22 Women Share the Real Joys of Being a Mom

Yes, with parenthood comes the lack of sleep, vacation, and official sick days. But these honest and inspirational stories about being a mom capture the fantastic benefits that also come with the "job."

Candance Patel-Taylor
Photo: Courtesy of Candance Patel-Taylor
01 of 23

Teaching the Most Important Lessons

TQ-Evans-kids-PrendePants2 (1)
Courtesy of TQ Evans

"While consoling his little brother over a ripped batman costume, I overheard my son say, 'Don't worry, just take it to mom, she can fix anything.' That reminded me of my own childhood—I also believed that my dad 'could fix anything' (admittedly, I still do). Parenthood is the single most important role any human will ever play in the life of another. There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing that by simply living lives that are intentional and authentic, my husband and I are, in many ways, teaching our children valuable lessons in love, empowerment, compassion, and humanity."

—TQ Evans, Richmond, Virginia; Prende Pants

02 of 23

Bonding Over the Little Things

Julia Dennison and Ezzie
Courtesy of Julia Dennison

"It's easy to think of diaper changing as a chore, but I like to give it a positive spin and think of it as a chance to bond with your little one. I love singing silly songs and tickling my daughter's tummy when I'm changing her diaper. You don't get too many opportunities to share eye contact and get in close during the day, especially with a whirling toddler, so if you can distract them, and make it a happy time, then diaper changing is your chance. Add to that a trusted brand like Huggies—I like their Little Movers Diapers—and you can be sure your little one is comfortable, supported, and dry, and you both will be much happier for it."

—Julia Dennison, New York

03 of 23

Experiencing Every Emotion

Vivienne Borne and family
Courtesy of Vivienne Borne

"Nothing else can produce the joy or broken heart that motherhood allows. I couldn't imagine going through life without feeling that spectrum of emotion. There are wonderful days when I feel my cup runneth over. There are days that I want to run away and question every decision I have ever made. Feeling it all, good or bad, gives my life purpose. Motherhood is walking around with all of your nerve endings raw and exposed. It is the most extreme measure of being alive."

—Vivienne Borne, Maryland

04 of 23

Having Fun Together

Courtesy of Dahlia Rizk

"My kids are spread apart in age so we always have a little bit of everything going on! When they were little I struggled to find things that I could do a bazillion times without getting bored. I once secretly threw away all the "cherries" for Hi Ho Cherry-o ("Oh man, all the pieces are missing!"). I love playing games with them now, from escape rooms to board games and puzzles. As they've gotten older it's shifted (in their minds) from me playing with them to them playing with me, but I'll take it! I love that if I ask 'who's in for a game?' they're all there in a heartbeat."

—Dahlia Rizk, New Hampshire; Buckle Me Baby Coats

05 of 23

Watching Kids Be Kids

Sarah Ganjon's kids
Courtesy of Sarah Ganjon

"The pure joy of just watching them be kids and re-living all those first moments when they have discovered how to do things on their own!"

—Sarah Ganjon, Maryland

06 of 23

Mom Confessions: If I Could Spend a Day Without My Kids I Would...

07 of 23

Shaping a Mind

Kelley Williams and daughter
Courtesy of Kelley Williams

"I love being a mom, even with all of its trials and lessons. The ability to help shape a young mind and allow her to blossom as she is ready is miraculous. As an African-American mom, I also have the privilege of teaching my daughter self-love and self-respect at an early age. Giuliana will know from birth how valued she is in our home and that she has a valid place in this world. Literally every choice I make—from the historical museums we visit, like the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, to the nutritious foods I give her and the organic skin care I put on her body—are to give her a great start in life. It's a beautiful thing."

—Kelley, Washington, D.C.; Curasalve

08 of 23

Being Healed by Their Joy

Jen Jackson and family
Courtesy of Jen Jackson

"Their smiles, their giggles, and their pride in new accomplishments! I can have the worst day, come home and listen to my children discuss their days and what they learned, or overhear them giggling playing a game or watching a movie—and poof! All is right in my world!"

—Jen Jackson, Texas

09 of 23

Never-Ending Entertainment

Courtesy of Elena Ledoux

"My favorite thing about being a mom is the cute and funny things kids think about. Like when my older son thought the moon was Mars for some reason. Or, when my 6-year-old said he wants to buy a 'goat truck' after seeing his cousin's Dodge Ram. It's like my personal comedy show every day!"

—Elena Ledoux, Las Vegas; MommyGO

10 of 23

Finding Purpose in My Life

Kath Radigan kids
Courtesy of Kathy Radigan

"I was 33 when I had my first child, so I know I had a life before children. But, I can't remember what it was like! Having my children was such a life-altering experience. I always was looking for the purpose in my life and when I had my children I found it. I love being a mother. I know I am good at it.

That doesn't mean I don't make my share of mistakes. Every day I add money to one of my three children's 'money for therapy for all the things I did to screw you up' account. But I am a better person for knowing my children and I am very honored to be their mother. And I wouldn't trade my best day before kids for my worst day with kids!"

—Kathy Radigan, NY; My Dishwasher's Possessed

11 of 23

Seeing Their Sense of Awe

monicha wimbley
Courtesy of Monicha Wimbley

"There are so many reasons why I love being a mama, but I especially I love the look in their eyes when they discover something new or figure something out that they've been trying to understand for a long time. I love seeing little pieces of myself in them: my propensity to start singing made-up songs randomly, or the way they laugh. I love that I get the privilege of shaping the minds of three beautiful children and providing a wonderful example for them."

