How has having a mother enriched my life?
I was lucky enough to have a Mom who stayed at home with me. This made a huge difference. Having taught school for five years I could almost always figure out which kids had at least one involved parent within the first week. My mom was very involved. She always knew where I was as a kid but I never felt like I didn't have freedom and choices. The feeling, even as a kid, that my opinion mattered and that I had options was key for me. I think a different parenting style could have made me a much more rebellious person (knowing myself better now than I once did).
I know my family was far from wealthy when I was kid, but I didn't realize that. My mom gave me more than enough support and attention to make up for any money that we didn't have. I remember doing art and playing outside and going to parks and on bike rides.
As I got older I remember her being there when I got home every day ready to listen as I talked about my day. This was consistent and she asked me questions and was involved. She knew my friend's names and what classes I liked and didn't like. She welcomed my friends into the house and fed them and was always willing to have guests for dinner. She once made me a deal that if I was ever in a situation where I was uncomfortable (like my friends wanting to do something that I didn't want to do) that I could invite them over to my house for ice cream instead and that she would go buy ice cream for us no questions asked.
When I was an adult and started college she let me come home whenever I wanted and often drove me back up to the dorms Sunday night crying. She drove up and rescued me on more than one occasion as well. She let me go but at the rate that I needed. She let me set my separation pace and has always been there to help and take care of me.
I am a mom now and she still does these things. She showers my baby with love and has more than once come to my house to watch him while I have a nap. She was there with me when he was born and when he had surgery (both times). She still feeds us regularly. She participates daily in our lives and we are enriched by having her around.
This is short and has said nothing of the lunches she made me (all the way until I got married) or the skills that she taught me (organization, cooking, cleaning etc.) or the example in the gospel she has set for me my whole life or the selfless service that I am trying to emulate. . .
My point is, my mother's influence in my life has been key to me being the person I am and still points me towards the person I would like to be. I am eternally grateful that I have the mother that I have. My life has been far more than enriched by her.