“12 Things You Never Knew About Your Mother.” You Knew Her Love Was Special, You Just Didn’t Know How Special…

“A Mother’s love is peace.  It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.”

~Erich Fromm

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Believe it or no, there are things about your Mother you don’t know…So this Mother’s Day, I would like to be the voice of Mother’s young and old, in hopes of allowing you to see her in a different light.  You always knew her love for you was special, you just didn’t know how special…

12 Things you never knew about your mother:

  1. She was young once.  A long time ago, before you came along, your mother was a giggling, free, skipping-down-the-sidewalk, little girl full of dreams and ideas of who she wanted to be when she grew up.  She had braces on her teeth.  She was insecure, felt ugly.  She really, really liked the boy in science class who sat next to her in her freshman year of high school.  When he finally spoke to her after six months, just the sound of his voice made her stomach feel like she had swallowed a jar of butterflies.  This boy was your mother’s first true love and he made her feel pretty for the first time in her whole life.  He was also the first boy to say, “I love you.”  She still remembers the feeling of that special moment… even after all these years like it was yesterday.  On the inside, she’s still the same young girl.
  2. Your mother wasn’t always so disciplined!!  Yes, there was actually a time when your mother made bad choices, went to questionable parties and disobeyed her mama too!  (Sorry mommies! Total sell-out here!)  Your mother was once very fun!  And here’s the other part of this secret…SHE STILL IS.  You may have to reach adulthood to get to know this side of Mom, but trust me, the fun girl inside is still very much alive.  And when you’re sleeping or she’s “out with the girls”, attending “book club” or having a “couples night with dad and friends”… trust me, the old girl is whooping it up.  She’s just very good at maintaining her decorum in front of you until you’re old enough to handle the truth.  Go mom!
  3. Your mother was scared when she found out she was pregnant with you.  When the doctor said the words, “You’re pregnant,” she was instantly elated and terrified at the same time.  She didn’t sleep for days, worrying whether she was ready to have a baby.  What if she wasn’t a good mother?  Throughout her pregnancy, even though it was the most special time of her life, she was filled with self-doubt about her ability to take good care of you. She felt like all of her other friends looked so together while pregnant, so sure of themselves and it made her feel even worse.  She read lots of books on babies and how to take care of you.  She prayed you were healthy every night.  And she talked to you in the quiet moments of the day so you would know her voice when you came into the world.
  4. The day you were born was hard.  It was the most painful thing your mother has ever experienced. She likes to tell you the good parts, but it was very, very hard on her.  She was scared to death.  She prayed, she cried, she screamed at your dad, the doctor and the nurse.  But when they put you in her arms, it was like nothing she can ever describe…If she were to try she would use words like “surreal, love like I’ve never known before, the happiest moment of my life.” You made her a mother. You made her life complete. You being born that day made everything else inconsequential.  You became her dream, her purpose, her reason for living.
  5. Your birthday means more to her that you could imagine.  For you, your birthday means balloons, ice cream, cake and gifts.  A reason to celebrate.  For your mother, she relives you being born.  Each year, on your birthday she closes her eyes and revisits the moment they put you in her arms and she fell in love with you.  She remembers your first walk, your first words, the first time you said “Mommy, I love you”. No, for you it’s an annual celebration, for her it’s a walk down memory lane with just you.  And make no mistake, she has all of these special memories of you locked up tightly within her heart to retrieve at a moments notice.  Your birthday is just an excuse to stop the world and privately celebrate her love for you, within herself.  Your birthday is not just about you, it’s also a special gift for her too.
  6. Your mother worries and cries… a lot.  If someone asked you to describe your mother you might find yourself using words like, “strong”, “disciplinarian”, “loving”, “always happy”, “supportive”.  But what you don’t know is that when your mother is alone, she cries sometimes.  Your mother tries so hard to keep everything around her harmonious.  But it’s a difficult job.  The job of motherhood is not as easy as it looks.  Babies up all night, sleep deprivation, money issues, loneliness, teenagers… it takes a toll on her sometimes.  Everyone just assumes Mom is fine because she always seems fine.  But sometimes, she’s not fine.  Sometimes, she is so worried about you making the baseball team or passing your final or how you’re doing after a break-up or why the baby’s fever isn’t going away or how she’s going to pay the plumber… that she stays awake all night long.  She cries for you.  She prays for you.  She doubts herself as a mother.  Her worry for you is endless.  But each morning, she puts her shoulders back, she hugs you and says she loves you as though there’s not a care in the world. But just know, that sometimes, she’s carrying the world on her shoulders.  Your mother is not as strong as you think and it doesn’t matter if you’re 10 years old or fifty… “I love you, Mom” goes a long way to lifting her load.
