How Becoming a Mom Changed How I See My Mom
Being a mother has changed me in numerous ways.
The sacrifices of motherhood shine a light on my selfish heart, but also have increased my capacity to love in a way I have never experienced before. It has changed my perspective on life in general and God is using it to teach me about grace.
Perhaps most significantly and unexpectedly, I see my own mom in a new light. And to my embarrassment, I realize that I never adequately appreciated her.
It's so easy to be hard on our moms and concentrate on what they did wrong and what we wish they would have done differently. But now I see her in light of my own imperfections as a mom. And I recognize the heavy burden she carried, sometimes made harder by my crushing expectations of her.
I see things so much more clearly now, so I hope you'll indulge me while I pay a long overdue tribute to my mom. Perhaps through my reflections, you will see your mom through new eyes as well.
How I See My Mom Now
I See the Sacrifices She Made
My sister and I attended a small private school run by our church and my mom was home each afternoon when we came home from school. As a result of those choices, we were on a tight budget. But I didn't recognize the sacrifice she was making to give us a Christian education and a stable home, I just saw that I couldn't have the designer clothes I wanted or take exciting vacations.
While that is just one of many examples, I see the significance of it now as I am making similar choices with my husband for our daughter. And my mom is still sacrificing for me. We live across the country from my parents and my mom does not love to fly, but she regularly gets on a plane to come see us and it means the world to me.
I See the Ways She Showed Me Love
Maybe the most significant way she showed love to me was her unwavering faith in God. She never doubted his love for her and his presence in her life. She passed on the importance of consistent time reading the Bible and regular church attendance. As my own faith has grown over the years, I see the incredible gift I was given.
I See the Way She Loves Her Grandchildren
My sister had kids ten years before I did and I have seen over the years the incredible ways my mom loves her grandkids. Picking them up from school and taking them out for ice cream, taking my niece to get her nails done and traveling to see my nephew play basketball are just a few of the ways she communicates her love for them.
Grandmas are removed from the every day stress of motherhood and don't have to deal with the constant pressure of decisions, the struggle with insecurities and the perceived failures. They are free to simply love and pour into our kids in a special and unique way.
My little girl only gets to see her grandparents two to four times a year, but she knows and loves them each deeply and there is no doubt they love her in return.
I love my mom dearly and I'm grateful for the ways motherhood has helped me see her with more grace.
What about you? How has motherhood changed your perspective on your mom?
Perhaps you had a tough childhood. Can you find the good in your mom or was there someone who stepped into her place and loved you well? Have you told her how much she means to you?
Maybe your mom is not around anymore? How can you pass on her legacy to your own family and make sure they know the significant part she played in your life?
Regardless of what your own experience with your mom was, allow this Mother's Day to be a time of reflection and appreciation. And, if you're led to, reach out to your own mom and extend her some overdue grace.
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Annie Wiesman is the co-author of “Education Begins at Birth: A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers for Kindergarten.” She is a former kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom who enjoys traveling, hiking in the mountains, and creating memories together with her husband and little girl.
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