I laughed when I saw this topic. There are lots of things that I swore I wouldn’t do when I was a Mom, but the one thing that came to mind was this:
I said I would never…be like my Mom. Wow, was I wrong. I am just like her!
Growing up, especially during those difficult preteen and teenage years, I thought my mom was a tyrant. She refused to let us have fun, she refused to buy us the things we wanted, and she embarrassed us. Once I started driving, she made me tell her everywhere I was going, even if there were multiple stops. I had to call when I got to each stop safely. It was mortifying.
It’s funny the rose-colored glasses you wear as a kid. I don’t know if it’s my age or the fact that I am now a Mom, but I see things so differently. When my mom wouldn’t allow us to have fun, it was because she was worried about our safety. When she refused to buy us the things we demanded, it was because she was a single mom struggling to make ends meet. We inevitably always had what we needed, but you know that when you are a teenager, what you need and want you want are two very different things. If I’m being honest, we often got the things we wanted as well, but my mom was smart. She made us work for them. We had to earn them. We earned them with good grades, good behavior, completed chores and working hard.
Unknowingly, or maybe knowingly, she taught us lessons that have stuck with me throughout my life. I have learned the importance of working hard, of saving money, of being prepared, of having a plan, and of being organized. Many people laugh at me. Although I do online banking, I keep a paper check register, as well. If I think back to my childhood, I can still picture my mom pulling out her check register, her paper bank statement, her pencil and her jewel button calculator.
She would sit at the dining room table and balance her checkbook, placing check marks in the register next to the items that had cleared. Clearly, it was often the lessons that my mom didn’t teach, but rather modeled, that taught us the most. Although not always an easy road, she never lost sight of what was important. She taught us what it meant to be compassionate, to be respectful, to cherish family and to love with all of your heart. My mom is the epitome of perfection.
Even though I’ve got years before McKenzie is old enough to feel “wronged” by many of the same things that I thought were so “wrong”, knowing how I feel as a mother and knowing how much I love this little girl, I know I will be the exact same way. You see, everything that my Mom did and everything that she wouldn’t let us do all came from a place of love. I see kids today and the things they are allowed to do, wear, say, and be and I couldn’t be happier that my Mom loved me so much. What may have seemed over-bearing at the time was her way of ensuring that she was raising children that showed compassion and respect, but that also had respect for themselves and the way they behaved. I believe I am a better person because of this.
I often said I would never be like my Mom, but you know what? I couldn’t be happier that I am just like her. If I am half of the mom to McKenzie that she was to my sister and I, then I will have been a phenomenal mother.