My mom threw me a surprise birthday party in the 8th grade. She called all my friends, made meatball subs, and planned games. She was so excited that she had pulled off this huge surprise for me. What kid wouldn’t be thrilled?!
This kid. I was mortified. I distinctly remember crying and yelling at her at the end of the night,
“Mooooommm… How could you do this?? Don’t you know that surprise birthday parties are for when you’re in 5th grade, not 8th grade?!?!”
Oh those middle school years were rough. I wanted so badly to fit in and be “cool,” and I was convinced there was no way I could do any of that with my mom around.
Over fifteen years have passed since my middle school tween years, and I have since become a mother of two. To think that one day I will be the single thing that stands between them and being “cool” makes me want to bawl my eyes out.
Parenting has made me appreciate my own mother more than I ever have before.
There are days that I barely make it through the day. It is a small victory every time my husband comes home to two children that are still alive. I struggle with dinner. Laundry is always piled up. I have very little patience. My kids are constantly fighting with each other, and they need me for Every. Single. Little. Thing. I might even lock myself inside my room for a “Mommy Timeout”, just to get 30 seconds of quiet.
I have zero memories of my mom locking herself in her room to get away from us. We never had iPads to “babysit” us while she took a breather. My mom never missed a sporting event or after school activity AND she was a SINGLE, working mom. We didn’t have the latest on-trend outfits. We didn’t go to Disneyland every other year for a family vacation. But when I think about my mom and our childhood, one sentence comes to mind. We were LOVED.
When I am most frazzled, which usually happens around 6:15pm (by this point my kids have somehow spouted demon horns and every toy we own has made its way into my living room), I stop and remember that feeling from my childhood. We were LOVED. I take a deep breath, resist my urge to nag, yell, or cry and I LOVE on my kids just the way I remember my mom loving on us.
My mom has the biggest heart and to KNOW that I am tucked down deep in there beyond escape makes all the difference.
While, my mom’s love and support for her children has been unwavering these last 30 years; the way I view my mom today, has come full circle since that 8th grade surprise party fail. My mom is the strongest woman I know. I want to be around her every chance I get. She is kind. She is forgiving. She is smart, and she continues to role model for me, the kind of mother I want to be for my children.
Mother’s Day today means a whole lot more to me than it ever did growing up. Mother’s Day today means…
- Thank you for wiping my butt.
- Thank you for putting up with my tantrums in the middle of Wal-Mart.
- Thank you for cleaning up my puke all over the living room couch.
- Thank you for picking up after us 300 times a day.
- Thank you for eating last and sometimes not eating at all because of our demanding schedules.
AND most definitely …
- Thank you for giving up years of sleep.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I really don’t know how you did it all without the iPad.