Together We Mother: What My Mother Has Taught Me

May 18, 2017

As a mother, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of Mother’s Day for yourself and fail to acknowledge the women in your life who have taught you the most about motherhood. This year I took some time to really reflect on both my own mother and mother in law and the positive influences they have been when it comes to motherhood. They have each taught, supported and rallied for me in ways I would have never anticipated when it comes to my own path, are truly the best grandmothers I could have ever dreamed up for Owen and when shit hit the fan with Zack and I a few years ago they both pushed for our relationship to survive. Since we are traveling and were unable to celebrate the holiday together, I thought I’d write a little something to express my gratitude (although words alone won’t do them justice).

My parents got married when my mom was seventeen, and she became a mom (to me) at twenty years old. After having Owen at twenty-five and feeling like the youngest mom on the block I can only imagine what the was like for my own mother. The immense pressure at such a young age, the inability to truly celebrate her twenty-first birthday and the countless sacrifices she made in her twenties to be the best mom to both my brother and I will never go unnoticed. This is something I was undoubtedly unaware of until I became a mother myself. Everyone says that everything changes once you become a parent, but no one knows that truth more than parents themselves. The thing is that I would have never known my mom was “missing out” on anything or that her life was any different before I came into the picture. She was always incredibly present, which later taught me the true meaning of sacrifice.

This is just as true today as it was when I was a kid. As I sit in our sublet in Paris, I can’t help but think that there isn’t a grandmother who would want to be in a different country than their grandchild. But she hasn’t so much as breathed a negative remark about our travels. She in fact encouraged them and I believe that’s because she is able to take herself out of the equation. She is able to sacrifice pushing her sad feelings about it all (which are totally normal and deserved) and focus on what is best for our family. In this sense, no one has been a bigger supporter and I will always look to her as a role model when it comes to sacrificing as a mother. This is the trickiest part of motherhood if you ask me and value my mom so much for setting such a great example.

My mother in law, Lori, came into my life when I was sixteen years old and had just met Zack. In fact, our first date included a stop at his parents house so I could meet his mom. I knew then that their relationship was special. Regardless of her and Zack’s deep connection she welcomed me right into the family with open arms and it wasn’t long before Zack was off at college and I was taking yoga classes with her and sitting in Zack’s seat at the table for family meals. Did she really love me? Of course. But was her love for me an extension of her love for Zack as well? Absolutely.

Lori has taught me how powerful a mothers love for her children can be. She loves her children so fiercely that that love extends beyond them to the important people in each of their lives (myself and of course, Owen). Lori has supported me through the eleven years I’ve known her in good times and bad, she has given me guidance when I’ve fucked up and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders in my moments of success. Because of her close relationship with Zack I was always afraid I would never live up to the expectation as a mother, but she has reassured me every step of the way. Lori has welcomed me into motherhood much like she welcomed me into her family so many years ago. She has helped me feel less alone and has set the standard in so many ways.

I feel so grateful to have both my mom and Zack’s mom in my life and I could write a novel about what each of them have taught me, but right now I’m feeling the lessons of love and sacrifice more than ever before. What has your mother taught you?

This post was written for a writing series I’m part of called, Together We Mother. Be sure to check out the creative women in the #TogetherWeMother Series by visiting their blogs below:

This Lovely Life | Bel and Beau | Happy Grey Lucky
Cosmic Americana | Chels and Co. | Chrissy Powers
Kikhaly | Sometimes Sweet | Lucky Penny

Photography by Amy Frances.

Leave a Comment

  • Hi Hailey,
    I’ve been following and reading your stories on Instagram for a while and loved every bit of it. As a new mum I’m also living in a different country with my husband and as I saw what you’ve just written, I just wanted to tell you that you aren’t just a great mum, but you’re a great daughter as well, and it’s so natural and easy to be the former than the latter, and you just reminded me of how lucky I am to be the daughter of my mum as well! Thanks!!

    • Nina,

      So sorry for my delay!

      Thank you so much for this comment. Really, this is beyond kind of you to send. It’s easy to forget that you’re a daughter sometimes too right? I think it’s something you really have to be super conscious of all the time and make an effort, despite your busy life to show your own parents how much you appreciate them. It’s at least one of my goals these days!

      Thanks so much for reading and following along here. <3

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