4.5
March 12, 2019

To the Mothers who Raised us with Ferocity. {Poem}

We have molded ourselves

from the aprons of our grandmothers
gingham, soft and worn around the seams.

We stand on top of the mountains
of trials
our mothers fought
and battled
quietly and earnestly on our behalf,
while we picked bouquets of dandelions.

We clothed ourselves with words
of strength
and nourishment
that came out of the mouths of our sisters and kindred spirits.

This is how we became our true selves…
compiling the compassion and
piecing together plans for our future.

But sometimes,
even with these well-paved paths,
we found that nothing
truly prepares you for motherhood.

Nothing prepares you for sympathy pains your heart is about to endure.
Nothing prepares you for pressure you put on yourself to be perfect, all the time.
Nothing prepares you for how much you don’t know, despite reading every parenting book on the market.

For some of us,
we had an idea of who we were
or
who we wanted to be,
and
being a mom allowed us to step into our own.

It was as though having a child gave our lives more purpose, meaning, and legacy.

Or maybe it came to be that,
for the first time,
we could no longer be selfish.

While other mothers
day in
and
day out
have sorted through the process,
unsure and without support.

They are weary and clinching to words, echoing down hallowed halls of loneliness,
thinking to themselves,
“I was told motherhood would bring me joy.”

I was lucky enough to have a mother who led by example.

She was the calm.
and
she was the storm.

She knew how to solve everything
by encouraging and empowering.

We grew
on a solid foundation
that made her belief
in us
stronger than concrete.

We were taught
to not compare ourselves
to “other mothers”
and
translate those findings into shortcomings.

Rather, we were blessed with a mind-set
to be surrounded by women
who are savvy entrepreneurs,
domesticated,
distinguished,
and
a fierce mix of it all.

They pushed us to raise our standards
allow for the wiggle room
to fail
without shame.

But most importantly, women like my mother were honest about their own stories.
They told the real and raw of it all.

They made certain that we knew the challenges they faced
but also raised us with ferocity.

They could see our brave hearts.
They could truly see us.

They are ones who support us in our battles,
hold our hands,
and
tilt our heads up higher
as we trudge on.

They are the ones who stay,
not just when it is convenient.

They are the ones who listen
and not just “talk at us”
but
hear all the words we never speak.

These people
and
those memories
are what truly make up the real stories of motherhood and kinship.

The stories and moments that have allowed us to expand our worlds.

To grow beyond our borders.

Growth is a grand thing
and
sometimes
we outgrow people
and situations
that aren’t growing.

Those time are difficult,
heart-wrenching,
and have forced even the strongest women
to question themselves,
to question everything.

In those moments
it often feels
as though
we are being pulled
back
down…
stifled.

A Mexican proverb says, “They tried to bury us…they didn’t know we were seeds.”

Courageously we grow.
As a mother, we understand
there are little eyes watching
and
little ears listening.

Be brave to expect respect.
Be brave to speak the truth.
Be brave to courageously grow.

The bravest thing that we can do
for these children
is give them the choice
to become their own person,
to courageously grow.

By watching us
unapologetically
finding our voice
and not hardening from the hardships.

Here’s to all those who helped us…
Helped all of us to grow
and bloom.

Here’s to those who taught us to be brave
and, most importantly,
to be our true selves.

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author: Cassie Yoder

Image: Author's own

Editor: Kelsey Michal