The Sisterhood of Mothers

sisterhood of mothers

We come in all shapes and sizes, all manner of opinion, tradition, and circumstance. We are not born mothers, regardless of what our children may think, though some of us are clearly better at it than others.

Our knowledge does not arrive in a neat little box with a satin bow. We learn by watching others, through sheer will, strength and adversity. We are on the front lines. Some of us hover, some parent from afar. No matter what our style, we are questioned, challenged, revered, reviled. And, fortunately, loved — though never quite as much as we love.

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We are mothers.

We are single, married, divorced, gay, straight. We are perfect; we are imperfect; we are tough; we are soft; we keep therapists in business. We are doctors without licenses perpetually on call to remedy ills and fix broken hearts.

We are cheering squads, disciplinarians, realists, dreamers, playmates, chefs, and detectives. We are students of life, professors of whatever the day brings.

Whether we work at home or in an office, our job description is long and our days are too short. Whether we have money to burn or none to spare, our salary is the same. It won’t buy what’s in any store, but it can make us feel richer just the same.

We are mothers.

Most of us do it for love, a few for glory, some just do it. All of us have the power to change lives.

We are nearly 90 million strong and sisters at heart. Still, sometimes we are each other’s toughest critics, and forget we have one another to fall back on — we are our own best source of inspiration, courage, advice and kindness.

We are mothers.

When the earliest memories of our children begin to fade — memories of their first steps, first words, first day of school — we work to keep them alive. We make scrapbooks, take photos, carry images in our hearts.

We are mothers.

There are those of us who believe that mistakes cannot be guarded against, that the old ways are the best. Others say history is to be learned from but should not be repeated — that the future must be written anew.

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One day soon, when some of us least expect it, the future will arrive. Our kids will be grown and we’ll move on with our lives separate from theirs. And when it does, and we are in the company of women friends both old and new, we’ll be reminded not of our differences, but of the single most important way we are the same.

We are mothers.

About the writer


Melissa T. Shultz is a writer, and an editor with Jim Donovan Literary. Her essays and articles have run in publications such as The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, Reader’s Digest, The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal,, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Club Mid,, and The Los Angeles Times as well as CNN Radio. She was previously director of creative services for Food Marketing Institute in Washington, D.C. Her first book will be published by Sourcebooks in 2016. Follow her on Twitter and her blog, Sisterhood of


Social Lady 3 years ago

This was a touching post. I can relate…my kids are 19 and 13 and the days go by so fast. I remember being told by my grandmother that children grow up before you know it, and when they were up all night and I never got any sleep I didn’t believe her. I do now. I’d love to go back and revist those days. They were gone in the blink of an eye. Lovely post.

Momchalant 3 years ago

B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. Seriously all I know to say. I am sharing this on my facebook page. So so SO beautiful.

Marta 3 years ago

Absolutely stunning. And true to the core. Loved it.

Catherine 3 years ago

Lovely – but only 90 million? With 7 billion people in the world, and over half of them women, we’ve got to be good for at least 2 or 3 billion, wouldn’t you say? And everyone who ISN’T a mother still HAS a mother. We’re here to stay! :-)

Pea Kay 3 years ago

Yes, yes!

Charity 3 years ago

This post ROCKS!! Thank you for sharing.

Lynn from For Love or Funny 3 years ago

So true. Motherhood unites us all.

Leslie @ early signs of labor 3 years ago

wow, now I can’t breath because my nose is stuffy from crying. This read should carry me through the rest of the week I think. Thanks so much.

Carolina 3 years ago

This is so wonderful that it has me in tears. Thank you very much!

Melissa T. Shultz 3 years ago

Dear Sisterhood of Mothers — thanks so much for sharing this piece with friends and family and for all your great comments!

Gigi 3 years ago

This is the best thing I’ve seen online lately! Absolutely loved it.

    Melissa T. Shultz 3 years ago

    Hi Gigi,

    Reading your comment was better than eating chocolate and I don’t say that often. Thank you!

      Gigi 3 years ago

      You are so welcome! I wouldn’t have typed it if it weren’t true. Am off to stalk….er, find other things you’ve written now.

Jessica Smock 3 years ago

It’s rare to come across a post that every mom — rich, poor, old, young — can relate to. Motherhood brings a connection that cuts across so many experiences. Thanks for this….

Hana 3 years ago

We are mothers and we are doing the best we can.

grownandflown 3 years ago

Lovely, Melissa. As you have written in your last paragraph, and now that our kids are almost grown, we agree with you about treasuring our friends who are also moms. Not only old and new but also IRL and online.

RA 3 years ago

Wonderful post! I love it! We are all different yet the same, we are mothers. :)

Dani 3 years ago

great post!

jasbeeray 3 years ago

Loved it and am spreading to a whole new continent. Loved the “we are not doctors but do all we can” 😉
Thank you for sharing.

Tiffany 3 years ago

Love this! So true. We are all just trying to do the best we can, with what we have.

Debbie 3 years ago

Yes, we are mother and we do learn from each other. Lovely post Melissa.

We learn from history, if it is good we can use it again, if it needs improved we can improve it. We are mothers and it all comes down to Love for our children.
We do things out of love for them, we do things for them because of love. The hardest is to watch them make there own mistakes, but you can always count on a mother to be there if her child falls. She will pick them up again and again if she has too, because we are mothers feeled with love.

Anita @ Losing Austin 3 years ago

So poignant and so true. We are mothers.

Alison 3 years ago

Love this, so very much.

Kat 3 years ago

What a beautiful post! Although we all have our ways of getting through life, we are all the same because we are all mothers doing what we believe is best for our families. Unfortunately, we forget that sometimes…..


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