If we look at human development through a sociological lens, we can see that there are a variety of people/environments/circumstances that influence the individual each that every one of us become. But, from the first day we are born, our family is our biggest influence in our lives, whether or not we actually have one. Even if you’re an orphan, not having a family has already affected you and your life more than any other factor has.
Moms and dads each play different roles in our lives. This isn’t to say that one parent has a more important role than the other or that one parent is the “better parent” so to speak. However, I think it’s safe to say that moms are more connected to their children and therefore are one of the biggest influences in their lives. Don’t get me wrong, the majority of dads out there are seriously involved with their children’s lives, but moms tend to have a deeper connection that’s kind of hard to explain. If you think about it, from the first day that a woman is pregnant they are already more connected to their child than the father of the child is. Their child is literally developing inside of them. They are the only home, the only life source and the only form of protection that their baby knows for those first and vital nine months. Then, on that special delivery day, moms are the ones who physically release their child into the world. Again, I’m not trying to say that dads aren’t as much of a parent or haven’t contributed as much to creating this beautiful life as moms have, but moms have done so in a much more intimate way.
And yet, moms are the ones who deal with the most crap from their kids.
So on that note. I want to write a letter to all the moms out there, but specifically to my mom:
I think it’s safe to say that I have taken you for granted since I was a little kid. I didn’t really get it until now, and I’m sorry. I always expected so much from you, because you’re my mom. I expected you to take care of me when I was sick. I expected you to support every decision I made. I expected you to always be on my side. I expected you to feed me and to give me all of the other necessities I need in order to live a good life. I always expected. And my reason: because you’re my mom. Now, you might say, “Well, that’s what moms are supposed to you,” but in fact, there’s no law stating you HAVE to do any of that. And, even if you had to do that, that’s no excuse for the lack of appreciation you are shown.
The word “mom” comes with a lot of responsibility, meaning and expectations. What it doesn’t come with is a lot of gratitude. So I’m here to say thank you.
I appreciate you. I appreciate the tough times you’ve helped me through from when I was a little girl fighting with her best friend to when I hated my college the first semester that I was there. I appreciate the little things you do for me, like buying me a coloring book that has quotes on every picture, because you know I am obsessed with quotes and coloring will let me take a break from stressing over school work. I appreciate you constantly trying to make conversation with me, even though I hardly give anything to the conversation and I make stupid excuses as to why I’m “not in a talking mood.” I appreciate how you ask me what I want for dinner, or if what you’re making is okay, instead of just making something, because you know I only eat what I’m in the mood for. I appreciate you working so hard to be able to help me pay for my education when you could easily have made me pay for it, which would have forced me to enroll at a school that I probably wouldn’t have loved simply because it was affordable. I appreciate you not pushing me to talk about my problems when I’m upset, because you know it’s hard for me to talk about things. I mean, clearly that last statement is proven in how I could write all of this to you, but I could never say it in person. Why is it so hard to say that I appreciate you? Why can’t I look at the person who gave me this wonderful, beautiful life and say thank you?
I am so appreciative of everything you do for me, even the things I don’t recognize that you do for me day in and day out. But most of all, I appreciate you for allowing me to be me. Yes, you may criticize my decisions and just plain disagree with them, but you let me make them. You let me act like myself. You may tell me to eat slower and less like a football player or to have more of a filter with what I say to people, but you still let me do those things and act that way.
I may tell you that you don’t understand me and you expect too much from me, but in reality I don’t even understand myself and I expect more from myself than anyone expects from me. So regardless of what I may say, at the end of the day I realize that I am so fortunate to have you as my mom, because you let me be myself even if it confuses you or pisses you off or concerns you.
Not many people in this world, especially adults, allow kids to make their own decisions and have the freedom to be themselves. The whole world expects us to act a certain way. We are held to such unrealistic standards that it pushes us to our breaking points more often than not. We have to juggle everything from good grades to a good social life to enough sleep at night to being involved in extracurricular activities to spending time with our family to exercising enough to eating healthy and ESPECIALLY to maintaining our composure through trying to balance everything that’s expected of us. The world tells us to suck it up, because we don’t have it so bad. We aren’t supposed to fall apart. But you let me break down. You let me freak out over irrational things. You let me say I can’t do it anymore or I don’t want to do it anymore. You let me cry. You let me let it all out. So thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be who I am, regardless if you accept it. Because in a world that makes me question who I am, I can always count on you to let me figure it out on my own.
So, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I haven’t appreciated you like I should have. I’m sorry to all the moms out there who feel like no matter what they do for their kids, even if it’s with the best intentions, that their kids aren’t grateful. We are grateful. We are thankful. We appreciate you. We are just a bunch of stupid kids who don’t realize that if it wasn’t for our moms, we wouldn’t even be here, and I wouldn’t even be typing this.
So mom- I love you. I’m sorry. I probably will still argue with you and tell you that you don’t understand me, but I sure as hell won’t ever take you for granted again.