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My mom and I have always had a complicated relationship. She was a single, teen mom raising my sister and I with the help of my grandparents most of my life. This meant I pretty much lived with my grandparents while she worked 2, sometimes 3 jobs to make ends meet to support us. When I was little, I never understood any of it. I thought everyone saw their mom’s on weekends like I did. As I got older, I began to notice the differences between my mom and others. Mainly, how young she was…which was commented often and also, how people saw my grandmother all the time, but never saw my mom.
The older I got, I started to butt heads with her every chance I got. By this time, we had added my little brother to the mix and an distant stepfather and I no longer lived near my grandparents. My mom had gone from 3 jobs, to 1.. now having some stability financially, but that’s really when my sister and I ran amuck.
My sister and I are 18 months apart and now, we were teens at the same time. Very rebellious ones. While my sister acted out all her anger, I held it in and withdrew from my mom. Despite all her efforts, I refused to connect with her… holding in so much resentment over things I didn’t realize were bugging me. Things like wanting a normal mother-daughter relationship, which I could never have because she was working when I was little.
I held onto this resentment for a long time, and it took me moving away to start to build any type of relationship with my mom. I have always loved her, but I was still not reliant on her.
Then I became a mom.
…and that’s when I finally understood.
Everything she did, she did for me. Everything I had resented when I was young- the work, the constant financial strain, the battle of wills- was her sacrificing, loving and being a mom. My mom has been there for me, in some way, shape or form, since Day 1, it just took me becoming a mom to see it.
Motherhood is many things and it’s not always perfect, but there’s love, and that’s all that matters.