It’s been a really long time since I’ve sat down to write. You know the deal—you get sidetracked, distracted, overwhelmed and overworked, and soon the thing you loved to do becomes a chore, so you don’t. And after that dance goes on long enough, you forget you ever really loved it. You tell yourself that starting again would be too hard, that you don’t have time, it’s not worth it. You come up with a million and one different reasons why you shouldn’t.
Then there’s a voice.
Sometimes it’s your own, telling you that you should dust yourself off and try again.
But more often than not, the voice isn’t yours. It’s a voice far more familiar. It’s the voice you’ve had in your head your whole life, guiding you, telling you you’ll regret that decision later, reminding you that tomorrow’s another day, giving you strength to make the hard decisions.
It’s your mother’s.
We are who we are, like it or not, because of the women that brought us into this world. Their blood pumps through us as surely as the Mississippi River flows, but our mother’s impact in our lives often has little to do with genetics. It was their rocking, their picking us up, their dropping everything to be there, their sacrificing everything so that we could live the fullest life, their thinking of us, praying for us, and loving us forever and unconditionally.
You’re doing what you’re doing today, for one reason or another, because of the life your mother provided you. You are changing lives, saving lives, and advocating for a better world because there was a woman in your life that planted a seed—she believed in you, more than enough.
Maybe she was your aunt, your grandmother, your stepmother, your sister, a friend, a teacher, a friend’s mother, or your father fulfilling all the roles. But you’re a better person because they were there, bending over backwards to pave the way, and losing sleep worrying if they were doing it right.
For those people, we are thankful.
Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914 because a daughter, Anna Jarvis, was thankful. She fought for a day that would honor the sacrifices her mother made and created what most of us recognize today as an advocacy campaign, writing to newspapers and politicians that there should be a special day that celebrated motherhood.
Like Anna, I’m not a mother. I’m just a daughter that’s thankful. I’ve always been sure of my mother’s love for me, but rarely have I questioned why. I guess I’ve assumed it’s part of the job description. But like every title we hold, the reasons we love the the role and responsibilities have little to do with the fine print.
So this Mother’s Day, I went around and asked mothers across Blackbaud what they love most about motherhood. Their responses are a reminder that our lives are less about the 9-5 and more about the joy we’re filled with watching good grow—witnessing these tiny humans evolve into people that may some day just change the world.
Isn’t that with this life is all about? We’re all just sons and daughters. We all play a part. And nobody knows better than those in the philanthropic industry that it takes a village.
So, here’s to the mothers, the mother figures, and all those playing their part to make this world a little bit sweeter, generation after generation.
The most rewarding part of being a mother is seeing my kids work hard to accomplish something and then seeing their pride at their work. It fills me with pure joy. – Dorie Wallace, Vice President of Customer Support
It is the most amazing and challenging thing I’ve ever done. My favorite thing so far is seeing the wonder every day in my son. Every moment is a new adventure filled with discovery and awe. It makes me want to be as present as possible and soak up every new thing with him. – Clare Corriveau, Senior Demand Marketing Manager
“The best part is how the simplest things can bring him the most joy, excitement and laughter. The ways his hand wraps around my finger and his arms wrap around my neck.” – Brooke Hansel, Manager of Business Development
“I love when they have their very own passionate opinions. That aren’t mine, or my husband’s or their sibling’s or friends’ Just theirs. It shows they are independent and passionate and stand up for something they feel and believe. True little contributors and interesting individuals!” – Kelley Jarrett, Manager of Strategic Services
My favorite part of being a mother is celebrating my daughter’s tiny milestones. As she learns about the world around her and starts to get a grasp of things, her victories are my own. – Ashley Thompson, Manager, Marketing Commmunications
“The most rewarding part about being a mother is watching my son grow up to be a generous, kind, good human being.” – Mary Beth Westmoreland, Senior Vice President, Product Development
“The most rewarding part? Coming home, after a long day, hearing the pitter patter of feet racing to greet me because “Mommy’s home!” There’s no judgment or criticism- just pure joy and affection to see and hug me. And in that moment, any struggles, concerns, or feelings of inadequacy subside and I am consumed with love and contentment that I am enough for them, just as I am.” – Jenny Matheney, Director of Product Marketing
To every person rearing and raising our future generations of leaders and game-changers, thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for putting up with us and loving your role, and us, more than enough.
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