Changing Patterns

I had a really great conversation the other night with a friend. We talked about family and moms, and the influence that parents have in our lives. I often think about how tough it was for my mom to raise us alone. My dad died when I was just 8 years old and my mom never remarried. I think as a teenager I never appreciated how difficult life must have been for her. I recognize how awful and gut wrenching it was to have your spouse die and be left to raise two children, alone. I know that she did the absolute best she could, and I thank God for that. I have learned so much from my mom and her strength has been something that I have always looked up to.

Yet I can't help but feel something lacking from our relationship. As grateful as I am and as much as I respect her, I was never that close to her. We just never talked about our feelings or dreams, and desires. To this day I can't cry in front of my mom, it makes me terribly uncomfortable. I remember when RJ and I broke up, while we were dating, it took everything in me not to cry when I told her. I just said. Mom, RJ is not going to be coming around anymore. To which she responded, I'm sorry to hear that. That's it, that was the end of the conversation. My mom is sacrificial, generous, loving, but affectionate she is not.

I love my mom. I respect my mom! Yet a part of me can't help but to not want to be that way with our kids. I think about it often. I wonder how Jed will see me as a parent. This use to eat me up inside. When I was younger I was really angry at my mom for not being there. I wanted a mom who came to my competitions and who baked cookies, but it just wasn't possible. Becoming a mom has made me a little softer, a little more understanding. Life doesn't always give you the ideal scenario. Often times, life doesn't go as planed. I think that changes people. You view life differently. My mom approaches life from her perspective. She only knows life as a ton of work and her husband dying. She's had a really tough life, and I look up to her so much, for the strength she has shown.

I'm not sure where I intended this to go. It's something that I have been reflecting on, and wanted to share. My husband always said that you can only love to the degree in which you have been loved. As Christians that is an infinite amount! I think that we can all be a little bit more understanding. We can never really know everything a person has experienced, even our parents.  Its not wrong to want to be better or different than our parents, but sometimes we just need to cut them some slack! I think that we can either make the best of our situation, spend our days hoping for new ones, or change. Circumstances might not be able to change but hearts and attitudes can! God can change any ones heart. We just need to look a little bit further than our circumstance, past, or present. We need to learn to be a little softer, more understanding. I think the change comes with us, for our kids, but also with our parents.

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Mayra Romero said...

What a great Mother's Day post! Seriously! I'm not mother, but as I get older I realize how tough life can be and I can't imagine how hard it must be to care for a child when caring for yourself is hard enough. I know we all love our mothers,We always have and always will. but I grow more and more respect for my parents as I get older, Every year I appreciate what they did and what they continue to do. and you are right, We need to cut them more slack. It isn't easy!
I am so proud of you and the mother that you are. You are amazing, loving and caring and your kids are so lucky to have you as their mommy!

Love you!
Happy Early Mothers Day!

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