(Hilary Valdez)

Men are what their mothers made them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am in total awe that a tiny person is developing inside a pregnant woman’s body. Carrying a developing human for nine months is a total miracle of nature. Motherhood is a life changer. Your identity changes and you are constantly giving. After a month of visiting me from Australia, my daughter and her two children, returned just as cheerful as when they arrived. I was exhausted, ready for therapy. Yet in many ways my daughter reminded me of my mother, who gave birth to four children. Both women gave unconditional love and support to the children, complimented by tender kisses, and warm embraces. At times exhausted and tired, yet their unconditional love and effort surfaced, ready to give more support and encouragement, giving their best to the kids.

When I was forced to change a gooey diaper, my hand got soiled, my daughter laughed stating my mistake was how I removed the diaper. She said keep trying, just clean it up. I frowned and quickly went about the task, as the two-year-old just smiled at me. “Yeah, very funny,” I thought to myself, with a grimace. But baby comes first! Childcare is a tireless job. But like my mother, my daughter put her children’s happiness and well-being ahead of her own. “The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness.” — Jessica Lange

My mother seemed always happy. She would sing while listening to the radio. I can’t recall ever having a babysitter. She took me window shopping in New York City, restaurants, movies, parties, museums; she was my best friend. We spent quality time together, we weren’t rich but my mother’s constant support, guidance and love always stayed with me; shaped me. I always reflect on the quality times we spent together and the love and kindness I always felt. Kids don’t need a perfect mother, just a happy one. I spent many times at the Woolworth’s food counter enjoying a chocolate malt with lunch. She loved Chinese food, so we spent a lot of time in Chinese restaurants.

“A mother understands what a child does not say.” —Jewish proverb. What was eerie, is that my mother always seemed to know what I was thinking, as though she could see through me. She would tell me scary ghost stories of what would happen if I didn’t behave. I guess that forced me to be a good little boy. Yet, the art of mothering is to teach the art of living to their children. Each mother has her own way. “If I have done anything in life worth attention, I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother.” — Booker T. Washington

I witnessed my daughter each morning showing up, although tired, she prepared the children for the day. Mothers work diligently, even when the work seems never ending. Cleaning, washing clothes, picking up toys, shopping for diapers. Mothers have to be ready to give up everything when they have children. Every day mothers make the choice to put their children’s happiness and comfort ahead of their own. That’s quite an unselfish act of love. Mothers are on duty 24/7, yet happiness is also having a supportive partner who is not afraid of a gooey diaper. “Blessed is a mother that would give up part of her soul for her children’s happiness.” Shannon Alder

When I think of the pain of labor and giving birth, I feel lucky I’m a man. There should be a father’s support group for new fathers … maybe a trauma support group. “Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother’s image is the first that stamps itself on the unwritten page of the young child’s mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security; her kiss, the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that there is love in the world.” — David O. McKay

My daughter, like my mother, lost part of her identity when she gave birth, a new self-image and self-concept had to be reshaped. “How do I live life now? Who am I?” All of the hobbies and personal pursuits she had, shifted and put aside for a while. As a result, mothers are constantly helping their children develop their own individuality while struggling to keep their own. My daughter, like my mother, is very religious. I regularly attended church with my mother. Her prayers and positive outlook on life stuck with me and helped shape my spiritual path.

 On Mother’s Day, show up with an attitude of gratitude. Spread the love.

“No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed.” — Godfrey Winn

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hilary Valdez is a freelancer living in Tokyo, Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle. Learn more about Valdez and contact him at his website or email ( Follow his YouTube channel Hilary’s Quick Talk for more insights.

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