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.
This is beautiful!
I totally agree. I had no idea about everything that my mom did for us or went through until I was a mom myself.
It all just kind of hits at once! Hope you have a great Mother’s Day!
I love this! Thank you for the beautiful reminder of how much our moms do for us, even as grown up mommas ourselves. I am so thankful for my mom and the way she has loved me so well!
Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mama!!
I no longer have my mom as she passed away last year but each of these women are so right. I never realized all the sacrifices she made and I couldn’t wait to grow up and be on my own, but now that she’s gone I wish I could have her back. Don’t wait until Mother’s Day to tell your mom you love her, tell her that every day!
Amanda I am so very sorry for your loss. I have so many friends who mother without their own moms and I see how much it hurts. Sending you many hugs and peace!! (I also agree tell your loved ones you love them as often as you can!).
So many lovely sentiments, love the idea of taking time to sit and really appreciate all of our own mothers have done for us!
I agree that I don’t think I appreciated my Mom as much until I became a Mother myself. She is my biggest cheerleader and I appreciate her love and sacrifice so much.
I am so grateful that I still have my mom still. She’s 78 and spry as ever! We talk daily and she’s always sharing her memories.
Definitely very lucky to have a spry 78 year old mom! 😉
I love this post and I love being able to honor mom’s. I’m not a mom, but the connection I have with my own mom is so strong and I am grateful for it 🙂
I am not a biological mother; never had the desire to have kids – not in a “I hate kids” kind of way, it just wasn’t for me. I became a stepmother at 37 and it is probably, other than overcoming some serious health issues, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I seriously tell parents I have NO idea how they do it. My mom taught me something that I will forever be grateful for. She said, “Never rely on a man to take care of you.” I am so glad I took that advice. My sister and I both did and we’re both successful in our own right – I don’t mean this in a materialistic way. I mean, we know that no matter what we can make it on our own – and we have. On OUR terms. It has made us more secure women. Absolutely, 100%, without a doubt in my opinion being a parent is the hardest job there is. I thank my mom she did it three times (and dad, too). 🙂
That’s a totally valid decision to make. Parenting isn’t an easy gig and if you know for sure it’s not something you want why force it because that’s what’s “expected.”
I just wrote something like this in my moms card. It’s amazing how much I give my daughter; I give her every ounce of me, but my mom did this times 5. I am in awe of her.
I am one of four raised by a single, working mom. No idea how she survived! Happy Mother’s Day!
What a great read. I agree that you don’t fully appreciate your mother until you have children yourself. There is so much worry involved. You only want what is best for your children.
I’ve always appreciated everything my mom has done for me. She is the heart of our family. When she was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer last year, my whole world was rocked. You know your mom won’t be around forever, but when you’re actually faced with the reality you could lose her before you’re ready, it is scary. Her strength as she battles back has been amazing, and I’m so glad I can be here to help take care of her and provide strength and encouragement.
I am so sorry to hear about your moms diagnosis. All the best for her and your family! I don’t think we are ever ready to loose our moms. Such a scary thought living in this world without them.
I didn’t appreciate my mom until I was one. Now I love her even more for all she has done for me.
So easy to take for granted because until we are doing the work, we don’t see what goes on behind the scenes.
OMG I love this post! It’s prefect for mother’s day this weekend! 🙂
Thanks for reading!
What a great post! It’s so true that it’s hard to really comprehend why our moms acted like they did when we were kids. Like you, it made all the sense in the world the moment I met my son. I love that my mom fought to give me opportunities, and to let me know that I was loved unconditionally. She saw the things that she wanted to do differently from her own parents and she did them well.
Absolutely beautiful! To have the words, the patience and the knowledge of all things, like my mom does would be such a blessing.
What a wonderful way to commemorate all the Moms out there! I enjoyed reading this post. It was also very effective in getting me sentimental about what to do for Mom’s Day!
A great way to celebrate moms. My kids gets excited about mothers day. Well, my daughter a little more than my son. Haha
I love your advice for people who don’t have a relationship with their moms. My husband and his mother have a complicated relationship but I agree with you that they should respect each other from a distance.
My Mom is now in her seventies and is helping t raise my niece, She keeps saying she is sorry she was working when my kids were little. it does n;t matter to us, a good mom is awesome! Your post brought me to tears with the joyous stories
It is definitely amazing what I now know as a mom as opposed to how I felt when I was younger. And I can see the questions in my oldest’s eyes when we disagree about certain things. I remember my mom taking my brother and I to breakfast and only ever getting a coffee, and now I realize it is because she wanted to treat us but couldn’t afford it. I sometimes do the same thing today with my littles.
This was such a perfect read for today! And I feel like I always say something to this affect to my mom… shes sacrificed so much for me!
The most beautiful thing is this world is to be a Mom. I have 2 Sons that are such sweethearts, and then I’m even more blessed with the most amazing Daughter of my heart!
You are both amazingly wonderful mamas!! I get so much inspiration from witnessing your patience and love!!!
I love my mom! I appreciate everything that she’s done for me through my life and the times that she’s been there for me. 🙂
Aw that is such a lovely way of celebrating your mum. My friend said that when she became a mother all the petty fights with her mum became a thing of the past and their bond became stronger.
This is such a special post, I love that you had others contribute so that we can see a wide range of thoughts about mother’s. Now that I’m pregnant I’m seeing so much that I didn’t appreciate before, it really puts things in perspective.
It’s crazy! You definitely don’t realize how much your mom did until you’re a mom yourself! It doesn’t look like a lot until you’re living it
So true!!! Becoming a mother gave me a whole new understanding and empathy—not to mention respect and awe—for my mom. I find keeping my s**t together with 2 kids hard; my mom did it with 4! She is a rock star.
Happy Mother’s Day!