I think the word “Mom” defines the person taken most for granted in this world. The person who has a thankless job. The person who does everything and yet no one notices anything. The person who is always busy. The person who does the dirty work, the long hours and the hard slog.
And I don’t think many women understand just what that role entails until they become one themselves. Suddenly all the rules make sense! Suddenly I understood why I wasn’t allowed to make a mess in the lounge – it was the only clean room in the house. Suddenly I understood why you sighed when I waltzed through in my slippers at midday and left my dirty cup next to a emptied sink and clean dishes. Suddenly I understood why you were tired at the end of the day and weren’t up to doing things. Suddenly I understood why you needed an uninterrupted rest time every afternoon and why you lost it when we went in to ask you something – as if whispering our request made us more sensitive to your need for sleep. Suddenly I understood why you spoke about despairing when I had colic. Suddenly I understood why you were always the last to get in the car when we went on holiday. Suddenly I understood why you put us in our rooms when we fought. Suddenly I understood why we had chores we should have done and sometimes you did them because you were too tired to fight. Suddenly I understood why you were hurt when we made cutting remarks.
I just understood a whole lot more when I became a mom.
Mom, so much of how you raised me, I practise in my home today. Because I support it! I am fully behind it! And it’s not just because it’s what I know. It’s because I see the value in how you did things.
One of the greatest gifts you gave us was being present. Being at home in the little years. You didn’t do it because you could. You did it because you believed it was important.
Being the wife of a minister and a teacher yourself certainly didn’t mean money was abundant. Then, to sacrifice a salary to be at home instead did us the world of good. I don’t remember eating pilchards for dinner. I don’t bemoan the fact that I had to choose between ballet or piano and not do both. I don’t look back and resent all the times you said no to treats because there wasn’t enough money. (I laugh now because I reasoned then that if you had enough to buy bread, you had money!) I remember that you saved for ten years so you could take us overseas. I don’t look back and resent the fact that we had to ask you what the budget was when we went out for dinner on the odd occasion even though it generally meant we only had a choice of the two cheapest meals. Because I realise, that you gave us a gift that would make a lasting impact on me and on how I wanted to raise my children.
I want to be present like you were. It means the same for me as it did for you. No to most treats. Having to be creative in holidays. Not allowing our children to do all the extra-murals they want to do. But what it does mean is that I am the person who got to see them take their first steps. I’m the person that gets to have tea with them in the middle of a weekday morning. I’m the person who gets to listen to their games. I’m the person who gets to watch them grow.
Thank you for choosing us! I would choose to be at home with you playing with my sister while you did the washing rather than being in a school or daycare. Thank you for being at the gate to fetch us from school and not sending us to aftercare. And even when you started working again, I would choose to sit in your office doing my homework any day over being in aftercare because it meant the school day was over and we were with you. It worked for our family.
Having you at home in the holidays was the best! And because I know how nice it was to have you around it was one of the main reasons I went into teaching. Because I knew it meant I could be at home with my children when they were on holiday even if I did work. I look back on the days at home with you with such fondness. Even though you weren’t playing with us, you were there. And your presence in the home was enough.
Thank you for always being a safe space. A place where I felt I could go whenever the world fell apart. Thank you for the afternoons you listened while I cried about friend dramas on the end of your bed. Thank you for the mornings of chats even though I interrupted something you were busy with. Thank you for comforting me and helping me through my many “moments.”
I’m sorry that I didn’t appreciate you more! I’m sorry I take you for granted even now!
Thank you for all the meals you prepared! I realise now what a thankless and under-appreciated gift this was!
Thank you for making our little girl dreams come true with beautifully sewn Disney princess clothes. For spoiling us at Christmas and birthdays and making both occasions truly magical! For the fact that we always got to choose what we had for dinner on our birthdays! I would still choose a homemade meal from you to going out to eat! Thank you for making me chocolate cakes to take to school on my birthday! I’m sorry I snubbed it in high school! I would also choose your chocolate cake any day over a cake made by someone else!
Thank you for making endless amounts of tea. Thank you for the homemade crunchies and lemon juice.
Thank you for being a sounding board all my life! You are still the person I want to confide in.
Thank you for sleeping over until the early hours with colicky babies on your chest after a long day of work so that I could get some sleep. Thank you for loving my children as if they were your own and spoiling them!
Thank you for the Sunday lunches so I don’t need to think about a meal. Thank you for sending me home with leftovers.
Thank you for the groceries and chocolates you spoil us with.
Thank you for always having your front door open to me. I still know your house as “home.” Because when I walk in the front door, I still feel like I can walk in, switch on the kettle, help myself to a Marie biscuit or three and come and sit on your bed and talk. I may no longer be in a school uniform and now I have two little people playing on the floor next to me in your handbag, but your heart and home are still open to me.
Thank you for being my Mom. I wouldn’t choose another!Tags: children, good mother, kids, mom, mommy, mommyhood, mother, mother's day, motherhood, mothering, mothers, parent, parenting, stay-at-home-mom