A funny thing happens the minute you become a mom. You suddenly begin to reflect on all the times you rolled your eyes at your own mom’s advice, the times you shrugged her off, the times you nodded and smiled just to get her to stop talking, not to mention the times you flat out told her she was wrong. It’s like something clicks and you now have this newfound appreciation while simultaneously realizing that there are so many things you never understood about your mom that are finally starting to make sense.
With every passing day of motherhood, old memories of your own mom doing everything you're doing or attempting to do, start becoming clearer and clearer and clearer. Sometimes, you might even feel compelled to go and apologize to your mom for being something of a jerk when you were younger (and if you haven’t yet, you probably should. I’ll wait….Done? Okay then.) The thing is, as kids ourselves, we have no real way of understanding our mothers, their behaviors, their quirks, their reasoning for making decisions we didn't appreciate but were essentially for our betterment, and why certain just drove them absolutely crazy. It’s only until we are in their shoes, as mothers ourselves, that we start learning these hard lessons.
Don’t believe me? See if the things on this list ring true for you, and then go tell your mother that you're so sorry and she's so awesome and maybe, just maybe, she can tell you how she survived motherhood?
Why She (Probably) Rarely Took Care Of Herself
As a kid, I used to wonder why my mother never got her hair done and wore the same old clothes constantly. It's sad, but I get it now. Before I had my son, I had the energy (and time and money) to get my nails done monthly and never left the house sans make-up. Now, I’m lucky if I get a shower in. I know this varies from mom to mom, but most moms go at least a few postpartum months re-wearing old sweatpants, thanks to extreme sleep deprivation and being constantly used as a human spit-up rag and simply putting the needs of a tiny human, over the needs of their own.
How She Manages To Do All Her Sh*t AND Your Sh*t AND Everyone Else’s
Actually, I still don’t get how this gets done. I just know that I, too, end up being able to make it all happen at the last minute if and when I have to and it is probably taking years off my life.
Why She Worries About Who Your Friends Are
My son is only 2 and I can already feel myself cringing when I see him at the playground and some obnoxious bully-type toddler gets near him. I’m scared he’ll be influenced by him or that the other kid will take his toys and make him cry. I’m pretty sure this fear stays with us all throughout our kids’ lives so, you know, gulp.
Using Spit To Clean Mystery Dirt Off A Kid’s Face
Sure, it’s kinda gross and I’ve judged mothers everywhere for it (including my own) and then I end up doing the exact same thing because I'm in a pinch and there's no other option and, well, it's just convenient. I get it now, mom. I so get it.
Why She Wants To Know Exactly Where You’re Going
I have an overactive imagination. I also used to lie to my parents a lot about where I was going and what I was doing, especially in my teen years. I didn’t get why my folks were so overbearing about wanting info but now? Oh, yeah. I get it now. I want to know all the things so I can make sure that my kid is protected and safe and, well, there's no end to the amount of information I require.
Why She’s Constantly After You To Eat Something
I don’t get exactly why we have a preoccupation with making sure our children eat. Something about survival and evolution, I imagine. But I definitely get the internal motivation my mother had for making sure I ate enough (and drank enough water).
Why Fashions Like “Mom Jeans” Exist
Because we are tired and sometimes don’t care and just want to wear something comfortable that holds in our belly pooch, thanks. I guess high-waisted yoga pants are really the new mom jeans and I, for one, am so stoked on it. And honestly, we're too busy raising the next generation of feminists to care about ridiculous beauty standards, thank you.
How She Wielded The Power Of Mom Guilt, And How It Was Also Used Against Her
That first moment you hold your child and silently reflect on everything you did to finally get to hold them, you internalize a kind superpower that you can use forever guilt your kid(s) when they're being rude or mean or just, you know, the worst. It's honestly a guilt that rivals all others. That said, we all end up experiencing a different form of mom guilt as well; the kind that makes us feel like we’re not doing a good enough job and makes us wonder if we’re actually terrible mothers. Even Reese freaking Witherspoon knows what mom guilt is about, so, you know, it's a real thing.
How She’s Able To Stretch A Dollar
When times were okay, my mom made sure we were all fed and clothed and had money left over for fun things. When times were tough, she was great at still making sure we were fed and clothed and had some niceties now and again. Even when it seemed like we were totally broke, she was always able to pull something out of somewhere. I’m only now starting to understand this magic.
Her Ability To Keep Calm In The Midst Of Chaos
I’ve always admired moms who can stay chill when there’s a million kids running around screaming. I haven’t quite gotten that yet, but I’m starting to.
Why She Can’t Or Won’t Go To Sleep While Her Teens Are Out All Night
That giant extra internal organ that grew inside our bodies the moment our kids were born? Yeah, that's called fear. It doesn’t go away and knowing our kids are teens doing the kind of stuff we did as teens is just horrifying.
She Was Right About Way More Stuff Than You Ever Realized Or Gave Her Credit For
Yeah, it’s a hard pill to swallow but even some of the more far out stuff that you swore your mom was wrong about probably had at least some grain of truth to it. Seriously. If you haven’t gotten it yet, you will.
Why She Wanted (And Needed) Alone Time
As a kid, I thought my mother's life revolved around me and I was her entire world and, I mean, why would she ever want to be far away from me at all. While some of that was true, maybe, most of it wasn't. I was a very important part, to be sure, but my mom was still a human being with other thoughts and feelings and concerns, besides that of her children. I get that now, as I need my "me-time" to tend to myself, and no one else.