There were a lot of things I anticipated before becoming a mother. I read about all of the possible complications during childbirth. I had heard from almost every parent I came in contact with about the sleep deprivation I would surely endure. And I most definitely anticipated and looked forward to loving my daughter more than my heart could possibly hold. In many ways, I was ready.
One of my favorite surprises that I didn’t fully anticipate, however, was the change being a mother would bring to the relationship with my own mother. Like all mother-daughter relationships, we’ve had a few turbulent time periods (mostly thanks to some of my poor choices and need of an attitude adjustment). But now, at this time in my life, I’ve been blessed with this beautiful mix of a mentor, friend, therapist, and mother (among other things) all wrapped into one.
Maybe its due the fact that becoming a mom myself has made me reflect on a lot of the choices she’s made as a mom, and now seeing them from a more rounded perspective makes me appreciate all that she’s done for her children even more. The sacrifices, the hail mary’s she threw up and crossed her fingers would work out, the decisions she knew would hurt temporarily but would help shape her children in the long run. All of those decisions you look back on in a new light and with a new sense of respect and gratitude.
Maybe its due to the fact that becoming a mom somewhat evens the playing field. You’ve both gone down this miraculous road of becoming a parent and living for someone other than yourself, and that in itself creates a bond that runs deep.
Maybe its because she’s able to now see me in a different light. While I will always need my mother, maybe the pressure is off her a little bit knowing that I’m taken care of and have a family of my own now. She can be a little more of a friend and a little less of a “parent”.
I’m really not sure why these changes come about, all I know is I’m glad they do. I’m glad I have someone I can call at literally any time of day or night with a question – without any hesitation. I’m glad I have someone who is always looking out for me, but in new ways now. I’m glad I have someone that can talk me off a ledge when I’m hysterical thinking I’ve surely messed up this whole parenting thing again. But among all the million things I’m grateful for, I’m glad Tayler has a grandma that loves her [almost] as much as her parents do. I’m glad that as I’m typing this, I got a text message from her telling me how much she misses my daughter. She loves my daughter fiercely, and she loves me fiercely.
It makes my heart hurt knowing that many women don’t get to experience motherhood with their own mother still around. It is a relationship that I cherish deeply, and promise to never take for granted.
The relationship I have with my mother makes me giddy knowing that hopefully someday I can have this kind of relationship with my own daughter, and I can only hope to be her beautiful mix of mentor, friend, therapist, and mother, too. Among other things. 🙂