Remembering my mom, who taught me so much about motherhood

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My beloved mom passed away 20 years ago this month. Usually, life with her in it feels like forever ago. But this year feels unexpectedly different. The memories feel fresher, more vivid — probably because I’m reminded of my mom on a daily basis now that I have a daughter of my own.

For years after my mom died, I put her on a pedestal of perfection. I blocked out the bad because it was too painful to remember and it felt disrespectful. A few years ago, one of my writing mentors asked: Did your mom ever do anything wrong?

Over time, I began writing and talking about her more authentically and came to accept her for who she was — a loving mother who, like us all, struggled and made mistakes. Unintentionally, Mom taught me to appreciate both the blemishes and beauty in life and to see perfection for what it is — unattainable.

Today I’m celebrating the mother she was and the grandmother she would have been. I know she would have loved Madelyn. 

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

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