Becoming a mom has helped me fully appreciate my mom.
My mom and I had a tense relationship when I was a teenager. For one, we had completely different love languages. It wasn’t until I was engaged and went through “
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman that I made this realization. My mom was all about acts of service and I couldn’t have cared less. I wanted closeness and time together.
She was always busy doing literally everything for us and I was busy NOT helping with any of those things.
Now that I’m the one doing most everything for my kiddos (in partnership with my husband), I 100% understand the desire for acts of service. If my kids want to show me how much they love me, I would LOVE to see them clean the house. This means I appreciate my mom approximately a million percent more now. She STILL does an incredible amount of service for us, but now I understand what a big deal it is.
My mom and I also had very different personalities. I was a lot like my dad, caring more about relationships than tasks. Although I was shy, I was also people-oriented. I just couldn’t understand why I needed to clean my room if I had a friend going through a crisis (as 12 year olds frequently do). Also, I hated cleaning, so there was that.
Now that I’m a mom, I sometimes feel so overwhelmed with tasks that I simply don’t feel I have time to invest properly in my various relationships.
Which, revelation here – what if my mom felt the same? Maybe she was a people person as a kid, but became more task-focused as a mom. You know what would’ve helped her have more time for deeper relationships? If her children would’ve stepped up and helped with the numerous tasks that needed done.
I can see it so clearly now.
Now for my most recent revelation that sort of blew my mind.
When my mom was 34, my brothers and I were 10, 8, and 4. I thought my mom knew everything, had it perfectly together, and was the most responsible, mature adult in the world. I am now 34 and my children are 7, 4, and 2. And I know literally NOTHING! I mean, I’m basically just making up this parenting thing as I go along. I read a lot and try to learn good parenting methods, but none of us really know what we’re doing, do we?
What if my perfect mom didn’t know what she was doing either?
Okay, fact here: my mom is 100% the most responsible adult in the world and always has been, so she probably did know what she was doing. But perhaps she OCCASIONALLY didn’t know what she was doing, just like I don’t EVER know what I’m doing.
This revelation came to me as my husband and I were trying to decide what’s appropriate for our kids as entertainment. We basically have no clue how to decide. This reminded me that my parents were very strict about what we watched. I thought their rules were crazy and I always wondered where they came up with them.
What if they had no idea and just went with something that seemed good to them?
Just like my husband and I are going to have to do. My parents are still strict about movies and tv. (Apparently I learned from the best, because now I’m strict also.) I do believe they had a basis for their rules, but I’m also realizing they were the same level of adult as I am currently, which doesn’t really feel that adult-like.
Finally, and I don’t know how to say this gracefully: kids are exhausting, and sometimes obnoxious.
All those times I didn’t understand why she was impatient or wasn’t in better humor, now I understand. OH do I understand. Why didn’t she want to listen to me babble on about for 24 hours a day? For the same reason I don’t want to listen to my girls babble on for 24 hours a day. Because it’s incredibly exhausting and there’s just so much to do.
Last month I wrote about my brother being my biggest role model.
Even though he’s wonderful, I think my mom has taken his place. Now that I realize and appreciate all she’s ever done for us and how hard it is to be a mom to three kids (even when they’re grown I’m sure), I’ve determined that she is basically the most amazing person in the world. Thanks Mom, for being the best. I hope everyone out there has a mom or mom-figure who has been as wonderful to them as my mom is.
What are you most grateful to your mom for now that you’re a mom yourself?
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