I've been reflecting quite a bit. Reminiscing about who I am now and how I've reached this place in my life. While I'm nowhere near perfect, I'm pretty proud of the woman I've become. Even more so, I'm proud of the mother I've become.
It has taken a substantial amount of time and a rocky path to get to this place in my life. I undeniably couldn't have done it alone. And I wouldn't have wanted to.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it took a community of brilliant women to shape me as a mother.
To find a group of people who help you and encourage you to be a better version of yourself, is a powerful thing. A blessing I don't take lightly. I know just how lucky I am to be included in such a beautiful community of women who are not only my mentors but my friends and family.
My mother: you are my light, my inspiration and my best friend.
You are the one who introduced to me the importance of community in the first place. Your resiliency is unmatched. In spite of losing your own mother at such a young age, you parented three children fearlessly and with endless love. You've taught me so much about self-worth and you've helped me figure out who I am and who I want to be as a mother myself.
Not only am I blessed to pass the family biscuit recipe down to my children, but also their Nanny's tremendous spirit and generous heart.
My grandma: You are who I've inherited my slightly cheeky, sometimes saucy, attitude from and for that, I will be forever thankful. Thank you for showing me that it is important to have a voice and equally as important to use it.
You've taught me the significance of standing up for myself when others might prefer I sit down; a legacy my children already carry on.
My mother-in-law: Even though your son and I aren't married yet, you've always treated me like your daughter. I cannot thank you enough for that. Without a word from me, you've understood the challenges I've faced living so far away from my family and you've embraced me as part of yours.
Always a devoted and caring grandmother, I couldn't have asked for a better role model for my children. You've taught me to cherish the small moments with my children, to be patient with them because they grow so fast, and the importance of family.
Although my child was born first, my best friend, you are one my greatest teachers in parenting. I always turn to you for advice and understanding when I'm doubting myself. You always just "get it" and make me feel like I'm not alone in this chaotic journey called motherhood.
You've taught me to roll with the punches, as scary as they might seem, to trust my instincts, and that, no matter what, I always have a friend.
Thank you to my sisters. I have always said that while my parents didn't give me a sister, fate gave me two. You have given me the gift of being an aunt to your beautiful and brilliant children. Both of you are my OG parenting coaches. You let me participate from the sidelines, gaining a glimpse into the highs and lows of what real parenting is like.
You've taught me how to be resilient and persevere while continuing to light up the sky with a genuine kindness that shines so bright. My nieces and nephews are privileged to call you their mom.
Thank you to my girl squad. Your unwavering support throughout so many tribulations that life has thrown our way is surely unmatched and almost unbelievable. You all are a true example of what it means to be supportive of your village. Together, we have the ability to challenge each other while also building each other up. The undeniable strength that's been shown amidst immense loss and life changes has been an inspiration.
You have demonstrated just how capable and courageous a woman can be. Thank you for teaching me what it means to be a good friend, a quality that I try to demonstrate to my children as often as I can.
I am the mother I am because of the collective group of women I have in my life.
I am an amalgamation of the remarkable women in my life. I feel closer to being complete and have a better understanding of who I want to be because of the community I'm part of. Thank you will never be enough.
I'm forever grateful for you.