Defining a mother…

Today’s post is brought to you by Sarah Watson – David’s Refuge Events Manager

Mom. What does that word mean to you? To me “mom” is pretty much everything. A name, a person, a feeling, a comfort, an emotion. Mom is wisdom, guidance, happiness, strength.

The Dictionary defines mother as –

Mother –

mothered; mothering  \ˈmə-t͟hə-riŋ, ˈmət͟h-riŋ\

transitive verb
1 : to give birth to
2 : to give rise to :
3 : to care for or protect like a mother


Okay I get number 1. That’s the super basic definition… Just from my own personal experience of… ya know… being born.. I was adopted, so my MOTHER who I still and will continue to call MAMA (YES I’m almost 30) did not “birth” me, but I think that’s completely beside the point. When I think about MY mom, I think of the quote from the movie Stepmom – “You know every story, every wound, every memory. Their whole life’s happiness is wrapped up in you… every single second.”

Let’s move to number 2. “To give RISE to” – Wow. When I first searched the definition and read the word “RISE” it gave me chills. They could have put “raise” which would have made complete sense (BASIC) but they chose “RISE.” Perhaps I’m stretching it a bit but a mother, a GOOD mother, will “RISE” their children up to the sky. They will allow them and help them to RISE up to their potential. They will RISE up to the opportunity of being there for their children no matter what the situation. They will RISE up out of their warm and comfortable bed at 4am when their baby is crying and refuses to go to back to sleep (I added that last one in there because it may have just happened at my house last night)

A few weeks ago David’s Refuge hosted our first “Vent” parent potluck at Casey’s Place. As I sat at the table surrounded by amazing moms and dads who are raising child with special needs, I listened to many stories of trials and tribulations, happiness and sadness, excitement as well as disappointment.

A story that that really stuck with me came from a mom who came by herself while her husband stayed home with the kids. She talked about birthday parties. A very popular topic in my house this past month as we have been planning for Chase’s first birthday

When the mom’s daughter was younger she use to go to so many birthday parties. It seemed like every other day an invitation was coming home with her daughter from school. As she got a little older the invites started to decrease and decrease until they stopped coming at all. One day an invitation arrived in the mail and the family celebrated! The mom was so happy that her daughter was invited to this party, but also so sad that throughout the years she had not only seen her daughters friends slip away, but her own friends who weren’t inviting her to coffee as much anymore. Her daughter is now in her later teens, and being a mother of an adult, she’s had a really hard time finding the right balance of “PROTECTING” (see mother definition 3) her daughter or letting her RISE up to life’s new challenges. Where can she find the balance? Where in the ‘Parenting 101’ handbook is this chapter?

As I’m writing this I keep glancing over to a picture of Chase and my mom. I want so much for my son. I want him to be healthy, happy, active, smart, strong, funny, clever, silly, brave, nice, but more than anything I want him to be accepting and compassionate. I want Chase to WANT to invite everyone to his birthday party, because he wants to.. not because mom is nagging him, or because that’s just what he has always done. I want him to WANT to do it! (HA I’m starting to sound like my own MAMA now)

It may be a lot to put on an 11th month old. But as I RISE up to be the best mother I can be, I guarantee you that I will try my hardest to teach him to be the best possible person he can be. And I’ll also call my mom and ask her what to do.

Every single day I find strength not only in my own amazing mama, but my coworkers (who are ALL mom) as well as so many David’s Refuge moms that i’ve met over the past two years. These moms are the definition of wisdom, guidance, happiness, strength.