TEXARKANA -- This Mother's Day, we wanted to hear from mothers themselves about what the experience means to them.
The responses we received were earnest, touching and full of great advice. To everyone who took the time to share their thoughts, thank you -- and happy Mother's Day!
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Motherhood means self denial. Motherhood transformed me from a me, myself and I person to a Proverbial Woman mother.
I wished I had known that with a child comes more problems and less or everything except problems. For examples less time, less money and less energy to chase a child.
I will tell new mothers that because most mothers love their children dearly, they will step out in faith and rise up and grow into the role that the Lord has given them. That role is the Proverbial Woman role in Proverbs Chapter 31. Because of love a Proverbial Woman's children and husband will rise up and call her blessed. Love lifts all of us up where we belong.
I was born and raised in Texarkana, Texas.
-- Bertha Coleman, Pasadena, California
Motherhood is an amazing blessing! I get to share life with someone who will always be mine! I get to teach someone things I wish I knew growing up. I get to show someone the love I wish I had growing up. Watching and teaching my little human how to grow into a beautiful person from the inside out.
-- Christina Freeman, New Boston
Moms: You're wonderful mother,
So gentle, yet so strong.
The many ways you show you care
Always make me feel I belong.
You're patient when I'm foolish;
You give guidance when I ask;
It seems you can do most anything;
You're the master of every task.
You're a dependable source of comfort;
You're my cushion when I fall.
You help in times of trouble;
You support me whenever I call.
I love you more than you know;
You have my total respect.
If I had my choice of mothers,
You'd be the one I'd select!
-- Glenda Boston, Texarkana
I always tell new mothers to enjoy your babies because it goes by so fast. Raising my two daughters is my greatest accomplishment. I loved going to baseball games, soccer games, cheerleading practices and programs. They are happily married with children of their own.
-- Lynn Hodge, Texarkana
Being a mother is something I wanted for as long as I can remember. I assumed it would be just another simple step in life. 1. Graduate college. 2. Get married. 3. Become a mother.
But life doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes, we are thrown curve balls along the way.
My journey to motherhood was not as hard as some, but it was not as black and white as I thought it would be. There was loss along the way, and that was not something I had prepared myself for. Once you go through loss, it changes your perspective. Seeing other women have children when that is your heart's biggest desire makes you realize just what a precious gift it truly is. My losses made me more sensitive to the fact that not everyone is able to have that gift.
I am blessed today to have two beautiful children. Because of the losses I experienced with my first pregnancies, I truly feel like it helped me to realize how much of a blessing motherhood is to me and to value it with all of my heart. Looking back on it all, I'm thankful for the journey to get to motherhood, and I'm so very thankful for my two blessings that I have been given.
-- Jaci Stephens, Texarkana
Motherhood to me has such a deep meaning. Motherhood is about learning to love. To love someone more than yourself. I have been blessed with four children of my own and two bonus children.
My oldest taught me how to be a mother, to put her needs above mine. Her and I grew up together.
My second child taught me patience. He tested every button, but I learned he was just a natural born leader.
My third child was full of sass and taught me how to be more understanding.
The baby is keeping me active and on the go.
Having bonus children teaches you to love others like your own. They all keep us laughing daily.
After losing my oldest in a car accident recently, it has taught me to never take one second that you have with your children for granted and enjoy every second you get with them.
I wake up every morning for my children that are still here on earth with me. They keep me going and fill my days with joy. I miss Ashlin so much that is hard to breathe most days. I know she is in a better place, but it is never easy, and the pain never goes away.
The one thing I have learned in my 21 years of being a mother is hug your babies as much as possible, even when they don't want you to and get a shoulder hug.
One thing Ashlin loved the most was that I told her, "I love you and goodnight" no matter where she was, and I continue to do that to this day.
-- Karissa Parker, New Boston
The dictionary does not have enough words you can use to describe motherhood, but one word sticks out for me. INCREDIBLE is what motherhood means to me. Being a mother carries a lot of titles; for me INCREDIBLE is placed in front of each one.
My kids taught me how to be an incredible listener with incredible hearing. An incredible chef, laundry cleaner that get out stains, matches socks and so on. The incredible super strength that I get when needed to be able to help/protect my children, by God's grace.
It's incredible how I feel their pain and hurt when they hurt, cry when they cry. It's incredible how we laugh together and make moments of memories.
The incredible energy and love that I receive to recharge every day, from my incredible loving children that makes motherhood seems so incredibly priceless. They teach me so many incredible things that I truly appreciate.
-- Sheila Clifton, Texarkana
I am privileged to be a mother three times! There was never a doubt that I wanted to have children! They were all born healthy and we were blessed. I was in awe as I watched them grow up and become the great adults they are!
I was a working mom, and they always did their parts as we had a very active life with school that included sports and our church! Over the years, I have learned so much respect for them, and now that I am in my waning years I know they are there when needed!
Motherhood has and does mean everything to me!
-- Nedra Turney, Texarkana
Motherhood is a life changing experience for any new mother. It is challenging and loving at the same time. It has its good days and bad days, but being a mother is rewarding, and it means to me giving, caring and patient.
-- Felicia Hill, Texarkana
Motherhood is the best gift that any woman can receive. I wish someone had told me that time flies by fast, so soak in every moment. Also to be the best mother that I could be because in your child you're raising a future parent. Always be there for them, in the good and the bad.
Number one thing is to train them with God in their lives. Teach them to be giving, loving, compassionate and forgiving. My biggest blessing was today when my daughter told me how she had to speak with her 6-year-old about forgiveness. These times are when you smile and say, "Wow. she got it!"
You are the beginning of making this world a better place by teaching your kids these things. I was blessed with a wonderful mom who had all the traits above. I'm glad she taught me to be the best mother I could be.
-- Peggy Owenby, Texarkana
Motherhood was unexpected for me, but it means a lot more responsibility. You value life way more differently. You not only have you to think about, but you also have child or children that need you more then you will ever know. Motherhood is the most precious moments of your life, and you learn a lot along the way.
-- Dawneisa Ross, Texarkana
One time I prayed that God would give me patience. He gave me children and with that blessing, I developed patience. It is essential. It is also important to be organized and provide structure for your children. You may not know it, but children crave structure. It is less stressful for them, and they become less stressed adults. Motherhood is a journey. A wonderful journey.
-- Robbin Dickson, Texarkana
Being a mom is the best and hardest job I have ever had. Being a mom has taught me more about kids than being a pediatrician has. My advice to new moms: You are the expert on your baby. Don't compare him/her to anyone else. YOU are his/her champion. The best is yet to come.
-- Loren Robinson, Texarkana
It means to be caring and loving to your children, and to watch out for their well-being, and to make the right decisions; that is all we can ask for. And teach about being a Christian and to support them in what they want to do when they grow up.
It's a life-changing experience when you become a mother for the first time, and it can be overwhelming at times, but I would not change a thing.
Have a good relationship with your kids. They will really appreciate you more than you can imagine at times, and at times they may not want anything to do with you. But still just tell them you love them because you never know what is going to happen, so cherish every moment you can.
I love my son so much, and I try to tell him every day how much I love him. That's what being a mother means to me.
-- Stephanie Jackson, Texarkana
Motherhood means lovingly teaching your children to be independent, respectful and resourceful. Be a mentor.
-- Sonja Trusty, Hooks