Dear Mom, I Will Always Need You (Even Now That I’m a Mom)
(Listen to the audio version of this article here.)
Yesterday my mom sent me a text asking if she could take my two toddlers and me to Costco. And she did. She came over at 10 a.m., acted as if she didn’t notice the disaster my house was, took my son to the bathroom while my daughter was melting down in my arms, and ignored my poor attitude.
The truth is, I was about to melt down myself… which she probably knew. I now understand the uncanny accuracy of a mother’s intuition. They know so much more than they let on. They do so much parenting without even saying a word. I know this now, and I’ve only got three years under my belt. I can only imagine how the supermom skills grow along with your child through the years.
My mom is a textbook 2, if you’re into the whole Enneagram thing. If you’re not, it simply means she’s a helper. A servant through and through. She actually feels fulfilled in making others’ lives easier on them, at times even to the detriment of her own well-being. Knowing this, I sometimes try to conceal my struggles because I want to protect her from giving too much. But not yesterday. Yesterday I let my mom be my mom, and I have tears in my eyes as I recall just how motherly she was—even to me now, a 31-year-old woman having a childlike meltdown.
Last week, one of my doctors recommended I alter my diet in an effort to reduce some of the symptoms I’m experiencing from my two autoimmune diseases. I’m committed and determined, but it’s been an overwhelming shift. It felt like another weight added onto my already slumped over back, and on this specific morning it was all a little too heavy. I’m sure she knew, although I never said it.
She pushed the cart that carried my babies while pointing out different options that might work. “Get the organic, grass-fed meat. I don’t care about the price. Put it in the cart.”
Sheepishly, I did.
My kids started to get antsy in the frozen aisle, so she told me to take my time picking out some fish and veggies while she took them to pick out books. I grabbed some Alaskan salmon and silently thanked God for my mom.
We checked out, packed up the kids in the car, and I said, “Can I at least split the bill with you?”
“No. I don’t do this often. It’s fine,” she said. And I could tell it really was.
We drove home, unpacked the food, and I made us all lunch while she played with the kids.
Consider This My Unforeseen Hug
It was so nice to have adult company. It was a relief to have the kids occupied while trying to complete a task. It was a blessing to watch her interact with my kids and see how much they adore her, their Nana Bee. But more than anything, it was comforting to be taken care of, to have my mom be my mom, even though I know I’m a grown up adult.
I’ve always known I had a good mom. She was always present and trying to enrich my life through activities, experiences, and teaching me that at the end of the day, what really defines us is our heart before God. But now that I am a mom myself—I realize just how lucky I really am.
I think about the fierce love I have for my little ones, and it’s so rewarding how they love me in return, just as fiercely. They cling to my legs in moments of uncertainty, ask me to sing more songs and read more books in an effort to keep me in their rooms longer before saying goodnight, wrap their arms around me and plant unpredicted kisses on me randomly, choose to snuggle with me over Daddy nine times out of 10, and it fills up my tank. It fuels me in the moments of defiance and meltdowns.
Then I think of my teen years, and honestly even more recent years, and all of the times I have overlooked my mom. Or worse, been ungrateful, insensitive, and rude. For no reason at all. Ugh, just considering it all makes me feel ashamed. And it pains me to think of my kids growing up and treating me that way. For all that moms give, how do they endure those seasons?
I guess I’ll have to ask my mom.
It was comforting to be taken care of, to have my mom be my mom, even though I know I’m a grown up adult.
For now, Mom, consider this my unforeseen hug and kiss for no reason at all. Thanks for letting me hypothetically cling to your leg yesterday in the midst of this uncertainty I’m in with my health. Thank you for lingering at my house yesterday, acting as though you were waiting for lunch, but really knowing that I just needed your presence a little longer. Thank you for continuing to love me fiercely even when I started to choose you less than nine times out of 10.
More than anything, thanks for being my mom through all of the seasons and enduring the hard times with me. I have a feeling we’re entering a new one that’s going to be really, really sweet.
Moms, listen to this podcast episode to be inspired: Rest Easy Moms, Here Are the Things That Matter – 102