Do you remember the classic children’s story, “Are You My Mother?” (P.D. Eastman) It’s the adventures of a baby bird that falls out of its nest and goes in search of its mother, who has gone to find food. Along the way, it encounters several potential parents; a dog, a cow and even an airplane. The baby bird asks each of them, “Are you my mother?”. Through a series of sincere and comical encounters, the baby bird realizes that not just anyone or anything can be its mother. With a slew of psychology packed within the pages, one message rings true for all of us blessed to have had and who still have our mothers. It’s a message that goes beyond the question of “Are you my mother?”, by seeking a more meaningful message and comforting confirmation, “Are you still there for me, mother?”

No matter where or when you were born; whether you knew your mother or not, you have been given life through her. If the only sacrifice she ever gave you was in choosing to have you, then that single decision is enough to make your life worth it. Don’t label yourself with negative names. You are not a product of promiscuity, a mistake, regret or an accident. You are a miracle! Never forget that. And to any mother who has doubted if you were good enough, or perhaps had to give up a child because you weren’t ready for those responsibilities; don’t beat yourself up, or give up on your own life. Motherhood is not about the perfection of your actions, but the directions of your heart. It’s not what’s in your bank account, the fridge, or the laundry room; it’s what’s in your heart that makes you a mother. Remember that you are a miracle, too!

It’s not what’s in your bank account, the fridge, or the laundry room; it’s what’s in your heart that makes you a mother.

Wherever your mother is today, love her for the gift she is and has given to you. Love doesn’t have to have the same address, or same last name to be real and to be felt. I know there are so many different and difficult situations out there and I wish I could speak to each of you and remind you how precious you are. I have hope that these words will reach those of you who need to be reminded and uplifted in your motherly sacrifices. Whether you are a single mother, married mother, thinking about becoming a mother, or wish you could have a child, but cannot; my heart goes out to each of you.

And like the baby bird, each of us falls out of, or must leave, our “nests” in life to go out into the world and discover who we are. Often, we learn who we are by learning who are parents are. We not only try to follow in their footsteps, but learn to say what they say and go where they go. When we make mistakes, we can usually return to the nest for advice…and a snack.

I know some of us may not have those types of nests, but I hope you can find other people willing to share theirs with you when you feel lost and discouraged. Some of us also have many other ‘mothers’ out there watching over us. And the best part about having a mother is not the nest, or the worms, but rather her listening ears, her encouraging words, hugs and a heart that will always answer the question: “Are you my mother,” or “Are you still there for me, Mother?” with a resounding and open armed, “Yes!”

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