To the “Best Moms” :: Thanks for Being Everything

Moms come in many shapes, sizes, and creeds. But a “best mom” can be spotted from a mile away.

Mother's day
Photographer: AD Photography

I have had blessings, hardships, and everything in between in my life. (Haven’t we all?) I have three gorgeous, sweet, smart girls who have surpassed my wildest expectations. In our busy, adulting (but love-filled) life, one person in my support system stands out, as she always has.

I have a “best mom.”

A “best mom” is someone who makes life better, not harder. “Best moms” did it all, do it all, and did an incredible job along the way. A “Best mom” is not only loved but liked for the person she is. When raised by a “best mom,” you have a core confidence. You believe things are going to be okay because you have seen someone successfully forge the path ahead. There is no need for someone to convince you, you know it. You’ve lived it.

My mom was and is a “best mom.” At any given moment and if needed (or wanted), she was there. She made things fun. She made life happen. She set the tone.

I was impeccably dressed as a toddler before she let me run wild with my love of brightly colored barrettes. She made birthday parties special, complete with creative homemade cakes. She let my brothers roam the woods across the street while I read American Girl Doll books inside. She let us be who we were, provided that we were generally well-behaved and polite.

My mom and I survived my teenage years relatively intact. Aggravation brewed, but hatred never appeared. There was a reason why my best friends lingered at my house. My mom was nice. And she stocked our pantry with Sam’s sized Snickers bars.

These days, she is an ear for the many mini-crises that come with corralling three girls under five. She provides advice, comic relief, and on certain days, delivers an extra set of paper plates (the thick and seasonally themed ones, no less). She is usually my first phone call of the day. She supports in needed, helpful ways. The kicker? All is done without an ounce of tension or passive-aggressive agenda. As always, top notch “best mom” level.

Even on my mom’s and my most annoying day, I still knew I had a good one. I know not everyone has what I have. Some moms donate their DNA, but not much else. Some moms hyper focus on certain aspects of motherhood, but sorely ignore other important territories. Some moms give it their best effort but never shake their narcissistic perspective. As you inch toward adulthood, introspection unveils a stark reality. Regardless of what kind of mother you had, underneath was an imperfect person, as we all are.

As with all mere mortals, trying counts. And “best moms” try- really hard, all of the time. They listen, they adapt, they acclimate. Effective effort is required to achieve “best mom” status. It is not for the faint of heart.

Having a “best mom” sets expectations when you become a mom. Because I benefited from the luxury of having a “best mom”, I want to create a similar connection with my daughters. In the thick of the baby jail years, I try to remind myself that one day, they will grow up (and it is okay). My babies are not just my personal property, but future adult women who will have lives and families of their own. Watching Bluey on repeat muddles that reality, but it is still true.

So, I keep that in mind. It is not just about being a good mom to my girls when checking off baby chores or crafting childhood memories. It is also about being a good mom to them when they are seven and eleven (and seventeen and twenty-seven). My role as a mom will evolve as they age. I plan to reflect on what my mom did when I was at that stage. She nailed it. I will tweak things here and there (more emphasis on emotional intelligence, less laundry in “the dreaded pile”) but I will continue to parent with her passion of motherhood. “Best moms” do not just happen. “Best moms” commit to doing what it takes to be a “best mom.”

Children of “best moms” are very fortunate. Will “best moms” ever get the credit they deserve? I am not sure it is possible to adequately acknowledge that level of achievement. But it can’t hurt to try.

So Happy Mother’s Day to the “best moms” out there! You inspire us to be “best moms” to our babies. Thank you for being everything to us.

 

Melissa Fleming lives in Prairieville, Louisiana with her husband, Blake, and their three beautiful daughters: Evelyn (4), Clara (2), and Chloe (1). She graduated from LA Tech with a B.A. in journalism and then earned her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in counselor education from UNO. She is the owner of MWF Counseling, LLC. In between seeing clients, chasing toddlers, and holding babies, she enjoys watching Real Housewives and drinking as much caffeinated tea as possible.

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