By: Antonio Stephens, Wellness Coach and Podcast Host
As Mother's Day approaches, it's a time to reflect on the love, sacrifices, and dedication that mothers give to their children.
Growing up as a first-generation immigrant in the United States, I witnessed firsthand the incredible sacrifices that my mother and other immigrant mothers make for their families every day. From learning new languages to adapting to new cultures, these mothers face countless challenges while trying to provide their children with the best opportunities possible.
Despite these challenges, immigrant mothers are often the glue that holds their families together. They instill important values, traditions, and cultural practices in their children helping them navigate their environments' complexities. They teach their children the importance of hard work, resilience, and determination, and they (and all mothers at that) always put their children's needs before their own – I know my mother and the village of strong women I grew up with did.
My mother (and grandmother and her sister) always found ways to make our time together special. Some of my favorite memories with them were the time we spent in the kitchen. Cooking was more than just a way to nourish our bodies – it was a way for us to connect, to share stories, and to bond over our shared experiences.
As we cooked, they would share stories of their childhood, of growing up in a small village/town in Jamaica. They talked about the traditions, the food, and the people who shaped them into the women they are today. In turn, I would survey their experiences against my own in the US, navigating two cultures and identities.
Through our conversations, we learned from each other, shared our hopes and dreams, and built a deep sense of understanding and unspoken love. Our time in the kitchen was a reminder that, despite our differences, we shared a common bond – the bond of mother (grandmother, sister) and child.
This Mother's Day, let's take a moment to honor the sacrifices of all mothers and celebrate their resilience, strength, and unwavering love. Whether it's through cooking, storytelling, or simply spending time together, let's cherish the moments that we have with our mothers and show them how much we appreciate all that they do for us.
Thank you and speak again soon.