CFR’s Fall 2023 Professional Development Workshops for mental health professionals looking to earn CEs are now open for registration. To learn more and register, click here.

An Open Letter From One Mother to Another

May 9, 2015

Dear Mother,

I want to wish you a happy day.  No I’m not your child but I am so grateful for you and all that you do.  You see, I too am a mother.  I am a mother just like you.  But, what I want you to know is that I could not have done it without YOU!

This is why.  When I became a mother I was lucky enough to have a mother of my own to ask questions of and to share my joy with.  She taught me everything she knew and spent countless hours reassuring me, coaching me and comforting me.  She knew I could do it just like she had.  The lessons I learned from my mother were priceless.  I still remember how she taught me to comfort and soothe that first baby by laying him over my lap on his tummy and ‘punking him’ by gently patting his behind.  She told me that was what her mother taught her.  It worked.  So whenever my baby was colicky or fussy, I would ‘punk the baby’ as mothers before me had.

When I lost my mother I had you.  And when I say I couldn’t have done it without you, I mean it!  You were the first place I went when the story I heard from my son didn’t sound quite right.  You straightened me out by giving me the WHOLE story, not just the censored kid version.  You were the person I sought out when I had a miscarriage because I knew you would know my pain and my loss.  You were the person who reassured me that you were NOT showing the R rated movies to your son and mine as my son would have had me believe.

We shared so much together.  The happy times, the stressors, the pain, the disappointment and the frustration.  You were there when we had pizza on the green — the Friday night pizza and wine out on the grass in front of our houses while the kids tore around the cul-de-sac riding bikes and playing ball.  What we shared and learned from those times was immeasurable wisdom.  We were not afraid to admit our failures or our insecurities. 

We consulted with one another about how to handle poor grades, challenging behaviors, and middle school when we no longer knew the families of the kids our children were hanging out with.  We shared bedtimes, discipline, rules and limitations.  We shared in each others joy when there were proms, first dates, Bar Mitzvas, birthdays and graduations.  We commiserated and spelled each other when there were chicken pox, long work days and lost keys.  We scolded each other’s children when we knew that the other would not permit certain behaviors, and we didn’t worry that each other would be hurt or disappointed in what we had done because we knew each other that well.

So, Happy Mother’s Day to you my fellow mother.  You mean the world to me.  You helped raise my son and I yours.  When your son called me recently to invite me to your 60th birthday party, I beamed with pride that the little boy of yours, now grown into a man, was like a son to me.  I was so proud that he thought to call me as he knew we are so important in one another’s lives.

With all the love and gratitude in the world, yours so very truly, your mother-in-fellowship!