Mothers and daughters go through many stages in their relationships. One formidable change in that relationship is when a daughter becomes a mother. It’s the opposite of when you were a teenager and everything your mom said or did was wrong. Once a daughter becomes a mother, everything changes — including her relationship with her mother. I see my mother through new eyes now that I’m a mom.
I have a new respect for my mom, the mothers that came before her, the mothers in the same stage of life as me, and mothers-to-be. This is the most demanding job I’ve ever had, and it comes with immense sacrifice and insecurity. And I’m doing it with much more support than my mother had: I have Facebook groups, WhatsApp chat groups, and online advice pages to turn to. These, of course, have drawbacks, but our access to information today is unparalleled. My mom told me she had a stack of books and the pediatrician. I don’t know how she did this without the same type of support structure I have.
She Still Has Invaluable Advice
I didn’t often turn to my mom for advice until I became a mother. Now that I see her with new eyes, my mother’s advice is invaluable to me. Although she is from a different generation of parenting, she has a lot of advice that is still relevant today.
I desperately needed her support when I was expecting our second child, and I feared what would happen to my relationship with my first baby. My mom has two children, and I am the oldest, so I knew she would have some great wisdom. As many moms of two say, your heart expands, but when I was pregnant, that seemed unfathomable. Today, I can confirm that piece of advice is true.
Another piece of important advice that I have gotten from both my mom and other parents with adult children is that every stage and age gets better. I often feel sad about my children growing up, and remembering this advice helps me keep an even keel when I get emotional as my children grow. My mom loved me then and still loves me now, although the dynamics of our relationship have significantly changed.
She Made Undeniable Sacrifices
As an adult, I finally understood all my parents’ sacrifices, specifically my mom, made for us kids. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized the true magnitude of those sacrifices: financial, emotional, and physical. My sacrifices as a mother have taken a toll, physically and otherwise. I see my mom through new eyes now that I can relate to her sacrifices.
My parents did not have much money when I was growing up, and now that I have my children, I recognize how costly it is to raise them and how much they must have given up supporting us. And they still managed to pay for our undergraduate college degrees. Not a day goes by when I do not recognize how lucky I am. I see the countless sacrifices they made on behalf of us kids. I make sacrifices every day for my children, but they feel nowhere near the magnitude of what my mom experienced.
She Has Unending Encouragement
No one can encourage a mom who has walked in your shoes before. My heart goes out to those readers who do not have a relationship with their mothers. I hope that there is someone in your life from whom you can hear encouragement.
I was in the throes of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety with my first child when my mom gave me a compliment that I will never forget: “You are doing a great job with him.” To this day, it’s the greatest compliment I have ever received because it came from my mom, who went through this with her two kids. I was honored because, at that moment, it did not feel like I was doing a good job. Seeing things through her eyes helped me realize I was doing my best and being the best mom for my child.
I have been given the lifelong gift of my children, but I also now have the gift of seeing my mom through a completely different lens. I now have a much deeper appreciation for the advice and encouragement she gives and the sacrifices she made (and still makes) every day for us kids. Did you see your mother or the mother figure in your life through new eyes after you had a child? How did your relationship change after having a baby?