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Honor all the strong women in your life on Mother’s Day

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We are all getting ready to celebrate the women in our lives who mean the most to us. Whether we call them Momma, Mom, Granny, Grandma, Auntie or Godmother, the sentiment is still the same. We love these women for the indelible print they have left on our lives. Yes, it’s time for Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is generally a happy time, but for some of us Mother’s Day brings mixed emotions. Having lost my Auntie, who raised me, four years ago, I think about her during this time of year. For the first two years after her death, I cried and felt awful around this time.

Thanks to much prayer and the passage of time, I have begun to focus instead on the huge influence she had on my life. I see evidence every day of her molding and shaping me, and for that I am thankful.

Celebrate those women who stand in the gap. While my Auntie is not here physically, I have a cadre of women who would drop everything at moment’s notice if I needed them. I make sure to let these very special women know I appreciate them and that I view them as mother figures in my life.

Whether they taught me to make cornbread and baby bottles (thanks, Grandma), entertain as well as Martha Stewart (thanks to my aunts), or are phenomenal mothers themselves who I strive to emulate (thanks to my sisters), they all are included in my Mother’s Day celebrations.

Deciding on the perfect gift for a mother or mother figure in your life can be daunting. One gift, however, can never be exchanged, is invaluable and costs relatively little — that gift is time. I know we are busy with the day-to-day operations of our own lives. However, sharing time with those women in our lives who have shared time with us is priceless. A phone call, visit or planned outing means a lot, so stop and smell the roses with your mom.

As a mother, this is also a good time to set an example. I am acutely aware that my daughter is learning more from what I do than from what I say.

Making sure I acknowledge my blessings, give thanks for the past and honor the present is an important example I want to set for her. What better way than to celebrate Mother’s Day and acknowledge the phenomenal women in my life?

Someday I hope to be older and celebrating Mother’s Day with my daughter and grandchildren. In order to get to that point, I must be a good example and plant those seeds now.

Include expecting and new mothers in your plans. I count it a joy to be a part of the lives of women who are expecting or who are new moms. I remember those feelings of having someone growing inside of you. I also remember the insecurities of being a new mom.

Tell those women they are doing awesome jobs and welcome them to this club we call motherhood. Your actions and words could inspire a young woman and provide that lift she needs to keep on keeping on.

Finally, if you are a mom, enjoy your time. My husband and children make sure I have a fantastic Mother’s Day. I revel in it and enjoy the special attention because I have made sure to take care of my mother figures. Happy Mother’s Day, Middle Georgia!

Contact county Extension agent Keishon J. Thomas at 478-751-6338 or thomaskj@uga.edu.

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