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Happy Mother's Day to you wonderful warrior women of the world. As a mental health advocate, life coach, single mom and widow I would remiss if I did not acknowledge the mixed emotion this day can bring. To you I wish you peace, a day of self care and love.

As a mom, I know I did a lot of things right, but I also made a lot of mistakes. I was raised by a single mom, but I did not truly understand until I suddenly became a single mom and only parent. It has been a painstaking yet beautiful journey for myself and my children. It is not all my story to tell, but raising two fatherless children had challenges I do not wish on anyone. Life was messy. I had to give up my religious rules, check-the-boxes, "tiger mom" title and land my "helicopter mom" parenting job. Life became survival. I put some safe guards in place and decided to keep it simple. Where I once used to nag and push for stellar performances in academics and athletics, my goals changed. I had to keep them alive and survive the tumultous teenage years. I had to go back to work full time and hustle side jobs. I was once at every event, every game, and carpooling to/from every activitity. I never let anyone drive my kids, now I was begging for rides. I became imperfect Mom, a Mom who had to ask for help, a Mom who had to humble herself and admit where she had been wrong. I decided to go with love, to be a brick wall for them, a wall that would not crumble no matter what was thrown at us.

My adult children are in college and thriving. My son is becoming a wonderful young man who loves, protects and makes me laugh everyday. My daughter is becoming a wise and an amazing young lady. She still calls me, "MAMA!" I am so blessed and grateful for their forgiveness for the times I fell short.

If you are struggling as a Mom and feeling like a failure, it is a lot simplier than we think. Give yourself some grace. Take it easy. Plant the seeds, feed, water, pull up the weeds, but let them grow. Every child comes to this life with their own lessons to learn. We may try to control or force the outcome, but it is their path to choose.

I recently found a little book given to me as a new mom. There was a poem I didn't really understand at the time. In it was some very important advice that I had forgotten. I read it to my kids today on Mother's Day.

On Children Kahlil Gibran - 1883-1931

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children. And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls,For their souls dwell in the house of

tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

From The Prophet (Knopf, 1923). This poem is in the public domain.

I hope this encourages you. Happy Mother's Day and hang in there!

*My name is Jennifer. I am Life Coach, Mental Health Advocate and Hope Dealer. You can change if you want to. Let me know how I can help.*

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