Most of us girls have been there. Thirteen years old; paranoid about ‘fitting in’ with the cool girls, trying make-up for the first time, and dealing with all of these new found emotions. Who is there through all of these whirlwind of changes? Well, for me it was Mom. However, instead of being thankful for my dear old Mom, I expressed my hatred of her. She made me clean my room, do my homework, and would ‘nag’ me to death. To thirteen year old me, she was the worst human being ever.
Fast forward a few years later to my sixteen year old high school self (aka your more emotional, bitchy, boy crazy self), and sorry Mom but to me you’re still the worst. Now, I’m just embarrassed by everything you say and do, we fight like crazy, I need the last word (but then so do you), and you just ‘don’t get me’.
Although my Mom and I have had our choice of words, and haven’t been the nicest to each other, I don’t think I would take back those times. Some may say I’m crazy for saying that. However, when I look at where my Mom and I’s relationship is now compared to what it was when I was an extra stubborn 16 year old, I feel grateful for our ups and downs. It shows me as a now independent woman in her 20’s how far we’ve come, and now I can really appreciate my Mom.
As the baby of the family there wasn’t too much I could get away with that my older brother’s hadn’t already tried (like throw parties, etc.). Because of this, my Mom set (and still does) high standards for me, and I felt a responsibility to meet those expectations. However, I still saw her as the nagging evil woman who called every second, wouldn’t let me hang out with certain kids, and made me work for everything that I waned. I can’t tell you how many times I shouted, “I HATE YOU!” my Mom’s way, not caring if it hurt her or not.
Then college came. That big transition in all of our lives. I was moving out, and would be too busy to fight with her every day (something I’m sure my Dad was excited for). I went through a lot of ups and downs through college. However, the one thing that never changed was my Mom’s unconditional love and support. She made sure that I made it to the stage on graduation day, and I think in that moment I realized how significantly our relationship had changed. We were no longer enemies, but best friends.
Now that I am finally at the age where I can appreciate my Mom, I feel that it is appropriate to share a list of the top five things that I have learned from my number one lady to share with all of you.
1. Money, success, and a fancy job is not everything. Happiness is.
My mom was a single working Mother until she met my pretty cool Dad and had me. She is the definition of a hard working person, and although she may have never had her dream job until later in life, she still made sure that we were always laughing and happy.
2. Having faith and trusting in yourself is key.
Faith is one thing that I will always try to keep in my back pocket thanks to my Mom. She has been through the worst of times and the best of times, but no matter what, she ALWAYS had faith that everything would be okay, and it has.
3. Being a clean/organizational freak is okay.
One of the many things Mom and I used to argue over was her need to have the house looking perfect. Now, I find myself freaking out over my kitchen being dirty in my own apartment. This sounds like a bad thing, however, I’m grateful that she taught me to; clean up after myself, actually do my laundry on my own, and how to use the dishwasher (because I’ve learned through one too many roommates that some people like leaving dishes to rot in the sink for weeks).
4. Never stop trying.
My mom has never given up. Not on my brothers, not on my dad, definitely not on me, and most importantly not on herself. She has taught me to do the same no matter what struggle I am faced with, no matter how hard I want to throw in the towel, she’s there to tell me to keep going after what I want.
5. Laughter is the best medicine.
Even during some of our annoying fights, my mom and I would just look at each other and burst out laughing. It always cleared the air, and even now we always have each other keeled over laughing. Laughter is important to get you through the ups and downs of life. Never forget that.