Life Parenting

I Never Understood My Mom. Now That I Have Kids, I Get It.

Although it is no secret that parents make sacrifices for their kids, it is hard to completely comprehend unless you are a parent yourself.

Since having my first baby, I have found myself thinking of my own mother when things get a little crazy, like while I’m wiping pee off my face or glaring at my stretch marks in the mirror. As I am now able to picture her going through the same kinds of things I do, I have grown so much more thankful for my mom and all she has done for me over the years.

As a mom of two toddlers, I still have years to go before I can really begin to understand everything she has gone through, and I will never fully understand her struggle because she did it all WITHOUT THE INTERNET, but here is what I do know so far about what my mom has done for me.

1. She went through a pregnancy for me.

Love it or hate it, being pregnant is no walk in the park. It’s uncomfortable, painful, sweaty, unflattering and scary. I never really gave a second thought to this until I was pregnant myself, but giving your body over to someone else for 9-10 months is a huge gift.

2. She went through labor for me.

I didn’t actually go through hard labor myself; I had C-sections with both of my boys, but from the few contractions I did experience, as well as countless stories from other moms who have been through it, I can only imagine how painful and difficult it is. Thanks for not giving up during labor (even though I heard you wanted to), Mom.

3. She had to clean up my bodily fluids for me.

I don’t know why it is so hard for me to imagine my own mother cleaning up pee, poo, blood and vomit, but she obviously had to do it. Until I became a mom, I didn’t realize how gross it must have been to take care of me over the years. Seriously, kids are disgusting. Thanks for not making me sleep in my own pee, Mom.

4. She worried about me all the time.

This is one you just absolutely cannot comprehend until you have kids of your own. You never stop thinking about them, about if they are safe right this second, if they will still be safe tomorrow and what the future holds for them. You worry that you’re doing everything wrong and that you will mess them up. It doesn’t matter if they are awake or asleep, at home or away, you worry about them. Mom, I hope you can stop worrying now. You did a great job with me, if I do say so myself.

5. She went through being sick while still parenting me.

Obviously, we all get sick whether we have kids or not, but getting sick once you’re a parent is a totally new kind of miserable. You can’t just lay in bed all day watching Netflix and sleeping. You can’t walk around whining and only thinking about yourself. When you’re a sick mom, you suck it up, pull yourself out of bed and make your kids breakfast. You carry around that box of Kleenex or puke bowl and continue about your day changing diapers, dealing with tantrums, reading stories and kissing boo-boos.┬áIt is the worst. It sucks. A lot.

6. She had to cancel plans because I needed her.

Obviously, the loss of freedom is one of the hardest things to cope with when you become a parent, and we all know that sometimes in order to put our children first, we have to cancel our plans. This is so much easier said than done. Sometimes you just really need a date night, but the babysitter cancels. Other times, you have been planning a night out with your friends for over a month but your son has a high fever and just needs his mommy (and you would worry about him the whole time you were gone anyway). Even though it totally comes with the territory, it can be a huge bummer to have to miss something you have really been looking forward to. Thanks for skipping out on some fun times for me, Mom.

7. She lost a lot of sleep for me.

It is such a cliche to say that when you become a parent you will never sleep again because that isn’t true. If it were, every parent would literally die shortly after becoming one, but it is true that sleep sorta becomes a luxury and you don’t get nearly as much as you did before. My mom always drank an entire pot of coffee a day. It all makes sense now.

8. She loves me.

When my mom told me she loved me, I thought I understood, but in reality, I had no idea what she actually meant. It wasn’t until the moment I held my firstborn baby in my arms that I understood. She LOVED me in a way that cannot be described or understood unless you have experienced it. There is a deep love for your child that will never be replaced or duplicated. You don’t have to work for it or choose it. It just happens…and it is amazing.

Mom, I get it now.

Thank you.

This post was originally published on Stay Home Mama.