Mothers: The World Changers
by Rebecca Tiell-KrekelerMay 7, 2021
I am the oldest of six kids. Growing up, we celebrated Mother’s Day by making my mom breakfast in bed. This started as some cereal and milk; then grew into something more extravagant like pancakes and eggs. As a kid, that felt like a lot. But as I got older, I questioned if some scrambled eggs in bed was really an acceptable gift for my mother. This was a woman who managed and loved six very different humans and their schedules. Each day wasn’t perfect but we were all very happy.
When I became a mother myself, I didn’t have to question any longer. Scrambled eggs in bed was not enough. She deserved a million dollars, a gold trophy, and an all-inclusive vacation. My mother deserved the world. She cultivated a loving and supportive home. One where we laughed, cried and fought, danced and hugged, and learned. We were clothed, fed, driven to events, supported in school. We were held through exciting moments, and through the low ones too.
Now I am a mother to a two- year- old, and I have one on the way. It has taught me a lot. I learned that I could love another human so deeply that even when my toddler is outside eating dirt by the shovelful, drawing on the walls with marker, or throwing her thirteenth tantrum of the day; I would, without hesitation, move heaven and earth for her. My little one in the womb keeps me up at night with her incessant gymnastics but still makes me smile when I think of her amazing potential for this world.
In our work at the Center on Domestic Violence, we envision a world free of violence. And not just that, but a world where everyone feels safe, valued, loved, and respected. We are not alone in envisioning this world- mothers everywhere want this for their children. I want to thank all of the mothers working to make the world a better place, not just ourselves, but for our children and for all future generations. To all of the moms out there- biological, adoptive, spiritual, joyful, longing, and suffering- you are truly heroes. I honor you and all of the ways that you show up for your children and for the world. Thank you. The world is a better place thanks to your love, courage, and grace.
On Mother’s Day, I reflect on how much gets done on little sleep, random handfuls of food for sustaining meals, few showers, in sickness and in health. This world goes round because of mothers. Because of their courage, fortitude, strength, kindness, gentleness, and tenacity. Mothers give even when there is nothing left to give. They love and support, teach and protect. Motherhood is bringing new life into this world whether by birth or by opening homes and hearts. It’s cheering on at soccer games, hugging through tearful events, late nights of homework, and early morning breakfasts before school. It’s regular scheduled Zoom chats with kids who are out of the house, answering questions about how to be an adult, and perhaps holding grandchildren. It is the best responsibility.
Motherhood is holding and loving our kids through each stage and through all of the tough stuff of the world. And it’s also firmly believing in ourselves and our kids that the world will be better because of them. Happy Mother’s Day.
Rebecca Tiell-Krekeler is a licensed social worker who has worked with survivors of rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, child abuse, and intimate partner violence throughout her career. She currently serves at the END Violence School Specialist at the Center on Domestic Violence.