'Dear Mom, motherhood has changed us'


When you become a mother everything changes.  All the mothers you know will try to warn you about this when your pregnant, and you’ll think you understand, but as with many things in parenthood-you won’t get it till you are experiencing it.  The feelings of motherhood are overwhelming and life changing.  The moment you become a mother your entire makeup changes.  Your priorities shift, it is one of those things in life that shifts your perspective, and changes the way you see and interact with the world.  For me this included a change in all my personal relationships.  I lost friends, gained friends; my relationships with family members changed-all the usual growing pains of motherhood.  But none more than my relationship with my own mother.  Not as much on the surface, but the perspective I had about who my mother is suddenly widened.  For me it unlocked immense respect and admiration for her and opened me up to a woman I hadn’t seen in her before. 

My mom and I have always been very close.  Even when I was horrible and cruel as a teen she stood strong.  I always knew I could go to her for anything, even the bad.  I was lucky enough to be raised by my mother at home with us kids.  Which I now know was no easy task.  She had three kids in three years, and when we were children my dad traveled often.  My mom did so much on her own, she carried such a heavy load and remained a strong support system for our my dad and us kids.  The one thing that I feel everyday as a mother now, towards my own mom, it’s appreciation.  Then almost immediately following, guilt-for not appreciating until now all she’s done in my life.  Before motherhood I was able to live in this dream world where motherhood was a walk in the park.  In my mind being a stay at home mom was the easiest thing you could do-wow was I was wrong.  Being a mom was harder than I ever imagined right off the bat, I instantly needed my mother more than I’d ever needed her in my life.  

Becoming a mother changed my relationship with her, slowly and then all at once.  I remember things beginning to shift during pregnancy, when she was the only one who I trusted with advice.  My mom was in the room my entire 14 hour-long labor, and she was the only one who I felt  understood me in that time.  I’ve always trusted her and she’s always been someone I come to for advice-but this kind of trust was different.  It’s something that’s hard to explain, yet something that changes you to your core.  The moment I had my son in my arms something happened I never thought about ahead of time.  In that moment we were no longer just mother and daughter-the moment my son was born we both were mothers.  We were connected on an entirely new level.  Making this bond even stronger in my case my mom and I were in labor on the exact same day, at the exact same time, 25 years apart.  My son was born 25 years and 8 hours, almost on the dot, after I was.  I still marvel at this amazing timing! 

The shift in the relationship between my mother and I was immediate, and undeniable.  As my son has grown so has our relationship.  There is no one I trust more for advice, or just to listen, more than my mom.  Yes, I was lucky enough to be close to her before having a child-but this is different than before.   She will always be my mom, and before motherhood was just that-my awesome mom.  But after motherhood she is my best friend, she is my co-parent sometimes, she’s my ‘in case of emergency’ person, she’s who I call if I’m sad, or if I’m happy-she is my person.  This is something that me becoming a mother created.  I feel more like a peer now rather than someone living in a different world.  I have an immense appreciation for the kids she raised and the mother she is-something I took advantage of for 25 years of my life.  I knew she was a great mom, cause she is-but I never knew how lucky I was to have her.  In my world pre-kids being a mom was easy and the awesome things she did for us was just part of her job, a given.  

Now here I am, the mother of a toddler who some days I can’t even convince to put pants on!  My amazing mother had three of us under three, and she did it all.  I honestly cannot think of a moment in my life I needed my mom and she wasn’t there.  That alone is something I can only dream of doing for my son one day.  Becoming a mother makes you realize what your own mother did for you.  Things you thought of as easy or trivial as a child become huge and difficult as a mother.  The years of play dates, arts and crafts, healthy meals, help with homework, lemonade stands, vacations, cuddles, bake sales, you name it-make me feel like I can only hope to be the mother she is one day.  She is simultaneously my biggest role model and biggest supporter.  While I’m not sure I can ever be the amazing mother she was and is, she is the one person in the world who believes most I can.  

I can only imagine that as my son grows the relationship between my mother and I will continue to evolve.  She is someone who for me has all the answers.  Someone who as a teen is rather cut off my ear than listen to, is now my most trusted friend.  Mom if you’re reading this you inspire me every day and I’ll never be able to fully tell you how much I appreciate you.

If this spoke to you share with your mom, or just remind her what she means to you.