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Reach a Little Higher

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The Nurtured Mommy

By: Denise E. Bailey   |   May 5, 2022

It can sometimes feel like our mamas didn’t fully tell us about how much motherhood involves. How do you explain just how big of a transition this milestone actually is? It is all-encompassing in every way and often believed to be a rite of passage for women. Some of us were raised to become moms and never thought twice about it. It was just a matter of when. The joys and fears can feel like a rollercoaster of a ride. Our generation is raising young children during a time of social unrest, war, a pandemic and information overload. We have so much information at our fingertips that we forget to look inward. 

Comparing ourselves with anyone, let alone our own mothers, is unproductive in so many ways. The simple fact is that they too had many challenges to mother through. They just did a better job making it all look perfect because they had to. They had no choice. Can you imagine how hard it must have been for them to not have a space to vent and learn about similar experiences other women were encountering? They had so much responsibility to have children that were well-behaved (seen not heard), home-cooked meals from scratch, and houses that were clean. This on top of trying to balance work and home life.

My mom has always been a huge part of my life. She is my biggest cheerleader and fan. She also has the ability to shoot me a look, and I know exactly what she is thinking. She uses a different language with me than she does with my brothers. It is a secret language that I know how to interpret. I have been trained to know what she really means even if she isn’t saying it. 

Our relationship has gone through many stages. When I was young, she was a superhero, not a human, in my mind. When I went off to college and my paradigms shifted a bit, it forced us to redefine our roles in each other's lives. This took a lot of time to sort through. Different perspectives and ways of doing things does not mean that we don’t love and appreciate the ways in which we were raised. It just means that we are navigating our own journeys now.

I have heard countless women talk about their relationship with their mothers in such a negative light. There is a lot of blame placed on our mothers when the truth is, they tried their hardest. They did the best that they could with the tools that they were given. And if we want our children to forgive us for our mistakes, then we need to do the same for our mothers. 

There is nothing more that I hope than to have a loving adult relationship with my daughters. When they no longer are in my home and under my daily care, I hope they still choose to let me into their lives. This is earned, not given. When I became a mother, I realized that my mom did her absolute best. She stood on my grandmother's shoulders and reached a little higher. And now I am standing on hers. I am trying my best to create a strong base of love and acceptance so that, when it is time, my girls can climb onto my shoulders, and reach a little higher and do a little better.

Denise Bailey is on a mission to to help women transition into and through the various Phases of Motherhood. As a former educator and mama of three she now fully understands that the journey to enoughness requires a tremendous amount of self-compassion and self-care. She is inspired by her three daughters to help women manage their expectations, let go of perfectionism, and lean into the beautiful mess. You can follow Denise @TheNurturedMommy and learn more about this movement at
More from this issue:

Book Picks: Mother's Day Read >>

Community Heroes: Postpartum Support Center Read >>  

May is for Mothers Read >>

Mindfulness in the Making: May We Be Mindful and Listen Read >> 

Mother is the Teacher Read >>  

Reach a Little Higher Read >>  

Share the Bounty Read >>

SMMCpreneur: Ellie Dominguez of Ellie's Essential Blends Read >>

Something Good Read >>