In honor of this week’s Celebrating Women Wednesdays, I’m focusing on the woman who has given it all to me—my mom, Pam Thomas. Mother’s Day has come and gone this year, but my mom is always a woman worth celebrating.
She is not an inventor, she hasn’t written a life-changing book, and she hasn’t been involved in any huge political changes. More importantly to me, aside from all of those life-altering things, is she has encouraged and supported me in doing anything. She would support me deciding to trade everything in to be a stay-at-home dog parent or becoming a professional windsurfer. She has modeled daily for me, and others, that following your own goals and doing what is best for you will always be the right decision, even if you get pushback.
My house was always the house where people were hanging out when I was in high school. It wasn’t because we were the ‘party house’, it was because my mom made you feel like you belonged there and you were another one of her children. During college, I felt devasted after a relationship ended, she drove four hours to hang out with me in my apartment and she took me shopping to keep my mind off of it. When I moved a time zone away, she volunteered to drive through the middle of nowhere for three days so I wouldn’t have to do it alone.
When I have questions on how to do ‘adult’ things like planting a garden or fixing my annoying swimmer’s ear, she answers the phone and walks me through it without pointing out I could just Google these things on my own. When I was a kid, she started graduate school to become a counselor but had to stop the graduate program when I broke my arm, and simultaneously she experienced a terrible loss of her own.
She’s always made it known that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. She has prioritized giving herself the life she deserves so we know we can do that for ourselves. This past weekend my husband and I were discussing how great it is that I’m inherently good at setting boundaries because my mom could say no to anything she didn’t want to do and she encouraged me to do the same.
I’m 100% positive that becoming a sex therapist was not the career she pictured me doing, but when I decided that was my future career, she offered unconditional support. She asked questions, provided pushback when I needed it, and even would straight up tell me she didn’t understand pieces but she was proud of me for filling a role others couldn’t.
When I was a guest speaker on a podcast for the first time she listened to it even though she was afraid I would “talk about my own sex life”, probably the only topic she wouldn’t love to hear me talk about. She reads all of my articles (hi mom!) and encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, but at the same time will also call me out when I’m the problem and don’t want to look at what is actually going on with me.
She’s not just a good person to me, she is giving of her time to others. She is a special education teacher in a tiny little Texas town and makes it known that anyone is welcome in her classroom at any time, whether you are on the roster or not. She was voted “Easiest To Talk To” this year during Teacher’s Appreciation Week. During this past Christmas, she even invited someone to spend Christmas with us if they were unable to enjoy it with their own family. Motherhood comes naturally to my mom, she treats everyone as if they are her blood-related child. The same can be said regarding animals.
She currently has three dogs, two tortoises, and a cat, which I think is the all-time low of animals for her household. Growing up we had a parrot, fish, and a coatimundi as well as a wide variety of different types of canines. I am a pet person because of her example and I have her to thank for my two dogs. She is has been known for stopping the car in the middle of the road to help turtles cross. As long as you aren’t a snake, my mom will show you love and make sure you are well taken care of.
Many women are amazing. A lot of moms are great. I feel lucky that I have and still have the best model for how to exist as I want in the world, and I can’t imagine how different I would have been without her.
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