For all the moms of moms (and moms of dads).
To my mom:
I had no clue.
No clue that being a mother was actually pretty tough. That it actually took sacrifice. That there were so many unseen acts of love.
No clue that those times we just had sandwiches for supper were probably following a really long day. I am sorry if I ever complained about simple suppers. I get it now.
No clue that all of those times we went clothes shopping for us kids, that you probably would have liked a new outfit, too. I selfishly was willing to let you skip out so that I could get more or more expensive clothes. I really didn’t think you wanted new clothes. But I’m sure you did; I do now.
No clue how tired you must have been. Running us from play practice, to baseball, to basketball, to band, and church and on and on. All I could think about was how much fun life was. I didn’t realize how tiring it must have been.
No clue what you meant by “time flies.”
No clue why you would ask me to hang out with the family instead of hang out with my friends. Now I dread the day when my kids choose time with friends over time with me.
No clue that I actually could embarrass you. My kids embarrass me sometimes, and I can think of times when I am sure I embarrassed you.
No clue how hard it was to keep a house clean with kids. I think kids make bigger messes than baby ducks! (Which we have actually had.)
No clue how hard it could be for you to get up and “refill my drink,” or “please make me a sandwich,” or “can you bring me a blanket?” But you did it. And now I do it. Even when I am tired.
No clue what having young kids could do to a mom’s social life. I just expected you to put me and my stuff first. I never realized that it might take away from you and your stuff.
No clue that when you said “I love you most,” that you really did. My kids have no idea how much I love them, and that’s OK. I didn’t either.
No clue why you would worry about me. I was just fine, and there was no reason to ever worry. All teenagers make great choices, right? Wrong. I am already worrying about my teenagers’ choices, and my oldest is just 6!
No clue how often or how much time you spent praying for me. Now I realize that sometimes praying is all I can do.
No clue how what hurt me could hurt you, too.
No clue what it was like “behind the scenes.” I just expected things to always fall into place.
No clue that watching you as a mother would influence me as a mother. When I am tired of answering a million questions, or of the middle of the night nightmares or being woke up to massage growing- pained legs, I reflect back on when you would do it for me, and I know that I can do it for my kids. I am choosing to pay it forward.
I don’t know if we were just really easy kids, or if you were just good at hiding how hard being a mom sometimes is. I’m sure it is the latter. You made it look so easy when looking through the eyes of a child. Now looking through the eyes of a mom, I realize that it isn’t always easy.
And YOU probably had no clue that all of your overwhelming efforts didn’t go unnoticed, and were implanted in who I would become as a mother.
There are times now, when the 6 year old is yelling for help with homework, and the one year old just pooped his diaper, while one 4 year old is wanting his crust cut off his sandwich, and the other 4 year old has the most elaborate 10 minute story and a “mommy listen to meeee” moment, and I JUST HAVE NO CLUE HOW I CAN DO IT.
But you did it. And I can, too.
But I had no clue then.