Another Mother: Maria

This time of year can be as challenging as it is joyful depending on your experience with motherhood. We believe that you don’t have to have kids to be a mom. From the moms taking care of animals, to the plant moms who find comfort in their green thumb, to the moms at your job encouraging you to stay hydrated and stand your ground, and to the mothers raising children who aren’t biologically theirs— Mother’s Day is about all of these people, too. 

All of these journeys have a story. We feel, deeply, that each story deserves to be told. In honor of this celebration, we rounded up some of the dopest moms we know to share what motherhood has been like for them. We’ll be sharing stories from each of them over the next two weeks. 

We launch this kickass series today with Maria Balderas.

How did you become a mother?

My older brother and his girlfriend welcomed their baby when I was 16 years old. At the hospital, they decided they could not be parents and upon being discharged, they left the brand new baby boy with my mother and I to care for. I raised my nephew from that day forward. I was a teen mom overnight and I wouldn't have it any other way. He is my purpose, the reason why I better myself, and work hard to break generational curses. I've grown with him and I will always be so grateful for his life and the lessons and love and light he's brought to mine. He will be 15 this summer. He is taller than me. His heart is so big. He has my sarcasm. He is my forever baby Cres.

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

My favorite thing about being a mom is letting my baby be exactly who he is. As a Latina woman, I grew up in a box, with so many limitations and rules. I guess it is selfish but my favorite thing about being a mom is being the mom I didn't have. It heals my inner child when I don't hold him to wild expectations or put my unfulfilled dreams on him. My favorite thing is our honest conversations and knowing he trusts me.

Who are the mother figures in your life? 

For a long time I looked to one of my high school teachers and then an older coworker to help fill the mother role in my life. Ms. Eiland was my high school teacher who took me under her wing. She was such a strong force and I was always in awe of her and her accomplishments. She even gave me the shoes that she wore on her wedding day. My coworker Esther was sweet, gentle, and kind. She always saw the best in me and I remember going into her office to talk all the time. I felt heard, validated, and supported. In short, my mother figure has always been my community. 

Maria was the inspiration for this year’s Boho Mama Mother’s Day Arrangement. Maria is selfless and cares for everyone in her life, opening her arms out wide to give love to everyone who needs it. Does she remind you of the mother figure in your life? Check out this earthy arrangement here.