By Elisa Huot

Former educator, toddler parent, and Paso Robles resident

Motherhood. It’s a whirlwind. It is tiny feet, nap times, and potty training. It’s teaching our kids to be helpful while allowing for independence. It is showing them that getting dirty is fun and messes can be cleaned up. It is demonstrating the importance of being true to yourself as long as you aren’t hurting anyone, and allowing them to walk their own path while encouraging them to try something new. It is comforting them when they learn that too much of a good thing usually leads to a tummy ache and that rest is necessary. It is assuring them that you are always there anytime they need help.

Motherhood can also be a balancing act. Many moms find themselves juggling the responsibilities of child care, work, relationships, and self-care. Forget hobbies or personal development! It is unrealistic expectations, leading to feelings of inadequacy or guilt. It is the acceptance of career pauses, wage gaps, and unpaid labor in exchange for growing a family. As Jessica Lange described it, “The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.” The hardest part about motherhood is realizing that you are expected to take care of everyone, but no one will take care of you. You can grocery shop and plan meals for all the other people in your household, but no one will ensure you have eaten. Mothering calls for a nurturing spirit, but does it have to be to the extent of self-sacrifice or self-abandonment?

The old saying “It takes a village” is widely known but not practiced. Having a group of mothers who understand what you are going through can provide a safe space to share your experiences and build connections. A friend who will ask, “Have you had lunch today?” Motherhood is an endeavor that is best undertaken with communal support. We need other mothers to champion us and help us through the challenges. We need each other to provide empathy, encouragement, and practical help. It takes a village to raise a child, and it also takes a village of mothers to hold each other up on their worst days and high-five them on their best. Together, mothers can grow, adapt, and discover their inner strength rather than getting lost in loneliness.

Paso Robles is a place that embodies the true meaning of community. If you don’t have a strong support system, please reach out and connect with other moms. There are many online and offline communities where you can find empowering friendships. Keep looking until you do. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are a great starting point for finding mom groups in your local area. Apps like Peanut and provide a positive environment to get to know like-minded mamas and eventually plan meet-ups. These groups are a great resource for hand-me-downs, childcare/doctor recommendations, and solicited advice (as opposed to the other kind).

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let us recognize and appreciate the extraordinary contributions of mothers to our families, communities, and the world. Let us create a society that values mothers, providing them with the resources and recognition they deserve. For all the mothers out there, know that your love, dedication, and strength are an inspiration to everyone. Your journey is one of tireless courage and resilience. Motherhood prepares you for just about anything life can throw your way. Just as we hope to prepare our little ones. 

As Roseanne Barr put it,” I know how to do anything — I’m a mom.”  

Happy Mother’s Day.


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