Childhood memories are often filled with moments spent with our loved ones. As a child of a stay-at-home mom, many of mine are of my mom. I remember often wondering why she did some of the things she did, though never doubting that she did them because she cared for me. My how the perspective changes when you become a mom. Suddenly it’s all so clear. You catch yourself making the same facial expressions as her, using the same phrases, and (gasp) actually ‘get’ WHY she did the things she did.
What I understand now that I have become a mom.
1. Why moms cry
It seemed as though everything made my mom cry when I was young. Spilled milk? Tears. My first bike ride? Tears. First communion? Tears. A bee sting? Tears. Parenting is a constant battle between attempting to stay sane all while giving your children every ounce of you. Pair that combination with exhaustion and toddler talk all day long and you would cry too. Love, rage, sadness, joy … it all produces tears at the drop of a hat.
2. Why the coffee was always cold
Not that this one really needs much explanation … I mean what mom can actually sit and drink a cup of coffee while it’s hot? No wonder iced coffee has become popular.
3. Why moms say they’re resting their eyes when clearly they want to nap
Tell me I’m not the only one … well I know I’m not, because my mom used to do this ALL.THE.TIME. I would say to my brother, “mom’s asleep” and her response, eyes closed, was always “I’m just resting my eyes.” You see a nap would be wonderful, but there’s no rest for the weary. So a resting of the eyes will have to do. At the very least, it’s a tactic that can bring a moment of tranquility in the midst of chaos.
4. Why mom never bought herself anything
I always wondered why my mom would wear the same old shoes when she could just go and buy herself a new pair. I get it now. I TOTALLY get it now. Not only is kids’ stuff way cuter and easier to buy, there is no trying on in the dressing room, analyzing the ever-drooping areas of your body, shoving new bulging parts into previously right-sized pants … the list goes on. When I was a teenager I used to tell my mom her shoes were ugly … she told me they’d be popular again some day … add that to this list, she was right.
5. Just how much your mom worried about you
There are so many cliches about motherhood that you hear and think to yourself, “that’s what everyone says” as you roll your eyes. Among those are ‘you will understand just how much your mom loves you when you have kids of your own’ and ‘it goes by fast.’ Oh, those are both SO true. The love that you have for your child is truly one of a kind. It’s unlike any other love and is so absolutely unconditional. I get it now. The perspective from this side of the fence is so different.
To my mom, thanks for sticking in there through the good times and the bad. There is just so much that I couldn’t have possibly understood but I get it now. I know you love me, and I get why the coffee was always cold and half empty. Thanks for the wonderful example of motherhood, and now that I have become a mom, I only hope that I can be half as amazing for my kids as you were for me.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Views from a Step Stool. It has been republished here with permission.