Dear Mom (or Gigi as you now are referred to as most days),
Though my children are still young, having them has given me so much perspective. The thought that comes to my mind most days is “I get it now”. I see you now. Growing up there was so much I didn’t get, that now I do. I don’t know how you did it all with four children, but you did and I am thankful.
When you wouldn’t sit down until 10 minutes into dinner. We always gave you such a hard time about not sitting with us. Now I spend dinner time running in circles. I make sure everyone has what they need and by the time I sit down, most days someone immediately needs something and back up I go.
Growing up, I never understood why every time you left to run errands you would be gone for hours. Why everything would take you so long. Now I understand. Errands now feel like outings and most days they are like taking a breath you desperately need. For me, it is Me-time and I am sure for many years it was for you too. Even if your kids tagged along, they were mostly contained and you got a minute from the usual routine. Not to mention, the mental weight of remembering everything that everyone wants and needs is too much. Half the time, I leave the house and immediately forget what I am doing.
I didn’t get why you would get so mad and say we did nothing around the house, when I thought we helped. The truth is as a mom, I now understand that there is always too much to do. It always feels overwhelming and the minimal efforts to pitch in wouldn’t even scratch the surface of what needed to be done. I’ve learned that the role of mom can many times feel like too much. It regularly leaves you feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Embarrassingly enough, I thought as a stay at home mom, you had it easy.
I can now laugh at that notion. I know, you gave up your career for your children. You gave us all your time and energy. You dedicated your life to helping us be the best we could. It couldn’t have been an easy job. While there are many lovely traits I feel your children have, none of us were easy. We all challenged you in different ways but you kept up.
There were so many times I thought you would give up on me. So many times I didn’t understand why you bothered to try, when I had given up on myself. I can say that I get this feeling now more than ever. It is impossible to give up on your children. Mainly because as parents we tend to see the million amazing qualities in them, even when they can’t see them. Thank you for never giving up on me.
I now understand the gravity of being a mom.
I understand that the second your child is born there is a new gravitational pull in the universe. Loving someone so much it hurts is a thing. Being a mom is both physically and mentally exhausting and there is no time-off. I always thought, ‘oh it gets easier’, but I’ve learned it doesn’t. It just gets different. Our roles change and we just try to keep up. Lastly, I get that none of us know what we are doing. We are just winging it and hoping for the best. I may be a little biased here, but I think you did a great job.
So, in case I haven’t said it enough, it has not gone unnoticed.
Thank you for everything. I appreciate all the meals you made. All the smothering love you gave us. All the holidays and birthdays you tirelessly made special. I especially appreciate you always making us a priority, even when we didn’t know how much we appreciated it. Thank you for teaching me what it means to be a mom and making me a better parent to my boys. Parenting is all about how you show up and I have always had the best examples to learn from. Your and Dad’s constant support and encouragement has made me the person and parent I am today.
I hope you get to enjoy all the moments, my kids, who are too much like me for their own good, give me a hard time, just like I did to you.
Your Crazy Middle Child