There's this weird phenomenon that happens, as a woman, when you get married: everyone starts checking for your uterus.

It's like God flips a switch in the brains of each person who knows you, which prompts them to ask when are you guys having kids? or something along those lines. Just last week, I had a friend who I hadn't seen in about a month or so text me out the blue and ask are you pregnant? She didn't even try to bury the lede with a what's up, or hey, what's new... just a hard and fast are you pregnant? She's not the only one who does this. It's gotten to the point where I casually mention that I'm not pregnant when I'm catching up with friends.

In case it's not already clear enough, this is not a post in which I announce my pregnancy. There is no pregnancy happening at this time in The Active Spirit land. There is, however, pregnancy happening all around me. Two of my closest friends from school announced their pregnancies around the same time, and my dear niece is also pregnant. Everyone is overjoyed, including me, and all three ladies are due roughly around the same time, so I'll be getting lots of newborn snuggles in towards the end of summer / early fall.

In general though, I've just had lots of thoughts swirling in my head around the idea of motherhood. Probably thanks, in part, to all the HCG in the air and also because I'm still chewing on the central themes in The Mothers, by Britt Bennett. I think I can safely say it's the best book I'll read all year, which sucks since it's only May.

But in the spirit of Mother's Day, I thought I'd share some thoughts.

As I grow older, I see my relationship with my own mother maturing and evolving. The kinds of conversations we have are... different. We talk about deep stuff - good and bad - and it's truly quite beautiful. I've gone from being her little girl, with whom she engaged in small talk and conversations of little substance, to her grown "Mija" (as she affectionately calls me), with whom she engages in serious girl talk and chats about real-woman issues.

Growing up, I never thought we'd have this kind of relationship. My mom was always the mom you respectfully feared, not the mom who was your friend. I'd hear other girls talk about how their mom was their best friend, and I'd look at them in awe. My mom would say "i'm not one of your little girlfriends" to me all the time! Now look at us. She's one of my girlfriends. But I get it. She had to be my parent. And she couldn't be my parent and my friend at the same time. Maybe some moms know how to perfectly strike that balance, and maybe some moms think they know how to wear both hats but only end up being more of a friend than a mom. Mine didn't. She knew her place, and she regularly put me in mine. Looking back, I wouldn't've had it any other way.

I've also been reflecting on how our romantic relationships can be shaped by our relationship with our moms - biological, step, adopted, etc. So many people talk about daddy issues, and how they can shape who we are as a person, but I'd argue that mommy issues are just as prevalent and even more detrimental. Everyone rags on the mama's boy, but as a proud wife to a mama's boy (and as someone who's dated a few others in her day), I can honestly say that the love they offer is unmatched. Moms are nurturers, and you can always tell the difference in a man who's had some good motherly nurturing and a man who hasn't. I'm not saying the ones who haven't are any less loving or compassionate, it's just... different.

Whether they're around or not, whether they give ten percent or one hundred percent, whether they know it or not, every mom has such an intensely interconnected role in who we become: our personality, our soul, our habits, our quirks, our entire being.

So thank you, Moms, for everything. If you don't feel like you're doing good enough, or if you feel like you're doing more than enough but it's going unnoticed/unappreciated, or if you feel like you're not prepared for the motherhood journey ahead, just know that you are first-class citizens by every stretch of the imagination.

You literally give us life. Everything else is just the cherry on top. Giving you a bouquet of roses is our small way of giving some sort of life back to you. ♥

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