I was always certain that I wanted to be a mother. I had no dreams of a wedding I was not even sure I wanted to get married, but I was always sure that I would have children. Then, when I was in my thirties, I decided I was ready. In the early hours of the 23rd day of April 2003, my son Gabriel was born and so was I as a mother. Motherhood is something magical, the mother is born at the same time as the child.
World’s Greatest Love
It is impossible to describe in words a mother’s love. Only another mom is capable of comprehending the magnitude of it. Without any doubt, it is the greatest love there is! From the moment I knew I was pregnant I loved that little being with all my soul. When I held my baby in my arms for the first time, so tiny, so helpless, so perfect, it was the magical moment of my birth as a mother.
Breastfeeding – a Love Proof
I have been doing my very best ever since to be a good mother. Breastfeeding was the first love proof I gave my kids. That’s how a mother can literally give her best to nurture her child. After three months my baby had grown round and cheeky, only with my milk. A nature’s miracle. I fell in love with nursing. Those moments in the dawn hours when it was just my baby and me, in the deep silence, those little eyes staring at me and that little hand on my breast! Unforgettable bonding moments.
On the 22nd day of September 2006, I was blessed with motherhood a second time. My daughter Clara came to this world late that day. She opened her eyes as soon as I took her in my arms. We look deeply at each other and then I understood I could love even more. The love of a mother multiplies with each new child. That love filled up my soul and I felt accomplished as a woman. I had my girl from a natural birth and with a boy and a girl, my family felt complete.
I had a difficult childhood. My parents had a troubled relationship with lots of fights and break-ups. They ended up getting divorced when I was 9 years old. My mother had no education, no job, and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder so, she lost custody of her daughters. From the ages of 9 to 20, I barely saw my mom. When I had my kids, I told myself they would have all the love, care, and attention I didn’t have. So, I did. I was there for them every step of the way.
Not only did I breastfeed my children, but I also bathe them, changed most of the diapers, prepped their baby food, packed the lunchboxes, went to all the school open houses, attended all the recitals, band concerts, school parties, games, drove them to school and to sports practices. For almost 10 years I worked part-time so I could dedicate myself to them. My family has always been my priority. I believe being a mother is the most challenging and important job there is. And yet there is no training, no manual, no college that teaches it. We learn from our mistakes; we use trial and error to get it right.
Each age throughout childhood has a different charm and challenge, but none of them is as challenging as the teen years. I’ve always spoken openly with my kids about all subjects. More importantly, I’ve always led by example. But the rebelliousness of teens prevents them from seeing and listening clearly. That’s why I decided to write down what I believe to be the most important life lesson. The one I want them to keep deep in their hearts. The lessons I was never taught.
Letter to My Kids
Life is not easy. Nothing will ever be perfect. There is no perfect school, no perfect job, no perfect place to live. The most important lesson of all is to make good choices! Choose to be happy! Yes, happiness is a choice! It comes from within. It doesn’t matter where you are, what you’re doing, or with whom. Choose to be happy wherever life takes you, and with whomever is sharing the road with you. Challenges will keep coming your way, but the way you face them is a choice! Everything has two sides. Choose to look on the bright side, choose to see the glass half full.
The only thing in life over which we have control is our thoughts. As Jim Kwik, brain expert and author of Limitless, says, “Your brain is always eavesdropping on your thoughts”, “The brain is like a supercomputer and thoughts are the program it runs.” So, choose to think positively! Be grateful! “Don’t wait to have a wonderful life to be grateful. Be grateful and you will have a wonderful life.” It is scientifically proven that gratitude improves your brain and consequently your health. What you pay attention to grows.
Everything in life is a choice. Keep this in your minds and hearts. Choose to be a good friend, the kind one that lifts others, who respects differences, who sees the good in everyone. Surround yourselves with such good friends. Choose to be a good student, respect the teachers, and always give your best. Surround yourselves with good students. Being a good professional, who treats colleagues with respect, and who adds value to the team is also a good choice. Choose to be a good spouse, and always respect your partner. Choose to be good people! Good people attract good people. Be the change you want to see in this crazy world.
Don’t Take Nothing for Granted
I cannot forget to mention health. Choose to be healthy. Taking good care of the perfect body and the bright mind you both have is a good choice. Make good use of these two valuable assets for your good and to improve the world around you. Choose to live with little and value what you have. Appreciating nature, finding joy in simple things, and eating healthy food is a good choice.
Ask for help!
I wish with all my heart that you learn from your mistakes. Making mistakes is part of being human and we all make them all the time. Therefore, choose to learn from each opportunity. Being better today than yesterday is the ultimate goal. Having the humility to acknowledge mistakes and apologize is a noble trait. We’re all on this journey together, trying to learn from our mistakes. You are not alone! Every person is fighting his/her own battle. Be humble and kind to ask for help. Talk about your problems. Choosing to speak up is the first step to solutions. Confucius, the Chinese philosopher who lived in 550 BC, once said, “The greatest glory is not in never failing, but in moving forward after every fall.”
Learn the Easy Way
There are two paths to learning: the easy and the hard way. As a mother, I’d love for you to choose the easy way. The way you’d suffer as little as possible, but this is also your choice. Learning the easy way means listening to other peoples’ advice and experiences – which doesn’t sound cool to teens. It’s Ok to learn the hard way too. Living your own experiences and the consequences of your choices has tremendous value! The goal is for you to learn and evolve.
I’ll be There for You
Whatever choices you make I will always be there for you! To listen, hold your hand, and hug you. I’ll be there for whatever you need! My door, arms, and heart will always be open to you. I am sure that at some point in life, you will understand the dimension of motherly love. No one in the world will ever care more about you than me. I love you both with all my heart, to the moon and back, and forever!
Read more about healthy choices on Microbiome and Mental Health.