I have been asked throughout my life how my mother impacted me. There are many incredible ways she has influenced my life, but one has always stood out. She modeled for me the importance of helping people in times of suffering. My mother is a nurse and has always had a special interest in working with the elderly community. I remember as a little girl, noticing that my mother kept angel figurines, neatly lined up in her curio. When I asked her about them, she responded by telling me that they were gifts from her patients. Her patients lived miles away from each other, though all saw my mother as their angel. The figurine was a gift of gratitude from each kind soul. I was amazed, “Wow, all these people think my mom is an angel.” Completely inspired by my mother, I wanted to help people and “be an angel” to others just like her.
I went on to become a therapist, specializing in teenagers who struggle with self-esteem, confidence, self-image, relationships, and anxiety. On a weekly basis, I speak with teenagers who struggle with adjusting to life’s challenges. One of the most common questions I ask teenagers is “What do you need from your parents, specifically from your mom?”
Mothers play a crucial role in children’s lives. When asked the question, “What do you need from your mother?” I get responses such as unconditional love, comfort and safety, trust, acceptance and understanding, and genuine interest in their lives. There was an overarching theme in all these responses that was hard to overlook. These teenagers wanted to love and be loved by their mothers. In times of hardship or success, they wanted to turn to their mothers and receive comfort and aid. They want to connect and access their mothers as a refuge, a solid foundation to stand on. Essentially, mothers and teenagers want the same thing. Mothers want to support and help their teenagers be as happy as possible, and teenagers want their mothers to love and comfort them in their journeys.
We often take for granted how significant the role a mother plays in our lives, especially during the teen years. There is a sacrificial piece to being a mother that needs to be honored. When helping others in their suffering, you do it out of the goodness of your heart and with a passion to help people in need. Mothers sacrifice their time, energy, space, needs, and goals to be there for their children.
You are your child’s angel. In that moment as a little girl, I saw my mother as a true angel (to me and to others). She encompasses the qualities that I wanted to be as a mother, woman, and therapist.
I am thankful for mothers and especially my own who inspired me to be of service to others in times of pain and struggle. I thrive in helping close the emotional and relational gap between teenagers and their mothers. If it wasn’t for the little girl who was enamored with her mother’s passion for nursing people back to health, I wouldn’t be the mother, nor have the successful and fulfilling career that I have today. Thank you, Mom, for being my angel. And to all the other mothers out there, never forget how special your role actually is.