Life Lessons from Famous Chicago Moms

To be honest, I wish Mother's Day happened every day of the year so that it would be more socially acceptable to discuss the love and admiration I feel for my mom without people thinking I'm nuts.

Lowering your guard to admit your mom is your hero and the reason you did something with your life is deeply personable and sometimes people don't understand.

It took a little time, but with the help of Chicago's name, I began to see it is perfectly acceptable to gush about your mom the other 364 days of the year.

Pop culture has taught me it's ok...

1. If your biggest motivation is to create something for your mom

Kanye West's 'Hey Mama' is a ballad dedicated to the life he shared with his mama. The sacrifices and joys he found in her love are eerily similar to my own situation that my mom asked if a friend of mine composed it for her (lololololz).

Seriously though, it's a beautiful song that tears at your heart because it's a glimpse at the joy and admiration he felt for his mom, weighted with sadness knowing she's gone.

You work late nights just to keep on the lights
Mommy got me training wheels so I could keep on my bike
And you would give anything in this world
Michael Jackson leather and a glove, but didn't give me a curl
And you never put no man over me
And I love you for that mommy cant you see?

Sure Tupac did it first (Dear Mama), but he's not from Chicago.

2. If you get choked up talking about your mom

Derrick Rose has never seemed at ease in the spotlight talking about himself. The Bulls star forward moved forward with his 2011 MVP Speech the same way he did most interviews, uncomfortable and monotone - until he starts speaking about his mom.

He thanks her for the role he's played and though his voice catches and his eyes water, he continues on focusing steady on her and in that moment you can feel the strength of their connection.

3. If your mom is a man

Dwyane Wade - Wade's World Weekend

Maybe it's because you have gay parents or you're from a single-parent home, either way, a mom is a mom as Dwyane Wade proves.

The South side native is currently raising two sons and a nephew, acting as both mom and dad for his young children (he has a girlfriend and for the purposes of this post we'll assume she's not 'mom'). He experienced a similar fate and was raised by his father, who DWade credits for instilling the principles and discipline for his successful basketball career.

4. If you believe in the spiritual world

After the unexpected death of her mother, Jennifer Hudson sat down with Oprah to discuss the legacy her mom left behind. J.Hud calmly and somewhat happily explains she still feels her mother around her.

As a Mexican raised to acknowledge the dead and superstitions I can completely relate to what J.Hud is saying. However, I also have a lot of less spiritual friends who laugh in my face when I discuss some of my beliefs. I think it's pretty important for someone to have faith and conviction in what their saying, without feeling embarrassed or ashamed of that.

5. If your mom is a bigger badass than you

Photograph by Diana Walker for TIME

Photograph by Diana Walker for TIME

My mom has kicked my ass in long distance races even though she's 28 years older than me. I get you Chelsea.

6. If it takes you awhile to realize your mom is a lot stronger and powerful then you think


Sasha and Malia are probably old enough to understand their lives are out of the ordinary, but like most things in life, hindsight is 20/20.

They probably won't grasp the complexity and unique position of power their family is in until they are much older, looking back. And it won't be until after they're done caring what their friends think or being embarrassed by them that they'll acknowledge the strength and poise it took for their mom to raise them in a glaring spotlight.

There will be hurdles, but if they continue to guide their decisions based on what will make their mom proud, they'll be ok. Just like everyone else.

Ps after this post, I'm convinced Chicago produces the most badass/best moms.


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  • Chicago produces some great women. I feel bad that my mom and wife aren't originally from here now ;-).

  • In reply to Matthew Askren:

    Haha, don't! I'm sure they're great women :)

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