As I celebrate my 3rd Mothers Day, I must thank the woman who started it all. Like many of you, my Mom is my first best friend and the person whom I most love and admire. She is an excellent role model and the mother I aspire to be as I raise my Kai as an only parent. For those of you who are fortunate enough to still have your Mother in your life, cherish everyday, make the best of it and don’t sweat the small stuff. For those whose mothers have transitioned, who may have strained relationships with their mothers or may have never known their mother, hang in there on this celebratory day which can also be a day of mourning or sadness for many.

For those of you who want to be mothers and aren’t yet, I understand. Celebrate the mothering that many of us do in our lives on a daily basis and know that in someone’s life, you fulfill that role more than you know. As a student said to me a few weeks ago, “Dr. Burton, you’re the mother of this department. You take care of us and make everything better.” On that particular day, I felt like I had not accomplished anything meaningful and realized when hearing those words, many students see me in that way as I have heard some iteration of those words each year of my 18 years as a professor. Working with students and Junior faculty is a type of mothering, even though the womanist/feminist in me thinks and chuckles, “Why do I always have to be someone’s mama?”

I understand wanting to be a mother in the traditional sense and thinking it’s never going to happen while the world is watching and celebrating mothers. Mothering happens everyday in many different ways so embrace your day. Remember adoption is a great option (shameless plug) and mentoring matters. Whatever your situation, know that someone is thinking of you on Mothers Day.

To my Mom who is, thanks for being you and all that you do. To Kai, thanks for giving me the opportunity to be your mother. To everyone, Happy Mothers Day!

This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news blog The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual. Follow The Burton Wire on Instagram or Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

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