Wednesday, May 7, 2014

being my mom.

I wanted to reflect before the big day on the kind of mom I would like to be.

This is not a reflection of my post 20's where pinterest, technology, event planning, articles on how to find the balance of motherhood and blog surfing, how to spend more meaningful time with your kids...etc.etc.

This is focused on the collaboration of my thoughts from as young as I can remember.

I remember when I was 10 years old she wouldn't let me walk to Target with my 12 year old bff 2 miles away. I remember feeling fully capable of it in every way and only if she would've really known that I was old enough.

I remember my 5th grade friends getting into a fight in school -- you know the real kind "I'm not your friend anymore" drama. Maybe over some lip smackers, beannie baby, gel pen issues. Immediately there would follow a mom phone tree after school of the moms blaming the other girls for their crying daughter. My mom would never get into it and would always tell me to not take sides and be everyone's friend. Never made sense to me at the time because clearly "Betty" was the side I was on. I get why she said that now.

I remember lying to my band teacher about my practice slips. She took the side of my teacher.

I remember her trying to pick out my clothes and teaching me what the word "consolidate" means when hanging up clothes in my messy room. Because I felt I was chubby I always hated her clothing choices. Now I know she wasn't torturing me, she just thought I looked pretty in everything.

I also remember feeling like I had to babysit and take care of my siblings ALL the time. I am the second oldest of seven and not only that, but the oldest girl. Let's just say I have changed a million diapers-- know all the short cuts with stuffing blankets under chins to hold bottles, did all my sisters sunday hairdos, and usually don't take 'no' for an answer.

As a teenager I remember crying in my room because my mom found out what boy I was texting and I was about to get in big trouble...

I also remember wanting to skip out on a babysitting job because of my friend's party. The missing out thing was so not ok to me-- but she didn't let me back out.

I remember her not celebrating my good grades too much because it was mostly just expected that I get them.

I remember being the last one of my friends to get a phone.

I remember calling and complaining to her that college was hard. I think she understood how hard when she found out my grades one semester. I also got an ear full for that.

At the same time I can remember:

My mom cheering me on at my basketball games

Being at every piano recital

Going school clothes shopping

Making dinner every night for the seven of us

Listening to all my problems and helping me with my homework

Laughing a lot and singing to every song in the car-- loudly

Eating dessert alone after all the kids were in bed and sharing with me (sometimes :)

I remember my mom being present in my life. Almost too 'present' sometimes-- and for that I am so grateful.

I also remember my wedding day. Before the ceremony she cried more than I've seen her cry before. She couldn't believe the day had come that she was now giving her first child 'away' in a sense. This moment has stuck with me because it was there that I realized how much effort my mom has put into being the best mom in the world.

I now find myself calling her first for everything. And when I say everything, I call her every day on my lunch break and sometimes after work too just to see what she's doing. She's usually at the check-out line, getting a McDonald's dollar diet coke with lemon and no ice, or taking a nap after teaching seminary every day at 5 am. She is my best friend!

The biggest lesson I have learned from my mom is that nobody owes you anything. Working hard is not something to be congratulated on daily-- it's an expectation. An expectation that reaps consequences, good ones

Next week is her birthday. It happens to be on Mother's Day. I look forward to celebrating that day because I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of my mom. She thought about the ways that would help me before she actually helped me. It used to be odd to me that I heard her say multiple times that she prides herself in raising independent children. When asked how she has raised such great kids she always replies "the jury is still out".  "Mothering" is still her top priority and my baby girl is so lucky to have her in her life too.

I know the term 'present' may mean different things today, but I want to emulate my mother's example as always being there for my children in the right ways.