That’s Dara Mathias, a freelance writer and mother of three, who gave her son a hug at school before leaving him, and that triggered a response amongst some of his peers. Unexpectedly, Dara become the Hugging Mom, and when she shared the story behind her new role, on Twitter, the responses from across the States and further around the globe, once more shocked her. The positivity is overflowing as some people confess that the cute story made them teary-eyed.
I hope they always have adults in their community who they can trust
So how DID Dara become the Hugging Mom?
Here’s her tweet:
“Every day when I drop my son off at preschool, I give him a hug and wish him a good day. I tell him I love him while he runs off to play with his friends. Last week, after I hugged my son, something different happened.
“His friend Chase appeared behind him. Chase leaned right in and hugged me, too! Oh, this is what we doing? Bet. I hugged Chase, absentmindedly rubbing the back of his head like I do my own son’s. I wished him a good day and went on about mine.
“The next morning, after I hugged my son goodbye, his teacher caught my attention. “Um, can Keith give you a hug, too? He wants to hug you.” Keith was watching me from across the room, shyly hanging out near the teacher’s side.
“I walked over to him with my arms open. Aw, come here, baby. I got you. Keith and I wrapped our arms around each other and I wished him a good day.
“And every day since then, Keith has come looking to get his hug, and it belongs to him anytime he wants one.
“My cupcakes might come from Giant but my hugs are home grown. I’m the Hugging Mom. The Love on Everybody’s Babies Cause They’re Mine, Too, Mom. All the babies can get it. I love it here.”
Moved by this story and with today being Parenting/Family Monday on Loop News, Loop Lifestyle reached out to Dara.
My parenting style is likely a mix of conscious and gentle parenting
Dara is a 40-year-old mother of three. Asked how she felt when she first observed the impact of her hug, she said, “It warms my heart that the children in my son’s class took notice of our hugging ritual and found me safe enough to seek affection from me.
“I hope they always have adults in their community who they can trust to provide another place where they feel loved.”
Her original tweet garnered over 168,000 likes and each tweet in the thread has over 50,000 likes in one day on Twitter. Asked what she hopes people learn from the story, she replied, “If there is any takeaway from this even adults can learn, it’s that hugs are healing to everyone who needs them, especially children of all ages.”
Of course, now that her son is sharing her with his friends, we asked how he feels. With a smile, she shared, “My four-year-old is so busy playing with his friends that he hasn’t noticed my new role. But I like to think that, because he has his fill of hugs, he is more than happy to share his mother’s embrace with his classmates. He’s a very generous kid.”
Dara who grew up in Florida surrounded by many members of the Caribbean diaspora, may not have Caribbean heritage but her writing can be found in print in Bitch Magazine and Caribbean Without Borders: Literature, Language and Culture. She is also a former staff writer at Romper.com and her bylines have also appeared online in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Week, Zora Magazine, Tenderly, Bitch Media, Playboy, and other outlets. Dara is also an avid Mario Kart player with her family.
How I became the Hugging Mom 🧵:
Every day when I drop my son off at preschool, I give him a hug and wish him a good day. I tell him I love him while he runs off to play with his friends. Last week, after I hugged my son, something different happened.
— dara mathis (@TrulyTafakari) November 12, 2022
Loop asked Dara about her parenting style in general since she demonstrated that she is a mom by nature and nurture, and she explained, “My parenting style is likely a mix of conscious and gentle parenting; I am invested in seeing children as whole human beings with agency, who flourish with guidance and love.”
Dara’s other two children are ages 10 and 6.
And now the most unexpected response of all which has Dara “bowled over” is the call by many of the readers for her to write a book about the Hugging Mom.
One such quote tweet said, “Write this book, Sis. Be blessed with a coin by the blessings you are bestowing. Don’t leave out the store bought cupcakes either. That’s important for the moms who have more love than time (or talent).”