Reminders To Myself When It's My Turn To Be A Mom

Reminders To Myself When It's My Turn To Be A Mom

Don't forget what it felt like when you were the child.
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Today, I have been thinking a lot about my future; six months from now to six years from now. What job will I have? Where will I be living? Will my husband want to name our kids the same thing I do? That question moved my thoughts from the future to the past. Whatever their names may be I know what kind of mom I do not want to be.

Ashley, when it's your turn to be a mom, these things, don't you ever forget:

Don't forget what it felt like each Mother's Day when all the other kids were making gifts to personally give to their moms and you were making something that you knew your mom would never see it.

Don't forget what it felt like having every mom cheer for you from the stands at your softball games except for your own.

Don't forget what it felt like sitting in your best friend's living room with her mom just talking about everything, wishing that your mom was around to talk and laugh.

Don't forget what it felt like to have your grandma come to all the Girl Scout meetings with you when all the other girls sat with their moms.

Don't forget what it felt like waking up on Christmas Day without your mom there recording and taking pictures.

Don't forget what it felt like to walk into church alone and sit beside a mother and her daughters.

Don't forget what it felt like to not have your mom go prom dress shopping with you any of the four years.

Don't forget what it felt like to be asked at every family event where your mom was.

Don't forget what it felt like to never know where your mom was.

Don't forget what it felt like praying for your mom each night while you held onto the same bear she had growing up.

Don't forget what it felt like to have to introduce your mom to all your teachers because they had never seen her at a parent/teacher conference.

Don't forget what it felt like to be introduced as "my daughter" even if it was by your boyfriend's mom. Or how happy you were to have someone to talk about boys with even though that boy was her son.

Don't forget what it felt like to plan and pack for college all by yourself.

Don't forget what it felt like to sincerely call all your friends' moms "mom" and not your own.

Don't forget what it felt like each time you asked your mom to do something with you and her making up countless excuses.

Don't forget what it felt like to call your mom when you wanted to see how she is doing just for her not to answer.

Please, just, don't forget.

XO and best wishes,

Ashley Rose

Cover Image Credit: http://respectwomen.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/MOM-DAUGHTER.jpg

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Blocking Toxic Family Members Can Be Just What You Needed

It isn't an easy choice but it can be the most rewarding.

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I haven't written for the Odyssey in quite some time due to this large issue in my life that I feel some people may also need to hear. Watching your parents go through a divorce can be difficult in itself, but what about having to remove one of your parents from your life at the same time? It's something I don't think many people could imagine doing. However, sometimes you are forced into the position between choosing what is best for your mental health or what is expected of you. For me, I realized that I needed to put myself first.

I realized that I am my own person. How I present myself and how I act and what I choose to believe in is how the world perceives me. I was faced with a parent who did not let me be who I am. The way I thought had to be in line with theirs. What I openly spoke about had to be in line with that parent's thoughts. This also, in turn, meant I had to revolve how I was perceived to the world around that parent's family. I had to abide by these societal norms and do what someone else expected of me. I realized that was ludicrous.

This parent was also abusive. They were toxic and manipulative and I could not stand idly by and just take that from them while also trying to become an independent young adult. I was forced to sit and watch one of my parents transform into someone I didn't recognize anymore. I had to watch them ignore any kind of reality checks and continue to feign innocence. I watched one of my parents mentally manipulate people I once called family into believing lies. I kept my head down and shut my mouth and kept taking the abuse. Now I'm at a point where I can confidently say that I am no longer afraid.

I was forced to cut ties with a parent that raised me, cared for me, attended school functions, fixed toys, bought me my first phone. I was forced to chuck out priceless memories for my own sanity. I could not sit idly by and allow myself to endure one more second of lies or abuse. I had to stand up for myself for once in my life and I blocked most of my family. I blocked cousins, aunts, uncles, and godparents. I changed my phone number that I had since 6th grade. I gave no warning and disappeared from my family's lives. Do I have regrets? No. I would do it again if I had to because I am so much stronger than sitting there and taking it.

I will have one less parent at my college graduation, which I am fighting so hard to achieve. I will have one less parent at my wedding. My future children will have one less grandparent. I mope in these thoughts but then I have to remember the other side of things. I will not have an unsupportive parent at my graduation and instead will have those that were there every step of the way. I will lack someone who was toxic at my wedding. My future children will never have to face the same abusive, toxic situations that my parent put me through. It was a difficult decision to make but one that I know in my heart is worthwhile.

Cutting a family member out of your life is difficult enough but cutting a parent is unimaginable. However, no one deserves to go through abusive situations. It shouldn't matter who the person is; if someone is treating you less than you deserve to be treated, they have no use being in your life. You should always be your first priority. You should never have to endure something for the sake of others. I am here to tell you that you are more than that and that cutting out a family member could actually be the best thing for you, even if it's incredibly difficult. I did it and I'm still here. It made me realize who my real family was, and there will never be enough thank you's in the world to show my mother just how much I appreciate her.

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