It wasn’t that long ago, I met my mother. So at that point she was very new to me. Everything I had wondered finally became apparent as she stood before me.
To be clear, my mother has been in my life, all my life. But the mother I knew was the disciplinarian, the one who always had to be right. The one who always was able to ground. I was the standard kid, always wondering mommy could never understand me among the barrage of children she always had around. And I could never understand why it was so hard to get me everything I wanted, anytime I wanted…and the bones I kept breaking cost a lot.
I went into my teens thinking the same way. I couldn’t wait to be an adult and swore my mother didn’t appreciate the point in her life she was at. She had the ability to do what she wanted! And yet she made it a point to always interfere with my life. This time only trying to tell me what to do. What did she know? Her life was easy. She was an adult that could make decisions for herself.
This feeling followed me, as it does many teens.
Until I made it through my 20’s. It was at the end I met my mother.
I have no kids and my 20’s were anything but easy. It made me wonder how someone could do it with kids hovered around them?
I enjoy being around people but love the fact that if I wanted space, I could easily close the door and tell everyone to leave me alone…I remember as a kid having to sleep on the floor next to my mother because the twins had already got comfortable on the couch she was sleeping on. And forget about sleeping in on Saturday. Too many kids needed her.
College was successful, but not without its challenges. I struggled but managed to graduate in a timely manner…My mother always talked about school and how she couldn’t wait to go back and finish. And with a bunch of kids, you bet she tried. But I also remember my mother having to halt her future a few times to put her kids in front of what she wanted. Because what she desired the most was for her kids to be successful. At 40 and after multiple times putting her family before herself, she did it.
Success all around!
Flashback to 18. I was finally an adult and could do whatever I wanted. No longer would my mother hold the fact that I was a child over my head. I could do what I want. And I showed her that I could.
Bad move on my part. And when it was time for me to realize it and ask for help (in the form of tears), she embraced me and welcomed me back home without blinking. I was no longer a child, but I was still HER CHILD. No complaints, no ‘you should have’, just love and encouragement. It was that kind of support that got me through college. She also did this while raising my youngest sister.
But I still didn’t realize it then.
During their 20’s, most people begin to really realize what it means to be an adult. Sick is no longer an excuse and the world will move forward without you. Life does not turn out the way you expect but instead of pouting, you must accept it and move on…I could go on forever, but we’re all adults.
Being an adult reintroduced me to a mother I really never knew. A mother who would sacrifice, her time, space, sanity, money, love, life, and her worth to make sure her children had every advantage they could to get as far as they can. She did it so gracefully, I never even noticed. Even as adults, she is ready with open arms to help each and every one of the children on her long list…whenever we are in need and there are 5 of us, not including those she helped support throughout the years.
She does this while working. She does this with lack of sleep. She does it sick. She does it while sad. She does this while dealing with her personal problems. She does this without making her children think they are a burden.
And she does this because she wants nothing but the best and brightest future for us. She continues to do it everyday.
There are a few things I could argue, but relative to the mother she was, is, and will be, I’d just sound like an ungrateful little bitch.
I may never know what it feels like to completely put what I thought was my future on hold to secure someone else’s, but I do know when someone does it right.
I see a lot of great mothers out there, but always know in my eyes, I have one of the highest standards in my head. I have every right. As crazy as my siblings and I are, and though some of us once began to steer towards the path of stupidity, there is nothing you can say that would shed darkness on my mother’s children. We wouldn’t be who we are without her.
So for those who think it’s OK to ignore your children, make them feel terrible when they make a mistake, ignore signs of problems, act like doing a little extra is too much for you (children know), choosing other relationships over ones with your children, or feel that just because you did the minimum to raise your children you’re the greatest mom around, I have another word in my head…come look for it.