Perhaps few people are judged as freely and as harshly as mothers are.

Yet, few give as much of themselves to help nurture future generations. Such an incredibly important role.

Most of us, if we are being honest, wouldn’t mind having a bit of do over when looking back at motherhood. None of us does it perfectly. Most women do the best they can with what they have at the time. We rarely talk about just how very challenging it is to be responsible for the nurturing of a crying baby or a spirited toddler or an emotional teen, challenges which still often fall unbalanced on the shoulders of the woman giving birth. Even today as women’s roles have evolved. We rarely give motherhood the honor and respect it deserves.

And moms still try to do it all.

So, when we take time to finally make a yearly fuss about it on Mother’s Day, most of us know that the day is not nearly as simple as Hallmark would lead us to believe. It’s complex. It brings up all kinds of stuff. Some of good. Some of it not so pretty. Some unfinished. Some still a work in progress. Motherhood doesn’t end just because your child is on their own. The challenges of the mother-child bond last for life.

As does the worry, the love, the judgement, the need to constantly nurture while also letting go, which is a key to healthy futures and independence for our children.

Taking good care of kids is one of the most important roles anyone can take on in life. Mothers build futures. They nurture innocent young souls, help build future world leaders, help show kids the way, kiss skinned knees, and rock babies gently back to sleep at 3 a.m. Some meet its demands better than others. Some leave real damage and challenge the action of any forgiveness. That’s a harsh reality for many.

But I like to think that most mothers at least try to be a good mom.

On this day, I am especially mindful of women who parent children with special needs, a role for which no amount of training can possibly prepare you. I’m thinking of all those whose mothers have passed on and left a void in the loving hearts of children everywhere. I pause to pay homage to those that have wished for children, with dreams not realize, and for those that have buried their babies. I honor those younger moms that have stayed the difficult course through the never-ending pandemic, and I respect those that have thoughtfully chosen to remain childfree for all the right reasons. Good for you.

Nothing about moms or Mother’s Day is simple. It is one of the most beautiful and complex relationships that exists. And one of the most important. Let’s take time to remember that today.

Perhaps we could better celebrate and honor the challenging role by supporting all mothers better throughout the year.

Many truly are earth angels, giving of themselves day after day under the most difficult of circumstances.

Motherhood is not for the timid.

May this Mother’s Day be a day of expressing love, not judgement.

I see you, moms. I honor you. I know just how hard it all can be.

Thank you for all those moments this year when you tried to do your best.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.

With love and no judgement.