost lost years ago to a car accident. You made me feel even more blessed….your gift to us all. Yes, your daughter is indeed a lucky woman. May she always be grateful to have you in her life, as she is to you in yours.
Blessings….

Tammy - Hi Cynthia, motherhood is bond that holds all of humanity together. If you aren’t a mom, you had one, if you didn’t have one, you’ll be one or marry and make your bride one. Mothers are indeed that hand that rocks the cradle that inevitably rules the world. I loved seeing you again last weekend…thanks for driving to Denver. It seemed like it hadn’t been years but rather just weeks since we had our last “sit down”; the mark of true friends. I miss you. But it’s good to know we are there…just a phone call away. Thanks for reading … and moreover, thanks for posting.

Tammy - Hi Suerae, aw shucks, thanks. I loved this post, it was so joyful to write and if it makes you feel any better, it made me cry too. Bet you can guess which parts. When my daughter went off to college I told her I felt like I had just lost the best job of my life; one I had for 18 years. It crushed me. I was wrong. The job continues … in a different vein with different working hours. But what every mom knows is that we are ever vigilant with our worry, our love and our prayers for our children, no matter how they behave. A mom’s love is enduring through all fire. A lifetime gig that ends at the moment we lose our life. That is commitment. Of course it’s not really like we have a choice. I think we were just made for the job. Thanks so much for being here, and thanks for sharing your kind and loving thoughts.

Tammy - Hi Ande, thanks for the awesome review! I loved the hairy eyeball approach. It spared a lot of probably discussion or punishment along the way. I also love how your boys are taught to worship their mother. Great going there! I think I should go buy a tiara tomorrow. Is it too late to start? My kid is soon to be 27. I’m so thrilled to be part of your week and even more thrilled to know that I’ve made you smile. Excellent! Happy returns of the very special day to you, my friend, Ande!

Tammy - Hi Sweet Susan, Having an only child is a different and special experience. It is a double edged sword to have only one. I was an only child and went on to have an only child. It wasn’t intentional. Amanda always asked Santa for a big brother. Clearly not in the cards. I cherish the years we’ve had together, and while we sometimes go through rough patches, I know that she knows that I’m here for her. Always have been, always will be. It’s a “mom” thing that I know you know all about. The only job on earth that never, ever ends … motherhood. We are all lucky to be one … and to have one who loves us unconditionally. Blessings to you, my dear friend, and thanks so much for posting here.

maureen - Happy Mothers Day Tammy – another great piece. I absolutely would not trade one minute for any amount of money. Its the one thing I’ve done that I’m most proud of and have never been disappointed by. And knowing you and your daughter I know you agree – we done good!

Betsy - Happy Mother’s Day, Tammy. And for the affirmation of what Motherhood really is!!! You wrote a beautiful piece and yes, Motherhood does go on forever. The old adage “once a Mother, always a Mother” is so true, and one that I, for one, am grateful for. Being a Mother is the hardest job a woman will ever have; but also, the one with the greatest satisfaction. I am so glad that my daughter shared your piece with me. It added to my joy this Mother’s day. Thank you.

Jenny - Happy Mom’s Day to you!
We had a hamster named Gravy. She was brown and would sit in her white bedding all day. This is how she received her name. One cold winter day Gravy died. We put her and her bedding into a box, secured it with duct tape and put her in the freezer. The ground was frozen and there was no way to dig a proper hole. Gravy stayed with us until late into the spring and then we were able to have the official goodbye.
Being Mom means sharing your heart and freezer space too.

Tammy - Hi Maureen, I DO agree. Yup, we done good! I can’t tell you how marvelous it is to have you on the other end of my weekly rants, reasoning’s and radical opinions. Thanks for that!

Tammy - Hi Betsy, awesome to see you here! Your daughter shared my piece with you? I love her!! (chuckle) I have always said that if I could be a good mom, raise a responsible, loving, giving and gracious child, well, then I could probably do anything. Hard job? Heck, yeah! Worth every moment of grief, fear, worry and sadness. Children are the gift that keeps on giving … and giving … and giving. Pretty awesome stuff. I’m so happy to have added a little extra smile to your Mom’s day. Sounds like you had a pretty good head start. Say hello to that beautiful daughter of yours for me! Thanks for the post, love having you here!

Tammy - Hi Jenny, every mom knows that a proper funeral is in order for the family’s furry “children”. I also had to freeze a little hamster named Cinnamon (are they all named after food?), as we lived in Colorado and little Cinnamon had the bad timing of dieing in February. A proper funeral was had in May with a hand painted stone marking the spot. I love your statement “being mom means sharing your heart and freezer space too”. Yes! Yes, it does. Loved your post, thanks for stopping in and sharing. Hope your Mama’s day was awesome!

Kellie - Yes mother’s are a special breed of human beings. I recently found a diary my mother kept for years. Inserting and writing several pages on each grandchild and when they were born. I requested if I could keep the diary and copy for every their own special page. My mother agreed. I keep the diary in my own bedroom on my writing desk. I never knew mom kept this diary and was fascinated. Got to love a mom.

Tammy - Hi Kellie, yup, ya gotta give a mom her due! Each and every single one of them. I would venture to think that most of us had no idea what we were getting in to. But I can guarantee that it didn’t take long for us to figure out that this was probably the biggest most important task of our lives. No pressure. It’s been a joyful worry-fest ever since. I started keeping a journal when Amanda was in my womb. I made entries for a few years and then stopped. A big regret of mine. I still have it and wish to gift it to her someday for what it’s worth. I’m thinking it’s not too late to start up again. Hope your day with your mom was wonderful. Thanks for sharing and for posting.

Tamie - Tammy,
What a great name! I just found and read your tribute to Mom while searching for “how to write a tribute to Mom.” I want to write something meaningful to express to her how much she means to me. Her 80th birthday is a couple weeks away and I want to give her my tribute instead of a store-bought card. I found a number of things I want to say to my Mom in your tribute. (I always have a hard time finding the right words) You truely have a gift! Thank you for putting words to those feelings. I also have 2 daughters, I raised by myself, both are now Moms, who I could not be more proud of also, so I join you with those sentiments as well! It is totally the best job, and hardest, in all creation!
Blessings to you and your daughter!

P.S. I can’t wait to read more of your material!

Tammy - Hi Tamie, welcome! (LOVE your name too!) Thanks for the good review. I’m happy to be of some help to you in your tribute to your mom. Remember those cards we would make for our moms when we were in grade school? Those were the “keepers”. How lovely for your mom that you are creating a hand written, handmade tribute for her, on her 80th. As a mom yourself, you know how much more it means. Wish her a blessed birthday from a fellow mom, won’t you? Blessing to you too, my new friend, and to your beautiful daughters, who will one day be hand crafting a card for you on your 80th! Hope you subscribed for my weekly rants, wisdom’s and wackiness. Love to have you on board. Thanks for posting, great to hear from you!

Tammy - Haaa! Just read this response, Eugene. It is wonderfully classic. Thank you for sharing it with me! Happy to have you here.

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