Thank You, Mom

May 1, 2019 | rebecca stewart

Having been firmly settled into the rollercoaster ride of tween emotions, now staring the teen years in the face, I’ve found myself ensconced in that phase of motherhood where I’ve felt compelled to call my own mother and apologize. Can it be cliché and also absolute truth? If nothing else, my own mothering journey has shone a spotlight on all the wonders that my mother brought to the table.

There were some things I was able to appreciate in the moment – things I hoped to include in my own mothering toolbox. Like being the ear, the shoulder, the unfailing support – no matter that it was 3 o’clock in the morning, enduring an emotional meltdown of epic proportion in the face of finals week. Every semester. And she showed me what it meant to be your kids’ first layer of defense – to be their best advocate when they’re still finding their words and their way.

It’s this ability to endure snark and guilt trips even though she's the one making all the things happen – both behind the scenes and in front of our faces, not that we ever truly noticed. Until that time she was out of town visiting her mother, and it was like a bomb exploded in our house. Or that time when my dad had to do my hair for school pictures. I mean…He gave it his best shot. She was the cooker of the meals (and on the receiving end of our unsolicited critiques), the listener of all the woes, the shopper of endless pairs of shoes, the fixer of the problems, the cleaner of many of the things.

She was our everything without us really realizing or fully appreciating it. 

Even as an adult, there is comfort in your mother being the knower of all the things. She is the phone call on a recipe gone wrong. She will remind you that though it might seem your child has been overtaken by some alien lifeform; this too will pass – she’s living proof that you will make it through. And that you’ll like each other in the end. In fact, genuine friendship awaits you in the wings.

I am certain she wondered, as we all do, am I striking the right balance? When work and home and kids and spouses are pulling us in all the directions, we wonder, is anyone getting the best of me? Or, jeez, just enough of me? Motherhood is beautiful and messy and exhausting, the absolute best at times and the absolute worst at times, how lucky are we that we’ve had exceptional women leading the way? Happy Mother’s Day. 

Originally printed in the May 2019 issue of Simply Family Magazine

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