I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood
Since my daughter was born a little over 2 years ago, Mother’s Day has been a very special day for me. After all, I had carried her for 9 months and spent countless sleepless nights taking care of her to earn the title “Mother”.
But this year I really started thinking about my mom. This Mother’s Day I felt a completely new level of gratitude and respect for my Mom. I have gained a much better understanding of what she went through and how much she scarified to raise me.
Let’s take a little closer look at what “Mom” did and does for you.
Remember those first few months of pregnancy with the excitement, anxiousness and – who could forget it- the morning sickness? Your Mom went through all of that as well, and she did it without being able to access every conceivable piece of information about pregnancy online and without all the early tests we have now to ensure us that everything is fine with our baby.
Mom also shared the kicks to the bladder and the backaches that come later in pregnancy. And don’t forget about labor. Well, who could forget labor? Mom’s been there, done that as well. And she probably did it with a lot less medicinal help than we did!
Then the real joy of motherhood begins - no sleep for months, midnight feedings and endless diaper changes. Could you imagine surviving without disposable diapers? I couldn’t, but somehow my Mom managed to wash millions of dirty cloth diapers while taking care of me.
I am sure she also got the same words of advice from everyone around her about how to properly care for the little infant and worried about all the possible germs the baby could be exposed to with everyone wanting to hold her.
Just like you, Mom eventually made it through your infancy and met the toddler version of you. When I recently complained about my daughter’s “terrible two’s” to my Mom, she just laughed and told me it was payback for all my tantrums when I was my daughter’s age.
Did she worry as much as I did about picking the right time to wean her off the bottle, the pacifier, to get her potty trained? Did she go through all the heartbreak and crying, and - as far as potty training goes - the mess that comes with it? I am sure she did. And like any good mother, we both supported the first attempts at independence. So what if my daughter decides to wear rain boots with her summer dress? I feel sure there is a picture of me somewhere in a very similar outfit.
So you and your Mom finally make it past the terrible twos. By now, if not earlier, you are probably torn between kids and career. If your Mom is anything like mine, she ran into the same problem. Should you stay home and be there for the kids 24/7, or should you continue to work to be able to afford the kind of things you want to be able to give your kids?
At this stage Moms also spend a lot of time getting their kids ready for school. All along you have probably been reading to your child, teaching her numbers and colors, just like your own mother did.
Your kids may or may not be in school yet, but even if they aren’t, I am sure you can relate to making sure your child gets to school on time every morning, helping with homework and various school projects and attending school functions. Your Mom was probably there with you every step of the way too. She shared your joys and pains. She comforted you when the other kids made fun of you, just like you will with your kids.
I feel sure you have many more special memories about your Mom that you haven’t thought about in years. Why don’t you pick up the phone and call her? Spend some time with her. If you take the time and make the effort, you will find a great friend in your mother if you are not already at that point in your relationship. Take her on a “girls-day-out”. Go shopping, have lunch and get some pedicures together. Just enjoy her company and don’t forget to thank her for all she has done for you. After all, you wouldn’t be the great woman you are today without her.
They say there is a great woman behind every successful man, but there is also a wonderful mother behind every great woman.