This Sunday marks a Mother’s Day spent for many, as a nation and across the globe, away from our moms. Some of us are sheltering in separate cities, unable to make the trip to each other. Some of us have parents in assisted living facilities that are closed for visitation. Some of us lost our moms long before this moment in history. It’s a holiday that strikes a chord for everyone, whatever the notes.
Suddenly cultural expectations like playing the role of a “perfect” parent, maintaining the image of a gold-star family, or keeping up appearances on social media are given a new perspective. Especially when we’re aware of the importance, perhaps now more than ever, of our shared responsibility to protect Mother Earth. Offering an unfiltered reality check, Alpyn’s founder Kendra Kolb Butler shares her updated outlook on what it means to find success as a mom:
So many things have changed since I became a mother. The biggest thing I’ve learned? It’s never the right time to judge others or critique parenting styles.
Pre-kids, I used to see children with messy hair and a constant stream of snot running down their faces and think, “My kids will always be immaculately groomed.” I used to frown at family suppers where children were allowed to stare at screens rather than enjoying their meal and time together.
As I type this letter, I want to be perfectly transparent about my current situation: My child is eating dinner while watching his iPad with a dried boogie (possibly from yesterday) stuck in his left eyebrow. But these aren’t the things that keep me up at night. While I thought I would go to bed worrying about whether or not they know their ABC’s, or if I am stimulating their little brains enough so that they can eventually maintain their grades, the only question that keeps me stirring in my sheets is the following:
“Am I raising children that will be kind to our Mother Earth and the people that inhabit it?”
I am slowly realizing that my legacy is not wrapped up in my career or the accomplishments that can be checked off of some personal list, but rather the people–and the planet–that I leave behind.
This Mother’s Day, I encourage all of us to pay attention to the silver linings. To clearly see the things that are really important and notice those flashing, fleeting moments that appear as a hazy rainbow in the sky, an unexpected bout of full-bellied, tear-jerking laughter, or a slow smile from a child that has proudly accomplished something that would usually seem small to us, but feels huge to them.
Let’s take today to pay tribute to all of the mothers on the planet, including the most glorious of them all–Mother Earth. Happy Mother’s Day to those who are with us today, and those who made it possible for us to be here.