What does it really mean to be a mother?
The meaning of being a mother is virtually endless. A mother is a protector, disciplinarian and a friend. A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of their child(ren). A mother works hard to make sure their child is equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to make it as a competent human being. I think we can all agree that being a mother is perhaps the hardest yet most rewarding job a woman will ever experience.
Anyone who knows me personally, knows I have always admired strong mother-daughter bonds. I was not as fortunate to develop a strong bond with my Mom because she died when I was only 14 years old. Naturally, seeing bonds like Aymee + Aymenys', I am overcome with immense joy. As a mother to a fifteen year old daughter, I can attest that strong mother daughter relationship is not a given.
I have known these ladies for a little over two years but in this short time, I have seen their bond become more and more unbreakable. Aymenys (Manny) mentioned to me a few months ago, on her 20th birthday session to be exact, that she wanted to do a mother-daughter session for Mother's Day. I was instantly inspired to give some insight into their story. They both admit, however, that this relationship wasn't always hugs and kisses, no where near peaches and cream and far from a walk in the park.
I am definitely not a journalist (so bare with me, ha!) but I wanted to conduct an "interview" with these ladies because I believe EVERY mother should be able to develop a very special, everlasting bond with their children regardless of their age. They sent their responses separately.
Aymee was 26 years old when she found out she was pregnant. She was surprised to find out she was already 5months along with little to no pregnancy symptoms at the time. Manny's father was not very active during her early childhood years, although he's been in her life since Junior High and they have a great relationship today. Aymee describes those early years as very difficult. She was left to work extra hard for her beautiful daughter, as a lot of the caring mothers in this world, to give her the best upbringing she deserved.
Teenage years came along with its total-drama-rama-hormone-attitude-filled-growing pains and like most teenage relationships, Manny & Aymee faced their difficulties. They had many disagreements and there were times Manny would be jealous of her Mom's potential "boyfriends". Not because her Mom made her feel like she wouldn't love her anymore but being an only child, her mother was all she had and wanted to protect her Mom as well. Manny now laughs as she thinks of those thoughts and chucks it up to being an "only-child syndrome". Thankfully, they worked through that and more! Aymee admits that now they have a more mature relationship and they can talk about any and everything- even those conversations that made them uncomfortable years back.
With social media continuously on the rise these days, showing all the lovely 'fun' times and seemingly perfect family lives 24/7, I just had to ask -- Are you really as close in real life as we see on social media? To which Manny responded: "We are as close as you see on social media. In real life, wherever you see one, you see the other. One word to describe our mother daughter relationship is inseparable."
I asked them what are some things they would change about each other and I was not surprised at their response. Aymee has accepted that everything happens for a reason and although she is not perfect, she does not take any of these life lessons for granted. Manny stated: "I wouldn’t want to change anything about my Mommy. When I was younger, I would always say she’s my shadow, because she wouldn't leave me out of her sight, but as I grew older, I understood why she was my “shadow!”. I appreciate her because she’s the reason I am the woman I am today!"
What are some advice you can give other Mother/Daughter relationship that have difficulties getting along?
Manny: From past experience, one advice I would give other Mother/Daughter relationship that have difficulties getting along is always be open and honest with your mother. Your mother will always have your back. She is your only true friend.
Aymee: Be open-minded, non-judgemental, trust each other and pray for patience and strength. As much as we try to be the best mothers in the world, we won't ever be perfect. Accept your flaws and pray for guidance.
I truly enjoyed capturing these unforgettable Mother-Daughter images for Aymee and Aymenys. We truly had a blast! I could see their love, respect and adoration for each other. Their bond and contagious laughter had me reflecting on my own relationship with my Mother and how I can improve my current relationship with my daughter as well.
The scriptures teaches us to honor our fathers and our mothers as this holds a great promise for a BLESSED and abundant life. It is vital that in this very first relationship of our lives, we honor the love and gift that is that bond but also as relationships grow and change, we continue to nurture it for generations to come.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY AYMEE!