Every Stage Of Motherhood Is Hard – But So Worth It [An Open Letter To Moms]
Mother's Day is on Sunday and with every year that passes, the day changes. It reveals new emotions and provides new and important life insights into a day that I not only celebrate but am also celebrated. The reason I find it to be bittersweet is a mixture of loss and love. The many changes life brings us, almost every day, are never easy, but the changes of motherhood, are both heart-wrenching and heartwarming.
On Mother's Day, I celebrate from three places in my heart; the daughter, the mother, and the grandmother. All of these relationships that I have encountered are precious and beautiful, but as they change and evolve, my heart is filled with even more love and also some very important words of wisdom.
The first of my Mother's Day celebrations were as a daughter. I grew up under the watchful and encouraging care of a wonderful and loving mother. She was the mom that many of my friends wished was their mom. My mom was bright, positive, and caring. It wasn't until she passed, and the matriarchal torch was passed, that I felt what it really means to be a mom.
As a young mother, I was too busy taking care of my babies to think about a time when I would be the one my family would turn to for guidance and support and the gravity of that job. Now, in that position, I deeply appreciate everything she was to our family. With stoic grace and confidence, she lead us through our worst times and celebrated our greatest victories. Without a second thought, she always put us first and took only a little for herself.
Looking back, I wish I would have recognized the sacrifice in what she was doing and how she showed her love for us. I wish I would have known that behind her supportive words and smile as she waved goodbye to us, were tears that mourned the loss of having us close to her. If I had known, I would have called her more, visited her often, and hugged her tighter when we were together.
This year, the youngest of my children graduates high school and begins his life as an adult. It's very sad for me to think about, or even write about. I, like my own mother, have encouraged all of my children to follow their dreams, be adventurous and live life to the fullest, all the while knowing that I'm, encouraging them to leave me.
I can remember, as a young mom, driving my kids here, there, and everywhere, wishing I just had a night off. Between games, practices, rehearsals, lessons, and my own job commitments, I thought I was going to go insane due to pure exhaustion. I couldn't wait to get home so they could go to their rooms to play and I could get some alone time.
Now that all of those busy times have come to an end and I have no place to go, the house is quiet, I want it back. The thing is, it's never coming back, at least not like it was when they were children. It's funny how we seem to not appreciate what we have when we have it, but the moment it's home, we miss it so much.
Now, as a grandmother, I see things clearer than I ever have before. I see that the way my mom loved me and the way I love my kids is the way my daughter is loving her own daughter. Seeing my daughter as a mother fills me with joy and pride.
When my daughter encourages, teaches, and shares with my granddaughter, I hear myself and my own mother, in her voice. I realize that as women and mothers, in regards to our children, we rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done, even if it means letting them go. We give without being asked and we love with a power that no amount of miles or distance can ever change. It is through us that our kids see their own reflection and the awesomeness that lies within them.
All I can say is, don't blink too much. Time with your mom and time with your kids goes by very fast. Enjoy every moment with love and understanding, and know that even though everything will eventually change, and you will have to say goodbye, in one form or another, being a mom is the greatest gift and the best job you will ever have.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you, no matter what stage of motherhood you are in right now. Just know that I understand you, feel for you, and am so very proud of you.
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