March 8th marked International Women’s Day, but I like to think about the amazing women in my life on a regular basis. I grew up around a lot of independent, strong women, with my four aunts who have no problem speaking their minds, my grandma who is the toughest yet most amazing woman ever, cousins who have all excelled in fields usually dominated by men such as engineering and math, and friends who are kicking ass in college in the medical field, communications, science, and education. But, when I think of the woman who has impacted me the most and inspired me the most, the person who always comes to my mind within a split second is my mom.
(please ignore my chubby 10-year-old self I’m cringing)
My mom, commonly known as Barb among my friends, has always been “the cool mom”. I can honestly say when some of my close friends had issues they wouldn’t talk to their parents about, they talked to my mom about it. She just has a way of making people want to tell her everything. Maybe it’s because she’s a good listener, because she gives good hugs, or because she always knows what to say.
I could talk for hours about why my mom is the best mom, as I’m sure many people can. Our moms are arguably the most important people in our lives. I’d like to think if you push a human out of you that human is going to be eternally grateful and think you’re the most amazing person on this Earth.
In light of International Women’s Day, I wanted to tell you why my mom is my hero, role model, and inspiration.
1. She’s one of the hardest working, most dedicated people I know.
My mom has been working a full-time 8-5 job for as long as I can remember. I’ve often heard stories of how much everyone at her office loved me when I was a newborn because my mom took me to work with her until I was roughly 6 months old and was put into daycare. Where she currently works she does everything from finances, IT, to being her boss’ personal assistant Monday-Friday and on weekends when he needs a flight canceled or changed and when conference calls need to be organized. Work never really stops for my mom and, while she complains just like the rest of us do, she always gets it done.
2. Family means everything to my mom.
We often hear that family is the most important thing, but my mom has that as one of her core values and nothing has shown me that more than the past year. My grandparents are both in their 90’s and the past year or so my grandfather got very sick and sadly passed away in February. But, preceding that, my mom was at their house almost every day taking care of them, working with their aids, and just keeping them company. She’d then come home and cook dinner for herself and my dad (and me, if I happened to be home). When it came to arranging things for the funeral and things for my grandmother the past month, my mom has been on top of it and five steps ahead of wherever things should conceivably be.
No matter what the situation is or how far people are, my mom is always there to do everything humanly possible. Whether it’s 12 AM calls from me freaking out about an essay, hospital trips for various illnesses and falls, or driving out to Boston for the day just to see me, my mom is always willing to do everything for her family.
3. She’s patient, understanding, and has taught me how to be the same.
I’m stubborn and impatient and that has been a constant since I was very young. When I want things I want them now and when I decide on something, people are hard-pressed to change my mind. My mother, on the other hand, will listen to me rant about the same thing, probably repeating the main issue four different times and will wait until I’m done to give me advice or to tell me I’m being crazy. Whether it’s me, my dad, her boss, or the random bogus calls from the credit card or electric companies, my mom is always patient, often laughing at the parts she finds ridiculous.
Even when she’s had a bad day or is being moody, she still finds it within herself to be patient and understanding, which is something I’m working on figuring out because it’s an immeasurably valuable life skill.
I think it’s fair to say over the years I’ve learned to find some more patience with most things and be less stubborn, and it’s all due to my mother’s influence.
At the end of the day, whenever people ask “who is your hero?”, I will always say my mom. If I can grow up (I say this as if I’m not about to turn 20) to be half the mother, wife, employee, and woman she is, I’ll go through my life happy as can be. As an adult, I’ve learned to appreciate things I never did when I was 7 or 14 like the amount of trust my parents have in me and the freedom they’ve given to me whether it’s with choosing a roommate, deciding which/ if there was a religion I wanted to follow, picking a college to attend, or just to go out and be responsible about it.
My parents have taught me so many lessons, but some of the most important lessons of my life have come from my mom: always be compassionate, never make decisions when you’re mad, make the matzah balls hard as you can because that’s the best way to eat them, and always make your cherry pie from scratch if you have the time.
She’s taught me what being a good person is, how to write the perfect professional email, and introduced me to The Breakfast Club, which has been my favorite movie for years. She’s been my cheerleader, my support, my therapist, my chef, my doctor, and, most importantly, my best friend.
So, here’s to you, mommy. Thank you for being you and thank you for being my mom. As we celebrate women for International Women’s Day and every day, think of the amazing women in your life and thank them. Whether it’s a call, a card, or a visit, make sure they know how much they have impacted you.
Cover photo credit: YouTube