Motherhood can be such a great equalizer. We spend a lot of years thinking we know more than our moms and arguing against them. In our teen angst we feel like they just doesn’t want us to live! Then one day we become mother’s ourselves and we understand. For the first time we get it. We get all the pain and upset they felt when we rejected them and when we questioned them. Then we feel all the same insecurities they felt felt.
Personally, I did not understand the sacrifices my mother made until I became a mother myself. The many times she went without new things for herself so that I didn’t have to go without. The amount of worry that filled her day, now fills my day. I never knew how much she second guessed her choices until I’ve had to make the same choices myself. It wasn’t until we stood on equal footing as mothers that I began to truly understand how difficult it was for her to watch her children grow up and away from her.
Mother’s Day is this weekend and I hope you take a moment to tell your mom how much you appreciate her. Don’t wait for a sappy card to say it all for you. Take the time to reflect on what she has given you. And if you don’t have a good relationship with your mom, you can still send respect from a safe distance. There aren’t a lot of perks to this mom gig. But the most coveted award for any mom is hearing their child say, “I appreciate what you’ve been through.” If you are still having a hard time finding just the right words I’ve enlisted six of my friends to share how motherhood has helped them appreciate their moms even more.
I never understood the amount of fear mother’s carry until the moment my first born was placed in my arms. Now I know why my mom was so “annoying” always telling me to “be careful!” Or why she expected to know I made it someplace safely. She still hasn’t settled into my career choice to be a police after 13 years. I understand more why my mother was so upset when my sister and I fought. I fell in love with each of my children on the day they were born, but never more than when I watched them fall in love with each other. And I don’t ever want them to stop. The fears that have been ticking inside of her now tick inside of me. Knowing that time is fleeting I feel moments are gone against my will and I will miss every cherished memory. I used to cringe every time she asked us about grandchildren. Now I get it. It’s that elusive wish we all have to go back in time and do it all again. She was gifted that with grandchildren. I know now that someday I’ll wish for the same. -Missy Seyfarth about her mom Tina.
My mother’s greatest gift has been to remind me that I have what it takes to be a good mother. I remember calling her and asking her advice, and she would often say in the first few weeks, “Well, dear, it sounds like this is really challenging. It’s been so long since I’ve cared for a newborn, so I want you to take a deep breath, find your calm, and call the pediatrician or nurse line. Meanwhile please know that you can handle this, and I say this with full confidence.” My mom said these things even knowing I was struggling with postpartum depression; she affirmed that no mental health challenge would remove my motherhood, my instincts and my wherewithal to handle tough situations. I carry this gift from my mother and hope to give it to my own daughter someday. What a wonderful mother to have—a mother who reminds me every time I doubt myself that I have what it takes to make it through. -Molly Wright Starkweather about her mom Deb.
For the life of me I can’t figure out how my mom kept her cool so well when I was young, and it inspires me as a mom now. There were five of us kids and she worked full time, yet I remember her as patient, calm, confident and always steady. I’m so grateful for that example and now I can fully appreciate the strength it must have taken her! It is a blessing to be able to call on her for wisdom during tough times on this motherhood journey. –Sarah Coppola about her mom Jeri.
My mom and I have always been close, but my appreciation for her changed once I became a mom. Now that I am a mom to two beautiful girls ages 8 and 2, I have a better understanding of the emotional roller coaster moms live on. You may not intend to get on the ride, but it is impossible to not take things so personal and worry. I know the worry will grow bigger as my children grow. A mother’s love is never ending and neither is the worry. Thank you Mom for all your love and I’m sorry for all of the sleepless nights I have given you! –Somer Mayer about her mom Pam.
My mother was 19 and 20 years old when she had my sister and me. A few years later she became a single mom. My childhood was very unpredictable and hard at times. For many years, I had a lot of anger and resentment towards her. We have always been very close, but I felt very irritable and impatient and easily triggered around her. When I became a mom myself I was able to soften and fully appreciate her. Motherhood almost broke me the first few years of with my two boys born only 15 months apart. It was my mom who saved me. She is so much more patient and fun with my boys than I am. And she cleans my kitchen each visit without me asking and has listened to me sobbing in despair many times. Motherhood has humbled me and I mostly only feel gratitude when I am with my mother these days. -Heather Bunch about her mom Diane.
Amilyen az anya, olyan a lánya –loosely translated from Hungarian it means like mother like daughter. My mother was with me when I had those words tattooed on my arm. Many of us cringe when we hear the cliché phrase that “all women turn into their mothers.” We somehow view it as a curse and try to fight it. Once I became a mom I started to embrace the characteristics that make me in awe of my mother. Like a lightbulb turning on, I see it now. There are days I don’t know how I could do it without her. She knows what I need even before I do; call it motherly intuition. Whether it’s picking up the kids from school, helping with dishes or a quick stop at the store, these small things add up. There’s nothing I can say or do that will ever be a good enough “thank you.” But thank you mom, for protecting me, supporting me, listening to me, advising me, sympathizing with me, and allowing me to grow into the woman I am today. -Gizella Diverne about her mom Gizella.
Feel free to use the comment section below to give a shout out to your mom. What do you appreciate about her the most? Feel free to share with her so she can read your gratitude!
The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.