  7. Your mother still has dreams.  Yes, you are her world.  You are everything to her and you have made her life complete in ways you will only understand when you yourself have a little one.  But way down deep I promise you, your mother still has a dream.  That one pesky thing she never accomplished.  She shoves it down deep because you are her priority and she’s happy with that, truly she is… but the dang thing keeps rearing it’s head, summoning her to do this one thing for herself.  Is it running a marathon?  Writing a book? Opening your own dance studio?  Yet, the mere thought of putting time into this dream makes her feel guilty.  As though she would be taking precious time away from her family and that would be selfish.  But still, the passion is there…. “Someday…” she tells herself, “Someday, I’ll get to it.”  Urge her to go for it!  She can do both!  
  8. She wants to tell you about herself but she won’t unless you ask.  I know, I know… sometimes we just don’t see our parents as people!  I am just as guilty as I did the same thing with my folks. I suppose it’s natural to take our mother’s for granted, to just assume we are their life purpose because that’s how they make us feel!  But your mother would love to go back over the history of her life with you.  She would love for you to take an interest in her earlier life, before you…when she was just her.  She wants you to know who she is, her triumphs, her struggles, her life story.  But she is never going to bring it up to you because she’s afraid she would bore you. After all, it’s not about her anymore.  She made that commitment with herself from the moment she brought you home from the hospital.  But if you were to ask…she would love to tell you all the wonderful things about her life that she would like to pass on to the next generation.  It would make her feel like her life means something to you.  Your mother is so much more than just your mother…ask her about herself and find out.  You may be surprised at who she really was before you came along!
  9. Food is our language of love.  Why do mom’s cook so much food??  There is something innate within your mother that says, “feed the children to make them healthy and strong.”  Somehow in your mother’s mind, this equates to, “the more I feed them the healthier and stronger they will become.”  It may seem nonsensical to most but I assure you this involuntary feature about your mother is as natural as the act of giving birth itself.  Your mother is wired to protect, nurture and preserve her offspring whether you are a toddler or middle aged.  Therefore when she over-serves you, it’s because she loves you. Plain and simple. If you’re dieting, it is of no consequence to her.  She’s doing her job.  In her eyes, you’re perfect and don’t need to diet.  It’s an otherwise inexplicable phenomenon.  So don’t fight mother nature, just eat the food.
  10. Her greatest fear is losing you.  From the time you were born, your mother’s greatest fear was somehow losing you.  She even had horrible nightmares about it.  Losing you in a shopping mall, someone taking you…her dying and leaving you.  Or worse, you dying and leaving her. These were the things that kept your mother awake late into the night.  However irrational, and she knew it was irrational, the fear was very real to her.  The umbilical cord is cut at birth physically but I assure you the cord is still very real for her.  She is a mama bear to her last breath.  Whether you realize it or not, this is why it’s so important for her to know where you are and that her cubs are safe at all times.  Age makes no difference to her.  You will always be her cub.  Always.
  11. When you hurt, she hurts twice as much.  The time you fell off your bicycle and had to have stitches, the time you didn’t make the cheer-leading team, the boy that broke your heart, the friend that betrayed you…I assure you, your mother’s heart was throbbing.  She consoled you and gave you a much needed pep talk to make you put your shoulders back and move on.  She told you things like, “It’s not how you got in the hole that defines you honey, it’s how you get out that makes you who you truly are.”  But long after your tears dried, I assure you, your mama was in the back room wiping her own.  Your mother wants you to know that she’s your biggest fan, your foundation with which to stand upon and she’s the first one with the shovel if you need digging out. Her heart will always be in sync with yours…and when yours breaks, she will gladly give you her own each and every time.
  12. You are her legacy and her greatest achievement.  You are the company watch… the plaque on the wall she never received for a “Job Well Done.”  Your success is her success.  And make no mistake about it, she takes that very seriously.  Every spelling bee win, soccer goal, honor roll certificate, graduation, championship win or career promotion you’ve ever gotten in your life, trust me, in some small way, she takes it as a reflection of how well she raised you.  Whenever you so something wonderful, she beams with pride because your achievement is a testament to her life’s work.  You are her legacy and her greatest achievement.  So when you go out into the world and make a life for yourself, remember, you are not just in it for yourself… you are a reflection of your sweet mama.  Make her proud.  She loves you more than you will ever know.

I hope this has in some ways inspired you to really get to know and enjoy your Mother’s this Mother’s Day weekend!  There’s truly nothing like the love of a mother. And if you’re lucky enough to still have yours, I hope you make it an especially fabulous day for her!  And to all of the young mommies out there, keep up the good work!   Your legacy awaits and we thank you for making your babies wonderful for the rest of the world to share one day!

Happy Mothering, Happy Mother’s Day and God Bless to all,

Michele Mathews

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