I am so grateful for my mom.
The house that I grew up in wasn't one of those typical Mormon homes. To start out with, my parents weren't active members.
My mom was a convert. She married my dad, whose family is very active and strict. But he wasn't. He was an alcoholic and drug addict. He would only go to church occasionally. When I was in grade school, he went and was active so that he could baptize me and my siblings. I found out just recently that he was still using drugs at that time to help him "cope" with life.
My mom was the stable one for us kids. I didn't find out until junior high that he was using drugs. We had just had a lesson at a mutual activity that talked about drugs. What they looked like, what they did, and ways to say no. Then a few days later my mom called me from work (it was summer and I babysat for her that year) and asked me if I would put away some "medicine" out of the window sill and hide it from the little kids. It wasn't medicine. It was cocaine. I recognized the container.
My dad was also emotionally and physically abusive towards us. My mom would intervene as much as she could. She would also make life fun for us. We had a fun way of doing chores. She would have us hunt for chores. At Easter this was an egg hunt with chores inside. She taught me to sew by making clothes for my dolls. I was 10 or younger at the time. She also taught me to have pride in what we had.
I remember once when we were not doing well financially. I had the assignment in school to organize my clothes and draw a picture of my drawers when I was done. Well, we didn't have a dresser at the time, so I crossed the word drawer out on the worksheet and wrote box (as my clothes were in cardboard boxes). My mom sat me down and let me know that this was unacceptable. Yes, we didn't have a dresser, but we did have clothes and we kept them clean and tidy. We could be proud of the fact that we were doing this well. From that time on I didn't dwell on what we didn't have that others did, but rather on what others didn't have, that we did. It was a great lesson for me.
Then when she went through a divorce, she wouldn't let us bad mouth my father, no matter what we heard, saw, or learned. He was our dad, and we needed to treat him kindly and with respect. When I went through my own divorce, I made sure that my kids did the same thing, and I don't speak of things that are negative about their father in front of them.
I am thankful for my mom, and for all moms. For all they do, and for what I have learned watching them.