The beauty and ubiquitous meaning of the word ‘mama’

By Gaby Smith, NOLA Catholic Parenting

I was setting up a booth at my son’s school fair. It was a beautiful day, and I was happy to have the time to volunteer at his school in the first place. Some days it can be challenging to juggle a full work day and school volunteering.

That day, my schedule worked out. As I was done setting up, I heard the beautiful word “Mama!” behind me. It was my son running toward me with a huge smile on his face. He was so excited I was there. My heart leaped as I gave him the biggest hug.

These are the reasons why I try to make it to school activities. I know it makes him happy to see me there. The rest of the day had me pondering on the beautiful word  “Mama.”

Another NOLA Catholic Parenting author wrote about the word “Mom” in her home. It inspired me to just reiterate the warmth of this word. I hear this word daily in our home.

When my son needs help, the word “Mama” is said. When he’s excited, the word “Mama” is said. When he’s nervous to tell me something, the word “Mama” is uttered. The word is so comforting to me know that I’m his mama and how fortunate I am to have that title.

Seasoned parents tell me all the time to “take it all in” when it comes to my child. Their advice to treasure each moment when he’s little resonates so well with me. I try to take in every moment possible, especially at the age where he counts on me every step of the way, hugs me all the time and relies on me 24/7.

Being a mother is such a beautiful thing. I love every moment of it, even the tough, sticky parts.

Gaby Smith was born and raised in Baton Rouge, has always loved Tiger football and great food. Her work with Catholic Community Radio brought her to New Orleans, where she manages the radio station. She strives to bring Catholic content and the Gospel through the airwaves at work as an avid promoter of solid Catholic media. “God has shown me the beauty in everyday life and trials,” she says. Please send comments to Visit our three-times-a-week blog and new podcast every other week at

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