Unexpected Gratitude for My Mom

 

My mother has forever been waiting for that moment. That moment when she can say, “See how tough it is?” 

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The “it,” of course, being motherhood.

It’s not that she wants to rub salt in any wounds. I think it’s simply that she wants someone to acknowledge that it really is hard work and often a thankless job. If I hadn’t become a mother myself, I’m not sure I could have ever truly appreciated what she went through raising four children.

When I became the mother of one precious baby boy, I knew that everything would be perfect: breastfeeding all the way, no television before the age of two, and certainly no french fries. Ever. Basically, I was going to be the opposite of my mother. It wasn’t that she did anything wrong. It’s just that now we know so much more about the right way to be a mother.

Well, eight years later, I have to laugh at those early days and how easy I thought it would be to be that mom. The longer I work at this motherhood gig, the more I appreciate the kind of mom that my mother was and is.

Here are just some of the ways I appreciate her (that she probably doesn’t even know).

Thank you, Mommie, for being my Mommie. You never wanted us to call you Mom. It was always Mommie. And even though it’s sometimes a little embarrassing as a grown woman to shout “Mommie!” across the store, I love hearing my little boy call me “Mommy.” I hope he never stops.

Thank you for keeping a relaxed household. While we all certainly could have been a little better with our chores, you taught me that a perfect house doesn’t equate to a perfect family. A well lived-in house is usually a sign of well-loved family. My house is no showroom but we certainly love each other.

Thank you for being kind and compassionate with animals. Even though we were often outnumbered by the stray dogs and cats that seem to find their way to our house, you showed me that the unconditional love of pets fit nicely into a family. And yes, we’re outnumbered too.

Thank you for being flexible with our schedules. Sometimes we stayed up way past our bedtime or were out way too late, but your spontaneity and lack of rigidity certainly taught me to go with the flow, something I’m passing along to my family.

Thank you for never taking things too seriously. You played with us, sang songs in the car, played your music too loud, and made pancakes for breakfast before it was cool. You passed along your youthful spirit which I know when my son tells me I have a “kid heart.”

It may seem like all the things I appreciate about my mother were her imperfections but the imperfections taught me so much. To find my own path in motherhood. To not hold myself up against an unobtainable standard. To follow my “kid heart” and embrace whatever life throws my way. To know that the right way to be a mother is the way that works for me.

So for all those years of waiting for the moment of gratitude, I get it. It’s hard and no matter what the manual says, you have to figure out your own path. Thank you for teaching me and showing me how to be the mother I am.

Have you ever expressed your gratitude to your mom? Even if you’re not a writer, try putting your heart to paper and find a way to express how you feel with Hallmark.

 

This post is part of a sponsored project from CafeMom on behalf of Hallmark. All opinions, photos, and sentiments are certainly my own.

After finding herself in the unemployment line for the second time in two years, Fadra Nally started All Things Fadra in 2009 as a way to showcase her writing so she could get a "real job." She soon discovered that life behind a keyboard beats a corner window office any day of the week.

Image via Fadra

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