I didn’t fully appreciate my own mother until I had a child of my own. Then I had a second kid, and I appreciated her even more. Not just because she drops everything to help us out (“Mom, Nathan’s throwing up in the bathroom and I just spiked a fever, how quick can you get here?!”) but because she helps me — okay, pushes me — to do the big daunting projects that I don’t have the energy to do alone (“Today we’re buying frames for your photo wall, then we’re going to pull the weeds in your flower bed. Brush your teeth and put on a proper bra, we’re going to Michael’s.”)
In honor of Mother’s Day, I
stole borrowed these “Questions for My Mom” from the amazing blogger Lyz Lenz (with a few small modifications) for my own Mother’s Day post.
What’s the one thing you would have done differently as a mom?
I would have spent more time playing with you kids. Because I spent too much time cleaning. I could be pretty particular, you know that. People got hit with brooms when they weren’t cooperating (giggle). [Sidebar: When my mother discovered a hole in our brand-new kitchen linoleum, she was livid and smacked me with the broom… turns out my little sister did it, not me, and we never let her live it down.]
In what ways do you think I’m like you, and not like you?
You like to have a schedule like me. You like things organized like me. You like things picked up and cleaned up. I think you make more time for your kids playing, I never felt like I could because I had four of you, and I don’t think people did that as much back then. I also think it’s different for you because you’re working full-time while your kids are little, and I wasn’t. It’s also different because your husband helps with the kids. Your dad wasn’t so much help. He was a good provider but not much help.
Which one of us kids did you like the best?
Who would answer that question?! I liked you all. You’re all unique.
Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have?
Hmm… let’s see. I like your laugh. I like your positive attitude. I like the way you show your feeling more than most of your sisters.
Do you think it’s easier or harder to be a mother now than when you were raising our family?
I think there are some of the same challenges, because of the fact I was working full time when my kids were growing up. [My mom stopped working in 1977, when her oldest daughter was 1 year old, and went back to work full-time as a teacher in 1985, when her fourth kiddo was 2. She was out of the workforce for 8 years.] I wanted to be a super mom. Who doesn’t want to be super? To provide good opportunities for their child, to instill good values? I think it’s about the same now as then.
Is there anything you regret not having asked your dad?
There are lots of things, because Dad remembered everything, right down to the date. I guess I would like to know one thing. Mom was saying the other day that she didn’t think Dad had ever told her that he loved her. Why was he so hesitant to show emotions? Which probably makes me hesitant to show emotions. I wish I would have asked him that. I think it was a lot of pressure on my dad, being the oldest brother (of 10 kids). That was a lot of pressure his whole life.
What’s the best thing I can do for you right now?
Let’s see… Just stay involved in my life.
What’s something I do, as a parent, that you think is totally weird?
Feeding your baby all night long! I couldn’t handle that.