My Mother’s Day Musings

Today is Mother’s Day.

Just writing that makes me smile. I love Mother’s Day because I love being a mother. I like really, really love it. I mean deeply love it.

I love my kids so big it scares me. I love hanging with them, laughing with them, traveling with them, playing games with them. I love having their friends over and watching them unfold before my very eyes.

Yes, I love being a mother.

It’s funny because it was something I was scared to do. I was SO scared I wouldn’t get it right, so scared I would make mistakes. To be truthful, like any parent, I know my kids would say that I’ve made some mistakes. I was stricter with the older ones than the younger ones. My daughters say I favor the boys; the boys say I spoil the girls. They would say all kinds of other things that I will not commit to print. But I know they know I love them. They know they are my world and that I have tried hard to let them know that.

[A Dazzling Dessert for Mother’s Day: A Sorbet Ice Bowl]

On this Mother’s Day I hope to laugh with them and just be in their presence. It’s really all I want.

On this day I also think of my mother. She died six years ago and I miss her every day. Every week something will pop into my head and I’ll still go to call her and then remember, ‘Oh yeah, she’s no longer here.’ Every week something funny will happen or I’ll struggle with a decision and I’ll think ‘I’ll ask mummy’ then I’ll remember she’s gone.

But she lives on in me. Her lessons, her tips, her takeaways are in me and I pass them on. This week I asked people to share one thing their mother had taught them that they carry with them every day. And the responses were amazing. It made me think of the incredible power of motherhood.

And yet, so many of us dismiss the role. We say “I’m just a mother.” We feel we need to supplement it with other things we are doing so we will be seen and/or accepted.

[10 Ways to Comfort a Grieving Heart]

Motherhood is the most powerful job on earth. Our words, our actions shape human beings long after we are gone.

As I said my mother has been gone six years and yet her voice, her bearing, her view of the world, are as much alive in me as my own heart. 

On New Year’s Day this year I gave my kids some musings. Tips I wanted them to think about, to carry with them as they navigated the journey of life. Some were mundane, like always write a handwritten ‘Thank You’ note when you receive a gift. Stand up when an adult walks into the room. Look people in the eye when you speak to them.

Some were passed down from my own mother like, stay connected to your siblings every week. They are each in a category of their own. Life is a marathon not a sprint, be focused on the long road. Be of service. To whom much is given, much is expected.

But some were are my very own. Written special for them and to them. On this Mother’s Day I pray that my children can close their eyes and feel the love that has been bestowed on them. Feel the encouragement, feel my gratitude to them and for them.

[Read more of Maria’s ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ essays]

Motherhood is the most amazing job on earth and I’m so deeply grateful that I was given a chance to experience it.

Happy Mother’s Day to anyone and everyone who has mothered. #PassItForward

About the Author

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Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today. Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation's premier forum for women, The Women's Conference. Shriver's work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change -- people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution. Like her page on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.

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