I remember being a teenage girl sitting in my room totally feeling that one line from the Fresh Prince’s, Parents Just Don’t Understand.
It seemed that everything was always a no.
I wanted to talk on the phone to boys.
I wanted to hang out with the cool kids.
I wanted to get a pager (all this cell phone business was not even an issue then)
I wanted to do *insert whatever you can think of*
And the answer was usually still…. NO!
While I sometimes think that my mom went way overboard, now having a daughter who is entering those same teen years and being on the other side I get it, more than ever.
I want to raise a daughter who has standards, is an individual, who tries (even if she fails), who loves (God, herself and others), who earns what is given to her and realizes that not everything is handed out in life. I want her to be able to make it, even when I am not here.
What I have come to realize is those are the same things that my mom wanted for me. It wasn’t until she saw that actualizing and playing out that we then became as close as we are.
My daughter and I are not friends, and we won’t be for a while (at least 5 years as that is when she will be 18). I can’t raise her up to be all of those things while trying to be her friend.
Reflecting on my own relationship with my mom, then and now, and the relationship I have with my daughter, I now understand that once she crosses into adulthood, a different kind of parenting happens.
I will then have the ability to befriend the person I birthed into this world because I can now trust that the seeds planted in the child rearing years will grow into a beautiful garden, and through friendship, I will get a front row seat to it.
While I know it can’t be the case now, I look forward to the day where my daughter and I have the kind of relationship my mother and I have.
My mother respects me as an adult, and while she now allows me free expression, my upbringing made it known that it is to be done in the most respectful manner.
My mother actually asks for my advice at times because she can trust that she raised someone with sound judgement and is capable of making trustworthy decisions.
My mother helps me with my children because she knows that no matter how grown I am, I still need her, and my children need her too. After all, who better to save them from the “mean mommy” than the one who taught her everything she knows but acts like she doesn’t know why I act the way I do.
My mother loves me for exactly who I am and she lets me know it often by sending me random cards in the mail, sweet text messages, or calls saying she
misses hasn’t heard from me and demanding that I call her.
I say all this to say, that now, looking back I am thankful for all the “no’s”, not just because they shaped me into the woman that I am today, but because they have taught me how to parent my daughter, no matter what the latest trends are in parenting.
She has taught me to stand my ground, Love hard, and Provide the best way I know how.
For all those things I am truly grateful.Mom stayed the same, my view just changed... #mothersday Click To Tweet
I have teamed up with a couple blogger buddies who are also reflecting on the relationship with their moms.
[symple_column size=”two-third” position=”first” fade_in=”false”]I had a rough relationship with my mom when I was a preteen/teen. I was a very independent soul and I wanted nothing more than to break away from my parents. My mom was (is) a very wise mama and she took great care in being cautious with us and protecting me. Something that I resented at the time but grew to greatly appreciate in my early adulthood. While I would have said then that my mom was annoying (sorry mom, I know that hurts) controlling and over protective, today I only LONG to be HALF as good a mom as she was. She is one of my best friends today and I rely so much on her wisdom, prayer and friendship.
Kayla Nelson, The Accidental Nomad Life
[/symple_column][symple_column size=”one-third” position=”last” fade_in=”false”][/symple_column]
[symple_column size=”one-third” position=”first” fade_in=”false”][/symple_column][symple_column size=”two-third” position=”last” fade_in=”false”]My mom and I had a pretty normal mother-daughter relationship when I was growing up. She was the best mom I could ever imagine and she supported me in whatever I did. But of course, I didn’t appreciate her and didn’t respect her for the things she did until now. I was a typical teenager in a lot of ways, and I wanted to do what many other teenagers wanted to do—do things that were too young for me and weren’t good for me. She was strict on a lot of things with my brother and I—curfew, grades and always being on time. But the one thing I appreciate now more than ever is her and my father letting my brother and I discover our passions and not be forced into something we didn’t love doing. The truth is, I took her unconditional love for granted. She’s the one person I can count on to give me a pep talk when I’m feeling stressed or sad. She builds me up and always believes in me. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom after college that I truly realized what a blessing she was in my life. As I’ve gotten older, we’ve become closer and we talk almost every day. I realize now that we really are similar in many ways, especially mentally and spiritually. She’s a role model for me every day and I’m still striving to be like her—kind, generous, patient, compassionate, resilient, self-disciplined. She’s a wonderful woman and an inspiration to those around her!
Kathryn Miller, Down Home Damsel[/symple_column]
[symple_column size=”two-third” position=”first” fade_in=”false”]This reflection was very difficult for me to write. I always knew being a single parent was hard. I knew it presented an additional set of challenges that many two-parent households did not endure. My mother made it look easy. She attended every track meet, every cheer competition, every orchestra concert. She gave true meaning to “making a dollar out of 89 cents”. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized just how hard she worked to provide for us. To this day, I still don’t know where she found the money or energy, but she showed up and showed out. As a teenager, I didn’t appreciate it. My freshman year of high school, my mother ran an entire relay lap outside the track gates with me because she knew I needed the encouragement. Was it hilarious and slightly embarrassing? Of course, but she showed up. She always has. Two years ago, I started dating a wonderful man who was raising his two boys alone just like her. Going from being a single woman to a “step[up] mother” hasn’t been an easy task. Because of the example she set before me, I make sure that no matter what…I show up. Kids may see us make mistakes, they won’t always agree with our methods, but they always remember who was present. I have my mother to thank for showing me the true meaning of commitment as it relates to motherhood, and I feel privileged to be able to pass those lessons down as our family grows.
Jessica Rae, So Above Love[/symple_column][symple_column size=”one-third” position=”last” fade_in=”false”][/symple_column]
There are common threads in all of our reflections, the biggest one being that we didn’t fully realize how great our mothers were until we grew a little older and presumably wiser.
This gives me encouragement needed to keep pushing in the hard times that are in front of me with my own daughter.
Sometimes the encourager needs to be encouraged…
Wishing my mother, and your’s, the best mother’s day any mother can have on today and and every day!