To the Moms in the Cafeteria

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A few weeks ago, my son's elementary school held its annual "Muffins with Mom" event in the school cafeteria. It was my fifth, I think—not including that one year I missed because of a business trip. (How could I forget that guilt?)

On my ride to work afterward, I started thinking about motherhood and cafeterias. When you think about it, there are a lot of similarities. Both can feel lonely—and both can lead to new friendships. Both can be loud—and both can exude laughter. Both can be messy—and both can be fulfilling.

As I looked around the room, I saw lots of different moms. And I thought about those I've encountered at school over the years.

You, the mom of the special needs child: Your strength and wide smile bring me grace.

You, the new-to-the-school mom: You've landed in a great place. Be patient. You will make friends.

You, overweight mom who politely picks at your doughnut: I saw you running the other day. You rock.

You, the mom who doubles as a teacher at school: I will never judge you for putting your own kids first.

You, the professional working mom who skipped out early for a meeting: You made an appearance today. It's enough.

You, the stay-at-home mom who feels a pang of inadequacy seeing all the working moms: You do enough.

You, the volunteer-for-everything mom: We appreciate you for filling in where many of us can't.

You, the mom who lost her husband: You are adorable. I hope you open yourself to finding love again.

You, the tattooed and pierced mom: Be proud you came, despite maybe feeling like you don't fit in. Your daughter is.

You, grandma who is raising your grandchild mom: You are the most special kind of mom.

You, every one of you moms: You are great moms. You are beautiful. You are caring. You show up every day. You are enough.

I see you.

I see me.


 Written by Jill Carroll, marketing manager at Serendipity Media, publisher of West Michigan Woman magazine. Jill resides in Cannonsburg with her husband, George, and three boys.

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