Every Day Should Be Mother’s Day

It’s hard to express how becoming a mom changes you. Unless you have kids.

Then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

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Kaimana knows how to make Mommy happy PHOTOS FROM TANNYA JOAQUIN

Pre-kids, it’s all about you — your goals, your career, watching what you want to watch on TV, doing what you want to do, spending money on what you want to spend it on. In my case, usually on some overpriced designer bags or shoes that I didn’t need.

In a nutshell, you’re focused on doing what you think will make you happy.

You don’t know any better and, to be honest, you don’t care to. You’re too focused on your own wants.

Even when moms who used to be just like you give you a knowing look and say, “You’ll understand someday … when you have kids.”

I remember hearing that from a working mom more than a decade ago and brushing it aside. I was naive. How could I know how profoundly motherhood would change me until I experienced it for myself?

Your world no longer revolves around you. It revolves around your children. You’re responsible for raising them, shepherding them and giving them the tools they need to succeed in life.

No pressure, right?

At least you can count on comic relief as you stumble and fumble along the way. Your kids crack you up by the things they do and say. Their uncensored candor, observations and questions rival the hilarious comics you used to watch. You know, before you had kids. When it was OK to get a break by catching a comedy that includes (gasp) adult humor.

But that’s a minor “sacrifice” compared to the joy kids bring.

Not that being a mom is always a joyride. We all have those moments when our kids test us. Sometimes we pass. Other times, well, we should give ourselves a pass. You know, because we mothers are our own worst critics.

Motherhood means love like you have never known and an appreciation for your own mom. It means everything your children feel, you feel magnified. The good and the bad. Like when they’re sick. You see them hurting and you can’t fix it with a simple kiss.

I get it now and I wouldn’t change it. My loving son Kaimana and hilarious daughter Hana make my day every day, not just Mother’s Day. Kaimana likes to say he “will love me for 1 million years,” which in kid speak is an eternity. Hana wanted to one-up her big brother. She said “I will love Mommy for … 1,000 years.”

Didn’t have the heart to tell her 1 million is more. My heart is full. They tell me I’m the best mommy in the world and that they “wouldn’t trade you for candies.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you selfless moms who put everyone else first. It’s worth saying more than once a year that you’re loved and appreciated.

Of course, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

tjoaquin@hawaiinewsnow.com