This guest post by Laura Starner, who shares her uplifting and triumphant story of surviving cancer at Laura’s Journey of Hope, is part of a series called Happy Mother’s Day to Me. In it, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Chances are, if you’re a mother, you have an impressive—and long—resume, too. Check out all the posts in the series!
As moms, we usually don’t take time to celebrate ourselves because we don’t really feel like we’ve accomplished anything. So today I celebrate my accomplishments as a mom and Mimi (Grandma). I want to encourage others by writing about my resume as a mom/Mimi.
My daughters are 28 and 24 years old. I have three grandchildren ages five and under and a new addition on the way.
One morning this week I woke up as one half of my head imploded and was sucked into a black hole behind my right eye.
At least that’s what it felt like.
I haven’t had a migraine in years, but this one woke me around 3am. It kept me awake as I tried to alleviate the pain—massaging my scalp, plopping a bag of frozen vegetables over my face—between retching into the garbage can. Yeah, not pretty.
Peeper, luckily, slept in as late as she ever has, and the headache had mellowed quite a bit by that time. Even still, I was nowhere near the top of my game all day.
By the time Eric got home from class around 5pm, the house was a disaster. He laughed as he stepped over the shoes scattered across the hallway, the DVDs spread out over the living room and the cookbooks, bags and utensils in the kitchen.
The chaos made me realize how much I tidy up after Peeper throughout the day.
Imagine a wrecking ball dismantling a 10-story building. During a hurricane. In a town recently hit by an earthquake. Such is the destructive power of my daughter.
Yes, I know that Mother’s Day has come and gone, but moms continue their hard work on the 364 days they don’t get cards and brunch and flowers—so why shouldn’t I write about an amazing mom I know?
My dearest E,
I know this isn’t your favorite holiday, but I have some things to say, so suck it up!
You are a wonderful mother. That said, this whole parenting thing is effin’ hard. Thank you for not trying to hide that from me. Your transparency has made the transition into motherhood feel less difficult. Ok, maybe not that much less difficult, but at the very least, your letting me see you struggle makes me feel less alone when all I want to do is get in my car, drive away and never look back.
(I don’t feel like that very often these days, but I have felt like that. And when I did, I called you.)
I appreciate your advice. I appreciate that you wait for me to ask for your advice. I appreciate that you couch your advice in terms of what worked for you or what you read or what you wish you’d done differently instead of telling me what I should do or what will work for us.
I appreciate your support. I feel stronger as a person and mother because you are on my side.
I appreciate your willingness to listen anytime. You don’t remind me that I’ve rehashed the same issue a dozen times already. You let me vent even though you’re in the car driving with the family and they all have to listen to me on speakerphone. Have I mentioned lately that you’re one of the best listeners I know?
You will make a scoffing noise at this (STOP THAT RIGHT NOW), but I’ll say it anyway. You are the perfect mother for N. Not the Perfect Mother (and I probably wouldn’t want to be friends with you if you were—how boring) but the best-matched mama for your strong, fierce, lovable, sweet, hilarious, huggable, opinionated, determined, smart little one. I learn how to be a better mother by watching you two.
I am so thrilled for our girls to grow up together. I have a feeling that they’ll come to love each other as much as we love each other. And if the shenanigans we got into together are any measure, the two of them will have A LOT of fun together. (And perhaps cause us an ulcer or two.)
Ok, maybe just a little more.
I love you! Happy Mother’s Day.
Is there a mom you know who deserves a compliment, hug or mimosa today? Let her know! Share below, too!
Mid-mornings are precious to me. After the first few hours of the day, when I change, feed, nurse, change again and play with Edie until her first nap, I have a few minutes to myself.
This morning, like usual, I take the chance to drink a cup of decaffeinated tea and tool around on the Internet. I catch up on email, check Facebook and read blogs. Today I came across the newest post from Deb at The Monster in Your Closet. She writes, “I don’t want to be or waste my time striving to be someone else’s image of perfection. I do want my kids to understand the beauty of human bodies–and faces–is not in how they look but what they do.”
Deb posted several selfies of her gorgeous pregnant self and linked to the inspiration for the post over at Square One Notes. Sandra from Square One invited other writers to post a photo of themselves. “I need to know it’s okay to live in a world where we like ourselves,” she says. “I want my daughter to grow up with a sense of self worth and confidence so that others will hold her in the same regard. Help me show her it’s okay to be in our own corner.”
“I’m so much more patient,” I heard time and again as other women graduated from mom’s group. I laughed inwardly: That is so not me.
In some ways, becoming a mother has actually made me more impatient. I noticed myself getting worked up when I drove around the Target parking lot, unable to find the exit. I mentally berated myself when I took a wrong turn while driving. I tried not to lose it when the plane we boarded sat on the tarmac, waiting for a repair.
I think I’m less tolerant of inconveniences like these because my time is more precious to me these days. If a few spare moments are wasted on, say, trying to turn left against traffic, I think of all the things I could have done with that extra ninety seconds. Like eat a banana or go pee uninterrupted.
Motherhood is much harder than I thought it would be—but not in the clichéd ways you hear about before giving birth. I could care less about changing a million diapers, no matter their contents. That’s a breeze.
Even giving birth was a totally different kind of difficult.
What I found was that the challenges and trials of early motherhood were intense and awful enough to make me question my fitness as a mother.