—Monicha Wimbley, Tampa, Florida; MonichaWimbley.com

12 of 23

Sharing the Moments

Sara Sleyster and family
Courtesy of Sara Sleyster

"I love being a mom because of the hugs, the giggles, and the grins. When my kids are happy, so am I. They amaze me every day with their new words and discoveries. They have taught me to be more patient, more loving, and much more appreciative of every moment we have together as a family."

—Sara Sleyster, Iowa

13 of 23

Using My Imagination

vivian lee
Courtesy of Vivian Lee

"Because I'm a big kid at heart, I enjoy revisiting the magic of childhood through their experiences. Plus, I have a reason to celebrate make-believe characters like the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny."

—Vivian Lee, San Francisco

14 of 23

Sharing Our Culture

Sonia Smith-Kang and family
Courtesy of Sonia Smith-Kang

"As an Afro-Latina woman married to a Korean dude and mama to four multicultural, multiracial, and multilingual children we call our mini global citizens, one of the best parts of being their mama is passing our rich culture and heritage to them in an intentional way: through familial stories, books, dolls, toys, music, food and fashion."

—Sonia Smith-Kang, Los Angeles; Mixed Up Clothing

15 of 23

Rising to Any Occasion

Lady Ozma kids
Courtesy of Lady Ozma

"Motherhood is knowing joy, even while experiencing the hardest trials of life. I have learned to rise to any occasion and found myself lifted to new heights while stretching myself beyond any and all limits I once put upon myself. With rarely a dull moment, I've experienced more adventure in mothering my sons that ever imaginable. Motherhood gives me an excuse to stay young forever, kicking off my shoes and letting down my hair while enjoying love beyond measure. Motherhood is my life, my joy, my passion, my greatest achievement."

—Jacalyn Stanley (aka Lady Ozma), Northern Virginia; Lady Ozma's Journey

16 of 23

Enjoying the Evolution

Kate Mayer and family
Courtesy of Kate Mayer

"Bedtime is the best part of motherhood. Anyone that says anything different is lying! But also watching kids evolve into empathetic, kind human beings who can think for themselves. Like putting money in the bank, bit by bit. You don't realize progress until far down the road. But so worth it!"

—Kate Mayer, Connecticut

17 of 23

Having a Reason to Carry On

Courtesy of Kimberly D. Huey

"When I wanted to give up because I was a single parent, they pushed me to move ahead. Just waking up and seeing their smiling faces made me want to go another day. Today my children are grown—they are kind, giving, dependable people. And they all love the Lord as I taught them to love and depend on Him."

—Kimberly D. Huey, Dallas (pictured with her three children and three grandchildren)

18 of 23

Feeling Humbled

Renata Trebing and family
Courtesy of Renata Trebing

"For me, the joys of parenthood include: Constantly being humbled—there's nothing like the antics of kids to get you grounded again. After a day of feeling like you aced things at work, your kids remind you that you are just another person they can ask to wipe their butt. Then there's when my kids actually eat and want more of the food I made! (And it's actually healthy and not just chicken nuggets! #momwin). And finally, seeing the individual personalities of each kid shine through. What a gift it is to be able to see them grow."

—Renata Trebing, Houston; Nourish with Renata

19 of 23

Seeing Through Curious Eyes

Katharine Manley holding her baby
Courtesy of Katharine Manley

"My life as a mom is a hectic life that is filled with schedules, diaper changes, feedings, and much more. There are so many things I love about being a mom, but the one that stopped me dead in my tracks was when my 10-month-old son turned to me and said, 'Hi Mama.' Another thing I love is playing on the floor with him and making him laugh so hard that he almost falls over. I love to stop and soak in the world through my son's eyes; just today we were outside feeling and playing with leaves. I love the fact that when my son grows up to be a man, I will have been beside him every step of the way teaching, helping, molding, and loving him. Life is great, but life is even better once you have been blessed to become a mom!"

—Katharine Manley, Alabama

20 of 23

Being a Better Person

Emily Brown
Courtesy of Emily Brown

"What I love about being a mom is that my son has enhanced my life in so many ways. I am a better wife, worker, friend..."

—Emily Brown, California

21 of 23

Staying Young

Tonya Cary's children
Courtesy of Tonya Cary

"I love that at the age of 33 I can fly a kite, blow raspberries, act like Scooby Doo, look forward with childish excitement to the Smurf's comeback, cut in front of lines with a crying baby, sing-along with Elmo while stopped at traffic lights (with the windows down!), go sled riding at the park, decorate sidewalks with chalk, use both men's and women's restrooms, run through public sprinkler systems, eat cake at children's birthday parties, observe ants, play tag, build cities in the sandbox, order a Happy Meal (for myself), and laugh hysterically at Sponge Bob without looking stupid. All of this and so much more because of the two free-spirited, miniature men in my life."

—Tonya Cary, Pennsylvania

22 of 23

Bursting With Mama Love

Sarah Lipoff and her child
Courtesy of Sarah Lipoff

"What I love about being a mom is having the chance to see things all shiny and new through my daughter's eyes. She just turned 2, so everything's all about new words, new sounds, and repeating things that she hears (which isn't always one of the greatest things)! It's the best when you are in the I'm-tired-of-being-a-mama mood and your toddler busts out with something awesome. My wee tot's favorite word right now is 'puppy.' She tosses puppy into every short sentence she uses, like, 'I want water…and puppy, please.' So, the other day, while we were driving, I was blown away when she saw two dogs walking and yelled out, 'Mommy, TWO puppies.' I had to pull over I was bursting with so much mama love!"

—Sarah Lipoff, California; Something Silly

23 of 23

Living in the Moment

Candance Patel-Taylor
Courtesy of Candance Patel-Taylor

"As someone who daydreams and lives in my thoughts, I love being a mom because it forces me to be present and live in the moment with them. This has made me a much happier person."

—Candance Patel-Taylor, Chicago

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