I sat down to write the typical “Great Gifts for Mother’s Day” type of post when I realized that this is nearly impossible without listing, like, a hundred gift ideas. Much as I get frustrated when Father’s Day gift guides lead me into a world of sports paraphernalia, handmade fishing cards, and beer mugs (none of which really exemplify my husband), I’ve come to recognize that there are no two moms who are truly, 100% alike.

And that’s totally as it should be.  

There are moms who want to celebrate the day with their families all day long while others request alone time. Some crave a day off from cooking; others don’t identify as the “family cook” or simply don’t necessarily want the day off.

Some mothers love a gorgeous piece of jewelry to cherish and remember the special day by. Others put just as much stock in a handmade card with their child’s hand-scrawled name (the first example of their own name in their own writing!). Still others are fine with some beautiful flowers while others wish for something personal that shows how much their family knows, cares, and thinks about them.

While some mothers may request a shopping spree at Target (or a cloth diaper shopping spree online!), others don’t feel the need to request permission. (Side note: I’m totally both of these moms, somehow…? Weird.)

Just as there are 1,000 different ways to celebrate Mother’s Day (and, really, NONE of them wrong), there are probably 10x more “types” of moms in the world. Really, even those gift guides that try to peg moms into categories – “The Mom Who Just Found Out About Contouring,” “The Mom Who Likes Her ‘Programs’,” or “The Mom Who Loves Salad” (these are literally real categories I found – although I’m truly considering the salad cookbook for Father’s Day) – kind of fall flat.

As much as I see a general theme in my social media feeds between my mom friends (I’m talking about you, being-a-hot-mess/coffee/wine memes, Lularoe parties, and adorable newborn baby pictures…oh, and the occasional NKOTB throwback post), I know for a fact how different we all are as mothers. And, honestly, I love to see that diversity among us.

I know all of our varying degrees of crunchiness (from non-existent to, y’know, the folks who actually refer to themselves as “crunchy”); I know who the “sports moms” are; I know that every single one of us is sacrificing in some way for our littles (and do it silently and selflessly).

I know who cooks amazingly delicious meals for her family on a daily basis; I know who eats out almost every night. I know that most of us are trying to find a balance.

I know who is still agonizing about returning to work rather than staying home with her littles; I know the stay-at-home mom who is struggling with depression. I know that both are sometimes simply trying to feel like a human being again. I know that we all feel that way some days.

I know who had a natural home birth (I was in awe over the pictures); I know who had an epidural; I know who had several repeat C-sections and still feels guilt over them. I know that, in the end, we were all just concerned about a healthy start for our babes.  

I know who’s nursing a broken heart over a lost little one; I know who’s still nursing that heartache even though they’ve been blessed with a rainbow baby; I know who struggled for many years to conceive their beloved baby at all; I know my own guilt of having two healthy little ones in the midst of everyone else’s pain. I know that we all still have good days and bad despite our good and bad luck (or situations).

I know who’s super lax with the kids she still refers to as “babies” (no matter their age); I know who’s strict and old school; I know that we all have days when we run the disciplinary gamut of “my gosh, child, you’re amazing and I couldn’t possibly love anyone more” to “my gosh, I can’t believe I just spoke to you that way, I need to apologize – but so do you.”  

I know who somehow pulls herself AND the kiddos into impeccable fashion plates before leaving the house; I know who is on a constant dead run but still somehow gets the kids fed, dressed, and safely where they need to be (even if she lets her own appearance fall to the wayside sometimes). I know all the silent martyrs who came before, exist today, and will always be there for their children.          

But, most importantly, I know that as different as we all may be, our hearts are in the exact same place. As mothers, we put the care and love of our families as priority #1. Our hearts still ache when we see our children head independently successful into their next phase (whether it’s first steps or first days of school or first dates), even if it’s what we’re raising them to do. We still look at their growing height chart on the wall and remember the helpless little newborns we held yesterday (or at least it seems that way, doesn’t it?). We may go about our mothering tasks in completely different ways, but the end goal is the same.
So, this Mother’s Day, whether it’s time together or alone time, a homemade brunch or a dinner out, perfume or a handmade gift, a big luxurious gift or a new frying pan, I hope you know that you are truly and greatly appreciated.