I’m just like my Mom! Is that a Pro or Con… Could be both, depending on who you ask or what we’re focusing on.
I remember being in high school and counting down the days till I could head out and start college. I wanted to go as far away as possible. I wanted to start a new identity. I wanted to be independent. I wanted to be who I wanted to be and how I wanted to be.
Yet, becoming a mother and now going through the trying toddler years, I see that I’m coming around full circle. To me, the toddler years and the teen years are pretty much the same thing! Both stages are trying to map through the ever changing emotions and thoughts. Neither can truly express the depth of their feelings. While you, the mother are hoping and praying that they’ll learn how to work through those tangled up emotions, and have less tantrums and outbursts.
But of course, when you’re the child you don’t understand this. You don’t see the loving fight behind your mother getting on to you. You can’t see that she’s just trying to help you and be there for you. She just wants the best for you.
Those sour feelings from my teens, faded off in College when I got my independence. I realized again that I needed my mom. However, somewhere in between college and becoming a mom, something changed, and I started to re-focus on the flaws. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming myself as perfect. Everyone on Earth has a “flaw”. However, what’s a flaw to someone could be a gem to another. But you get where I’m coming from. I hope you get where I’m coming from.
So yeah, I’ve been holding on to these sour feelings for some time. Some things I know the root, and others I have no clue. But one thing I can say, I’ve always felt the conviction to love her better, treat her right, because after all she was my mother. Cue in Shirley Caeser’s song, ‘No Charge’. I didn’t have to be a mother to understand the sacrifices that she made for me and my siblings.
But why couldn’t I shake this distancing feeling? I’ve seen it said that the things we dislike in others are usually things that we dislike about ourselves (conscious or not).
Being the very self-aware (sometimes to a fault) woman that I am, I wanted so bad not to repeat certain attributes as a woman, in my marriage and now as a mother. But they have eased their ways in, because at the core… I am my mother’s child. Nature vs. Nurture – some things we are just born with. But it doesn’t mean we can’t nurture the heck out of those negatives and have a more favorable turnout.
You know what’s interesting? As much as I told myself I didn’t want to be like her. I did want to be something because of her. I wanted to be a mother.
I always knew that I wanted to be a mother, because of the way she loved us hard. Yeah sometimes it was (and still is) overwhelming. But at least I can say without a doubt that she did love us. And I knew that whenever I would become a mother, I would be the exact same way. Just like the mom Beverly on the Goldberg’s. All she knows is to love us and be proud of us and shout from the rooftop how proud she is of her children. And sure sometimes it comes off as bragging, or a bit much – but I’m sure deep down she doesn’t mean it from a showy place. She’s just passionate about her kids. I meaaaan I’m passionate about Samson. That little boy means the entire world to me!
We’re both mothers, and we’re both human. And we both need grace and mercy.
Sometimes, we lose control over our flesh and react in hurtful and emotional ways. But at the core that’s not what we want to do. That’s never our intention. We need God’s help to regain control of ourselves.
So, Mommy here’s to starting over, to rebooting my vision of you. Here’s to praising you for all the good that you were and are to me, my siblings and to Samson. Here’s to me moving forward and extending grace and mercy to you, because if the roles were reversed, I’d want my children to do the same.
I’d want my children to give me grace, give me mercy. See me as human, see me as doing my best, and see me as wanting nothing but the best for them. See me as being proud of them for all their achievements knowing that it had nothing to do with me, but all because God saw it fit to bless them.
I need to see my mother how God sees her. I need to celebrate the beauty of who she is. She is smart. She is loyal. She is caring. She is a woman of God who is strong in her faith. She is a loving mother and grandmother (Nayna). She is a great birthing coach and cheerleader. She has a beautiful heart that wants to help other people succeed. She is supportive. She has a passion for helping women be better versions of themselves. She is a great writer who is eloquent in expressing her thoughts.
I thank my Mom for loving me. I thank her for passing on to me her greatest qualities. Even the flaws, because they’ve made me more self-aware and shaped me into who I am today. I promise to do my best to love her back… with grace and mercy.
P.S. To anyone wondering, I pre-read this to my mom, and she gave me permission to share. 🙂