Painful Mothering

painfulmotherI scribbled the below in my mom’s Mother’s Day card at 4:30 am when my son decided to start the day early in celebration.

It’s still strange to be sharing Mother’s Day with you, and for the fourth year. As my son is no longer a baby, I get it–at least a little. I see that what hurts me  hurts you, and the pain is not just a generic sympathy any decent person might feel for another human’s suffering. It’s different. Blinding, agonizing, different.

I’m realizing what it’s like when that part of yourself that you carried, birthed, and who you love to distraction pushes against you. I’m learning the grief and pain that comes when that precious person who is a part of you is angry at you and rejects what you know they need. And to then have to watch them hurt, slog along. But I see it only on a small scale. You’ve seen it all; how do you do it?

You must be so strong–strong enough to risk messing up as you help, support, and love. Strong enough to apologize when it’s needed. And strong enough to keep giving when things don’t seem like they’re ever going to get better.

I know I’m just starting to figure some of it out. But I know enough to see not every mom would do what you do. You are there for me through stuff you don’t understand. How you love and sacrifice this much for not just one child  but four, plus their children, is totally beyond me. 

I’m thankful you are my mom: that I have the chance to laugh with, argue with, and wish for more sleep with you every day .

I’m thankful I can ask for your thoughts on raising my son–even when I don’t follow them.

I’m thankful you keep trying to help me even when neither of us have a clue what I need or how to do it.

Thank you for losing sleep, listening without trying to fix things, sharing food and smiles, helping me in the career that I love, and doing it over and over again.

I like you, I love you, and I wouldn’t want any other mom. I see how hard you try. And I know I don’t get how painful and difficult it is. Hopefully you see that I am trying too. My son has a stronger mommy because that mommy has a strong mom. Thank you. 

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7 thoughts on “Painful Mothering

  1. Beautiful; what a heart-felt “letter” to your Mother!
    I think until we become parents, we don’t fully realize ALL that we put our parents through. When we make mistakes, they try their best to help us out of them. And when we make wrong choices and fall down, they grieve. And when we push them away, it hurts them but they never give up on us, they never stop praying for us- even if it takes a miracle to get us back to where we should be. It’s so encouraging to see my parents take a stand for what is right, despite the intense pain and heartache it causes them. My Mom (and dad!) are a beautiful blessings from the Lord.

    Like

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. So eloquently said…any mother would love to hear those words from their child.

    Like

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