Dear Mom, I’m Sorry I Took Your Love For Granted

Dear Mom,

Let me start by saying those two little words you rarely hear – I’m sorry. Or how about these two other little words – you’re amazing.

Growing up you were my idol, my safe place. To this day, I can’t smell Maybelline concealer without thinking of cuddling up in your lap, cheek-to-cheek, in that hideous brown rocking chair {which coincidentally I also used to rock my own daughter to sleep}. I’m sorry I didn’t see the weight you carried and that I added to it frequently. I’m sorry you had no one to turn to or talk to, that you didn’t have family there to help you figure out new motherhood, that postpartum wasn’t talked about, and you were left to quietly continue on.

Thankfully as I grew into my teenage years, you were NOT my enemy. You were a wise friend giving me space to grow but were there to guide gently along the way. I’m sorry for only being able to see my own problems during this time, while you quietly continued on, working while dad was laid off, barely able to buy groceries, going a little hungry at dinner so no one else felt the lack.

As I grew into college, our roles began to reverse a bit and I carried you for a while, sticking close to home when dad was away working for months at a time, making sure you ate something more than buttered noodles every night, camping out in the living room watching MASH. I’m sorry I couldn’t do more for you during those long months of separation when I’d listen to you cry yourself to sleep every night.

Once I got married and had my own home and way of doing things, I suddenly started to be more critical of you. And irritable. Even in my own home, I heard your critical voice. My towels were never folded right, my laundry overflowed, the dog hair piled in the corners, and I could see your anxiety over the sink piled high with dishes.

mother daughter relationshipI started rolling my eyes at you more or responding to anything you said with snippy remarks. My life was HARD after all and I was sure that you just didn’t understand that. Even while I was pregnant and you would come over and bring dinner or clean my house, I spent more time frustrated at your baby shower planning than appreciating what you did for me. I’m sorry I didn’t understand the care and responsibility you still felt to take care of me even as an adult.

And then I brought my first child into the world and the curtain was drawn back. I finally understood the full weight of all you had and still carried as a mother. Even for your bratty, 30-year-old daughter who didn’t understand until I became a mother myself.

You welcomed me and baby home with endless meals while taking care of my home as I tried to figure out what this thing called motherhood was all about. You were available at a moment’s notice – let’s be honest, you were waiting by the phone! But you waited, giving me space and time but were always at the ready should I ask for help. You would come and hold the baby for hours so I could nap, rub my back, or brush my hair to soothe me when the new baby weeks were difficult. You gently asked about my emotional well-being when I cried for weeks on end.

new grandma with new babyI’m sorry, mom. I’m sorry it took me to become a mother to stop taking you for granted. And I’m sorry now for all the help I need and how I lean on you more than ever as a lifeline. Your home is still my place of comfort. While this baby changed me in so many ways, the one I didn’t expect was how it changed my attitude towards you. I’m suddenly grateful for every single thing you do, even when it drives me crazy {seriously, put the dirty dishes down!}. I suddenly can’t go a day without at least talking to you, where it used to be several days to a week between our talks.

I’m sorry you became a mother during a time when things were not talked about, and that you likely battled postpartum depression without even knowing that’s what it was. I wish I could be as strong as you had to be, but I’m glad I have you here.

I’m learning mom. I’m learning from you every day. I’m just sorry it took me so long.

Love,

Your Humbled Daughter