I've always loved my mom. It could be that hindsight is 20/20, but I don't remember my teenage years being awful. My mom and I had our spats, but on the whole I think we got along fairly well. Even in college - halfway across the country - we'd have our tiffs, but at the end of the day I always knew she loved me and was there for me, no matter what. The biggest thing we disagreed on was boys. I see now that she knew far better than I did which ones were actually good and which ones were just pretending, but in the midst of it I was far too stubborn to admit that she might be right. Despite the boys that came and went - and the man who came and stayed - and despite the spats over chores, allowance, jobs and whatever else, my mom and I have remained close. I'm closer to my mom than I am to almost anyone else, and not just because she's my mom and the bible tells me to honor her. I'm close to her because I respect her, I value her opinions and I look up to her. When I was younger, people told me all the time how much I looked like my mom. I always fought it and never believed it, but the older I got, the harder it became to deny that we look alike. Not only do we look alike, the older I get, the more I am turning into my mom - and that isn't a bad thing. I tell stories like her, I have many of her mannerisms and I get a fair amount of my 'fierce-ness' from her. She's a woman who, over the years, I've come to admire and respect, but even more, I'm blessed to be her daughter. As I prepare for this coming baby, one of the greatest joys of this pregnancy has been to share things with my mom. Our relationship has changed since I got married, partly because I no longer live at home and partly because that's just life. We still talk nearly every day, and despite living across town, we see each other at least once a week. I love getting to share things with her about pregnancy: the normal symptoms, my fears and hopes and joys, the ultrasound pictures, all of it. I love that she wears a 'Grandmother In Waiting' pin, and that she shows off ultrasound pictures like a proud and doting grandma. I love that she saves articles for me on so many things from setting up a nursery to breastfeeding and everything in between. She's never pushy about what I should or shouldn't be doing, she's just there, loving me and supporting me however she can. It is in these moments of love and support and passing on her wisdom that I realize one of the most beautiful things about what I'm preparing for: I get a chance to become even more like my mom because I get to be a mom myself. I get the chance to show someone else as much love and support as she's shown me. I get to show our son or daughter love, care, tenderness and a listening ear like only a mom can. Though I've teased her plenty over the years that I'm turning into her, one of the most exciting and humbling things about becoming a mom myself is the chance to be even more like her, to not only relate to her on a new level, but to pass on all the love, grace, mercy, tenderness, hope and joy that she's given to me. I love you Mom. Thanks for teaching me so much about life and motherhood just by being you.
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