I am not my children’s only mother. These “other mothers” are some of the biggest blessings of my life. In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I wanted to raise up a few of them in gratitude for how they’ve helped my children.

THE BETTER MOTHER
Do you have a friend that your child just behaves better around? My first mother’s day wish is for my friend Kristen. We are “the better mother” for each other’s kiddos. I have accepted that my oldest is a kinder, more tolerant big sister to Kristen’s little ones than she is to her own little brother. Kristen has accepted that her daughter will go to tumbling without a fit if I am at the wheel. I’m grateful for the mothers who bring out the better sides of my kids, because I love seeing those sides (even if they’re not meant for me).

THE TEACHER MOTHER
What about the teacher who knows exactly when to hold my kid accountable for mistakes, and also exactly when to hold them in a great big hug? My second mother’s day wish is for my son’s Kindergarten teacher, Judy. She has 4 grown children and has taught kindergarten for ages. There is nothing my 5-year-old can throw at her that she hasn’t dealt with umpteen times before. She has mothered my kid into being a more focused, more cooperative, and more creative student. And when asked what he likes best about school, he says “My teacher loves me, and I love her.”

THE BIRTH MOTHER
I am an adoptive mama. At a younger-than-expected age my child grasped that somewhere out in this great, big world he has another mother who loves him just as deeply as I do. This Mother’s Day wish goes out to Aster, who gave my son his beautiful eyes and wide smile. I hope you know that he is out in the same great, big world loving you right back. And, so am I.

THE COACH MOTHER
My daughter has officially gone deep into her sport of choice. It was a sport I used to think I knew stuff about, but my daughter has now officially gone beyond my experience. I used to walk into her lessons thinking I would teach her something, and now I learn from her. My last mother’s day wish of this post goes to Marybeth and Cathy. As her coaches, they are helping her grow as an athlete with an abundance of guidance, warmth and discipline. You ladies get to challenge my girl in ways that I can’t. Thank you for guiding her beyond my abilities.

For all of the mothers out there whose smiles, words of encouragement, hugs, cheers, emergency diapers, patient explanations and extra snacks have made my children grow into open-hearted little people. They see mothers who love them every where they go. That makes me one grateful mother. I’m glad we’re in this together.

Who are the “other mothers” in your children’s world? Share this with them as a way of telling them you notice the love they give your little people.