I never really understood my mother until I became a mother myself. Suddenly, I saw a different side to her that I hadn’t even realized was there when I was growing up. Mom is human. She is struggling not only with the burden and joys of living her own life – but of raising her children, thinking of them and putting them above her own struggles. I read a story today about the realization of being the adult once you become a mom. When you really don’t feel like the adult. The part that caught me was;
“It's not that I particularly want to be a kid again….But I will always struggle with the way time screams by faster with each passing year. I cannot believe I am the one signing the permission forms and enforcing homework rules now. And how can I be trusted to dole out reasonable advice to a broken-hearted little girl who's been looked over by a classmate throwing a party, when I can still remember the same sting of being snubbed myself?”
The struggles that Moms face behind the closed doors and the mysterious things she does or thinks about when her children aren’t around aren’t something that crosses our minds until we get older. It’s then that you realize what a selfless job mothering is. And sometimes moms are forced to deal with problems that she is facing in her own life – to a different degree - through her children. How does mom tell the sobbing daughter that it will all be ok after being snubbed – when a co-worker or friend has just treated her unfairly as well? It takes a strong person to be able to put everything in her life on hold and give advice or a hug while feeling pain as well. It also takes a smart Mother to know what they can share with their children and what should be shared later. I’m still learning as I go and I know there is no way to be a perfect mother – just a million ways to be a good one.
Some days I feel like I’ve got this whole ‘mom’ thing down. I look at Tim and know that he brings meaning to my life. He can smile – and my heart melts. I can spend every waking second with him and feel complete. But sometimes I feel like I’m failing him when I have a bad day and just need a few minutes to myself. I’ve snapped at him unfairly and broken promises, I’ve yelled when I should have hugged and I’ve cried when I should have laughed. I’ve apologized countless times and we talk about ways that I could have handled it better. I feel it’s only fair if I’m telling him to use his words to explain how he’s feeling that I should too. I also know that it will only be a matter of time before he realizes that this Mom is only human too – and if I can be honest with my struggles that maybe it will help him to come to me with his own. I know that some Moms are able to pretend that nothing is bothering them – and nothing ever goes wrong. I can’t – so I don’t. He doesn’t know the details of what goes on in my life – but he knows that just as he feels….I feel too. Being a Mom is the most rewarding and fulfilling – and definitely the hardest thing that I will ever do in life.
And it’s now that I realize the sacrifices that Mom made for us. Now I can see that while we expected her to be there to help solve our childhood dilemmas – she had her own to put on hold. Mom’s life didn’t stop when she had us – it just took on a different role. I admire her for being there after school with cookies and a warm hug. We were lucky to have her there. I remember plenty of times falling down in a sobbing heap about my own life – not once thinking about what was going on in hers. Now I am blessed to be getting to know Mom on a deeper level. Trying to understand and love her as a person and a friend – as well as a mother. She is always encouraging me, telling me I’m a good mom and she thinks I’m doing a good job. (Which I really need to hear some days!) But I do owe so much to my mom. I learned so many ways to be a good mother from her.
"No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother's love." ~Edwin H. Chapin
Thanks Mom. I love you.