Mother’s Day is around the corner! Soon, women all over the planet will receive hugs, kisses, and gifts from the people who have been touched by their “mothering.” But what is “mothering”? When my grandmother was a young mom, women needed to “stay at home”, fix meals, and keep a tidy house that would be warm and inviting when their loved ones returned home. Later, when my mother was a young mom, women were told they needed to have a career AND raise kids. After all, “you should show your children that women can be just as important to society as men!” Now, “mothering” looks like chauffeuring kids to multiple extra-curricular activities while wiping down surfaces with Clorox and pulling up masks on little faces.

Despite all of the definitions that are heaped on mothers, we know that being a mom is more than whether you stay at home or choose a career. It’s more than cleaning up the house and dividing up chores. “Mothering” means giving time and attention to those you love. It’s that presence that we all remember from those who mothered us.

My memories are full of mothers, women who all took the time to pay attention to me. Of course, they applauded me for my gifts and abilities, but they also corrected me when I needed it.

They cared.

They hugged.

They kissed.

They loved.

And because of their presence...

I was seen.

And blessed.

And appreciated.

And cherished.

That’s what mothering is.

It means stopping everything to bend down and listen.

It’s the envelope of warmth like a blanket that comforts you when you’re on the verge of tears.

It’s the truth told to a stubborn heart.

It means making you laugh when you feel the weight of the world.

It’s that voice that says, “I’ll always love you.”