When your mom dies at a young age, the way mine did, you find yourself needing her everyday. Then there are those big moments of need, when you really wish there was some way to get her input, to hear her stories and to get her advice. I have never wanted my mom more then after I became one.
I’m not talking about in the hospital when the twins were born or even that first year, since I had my stand-in moms to help, but more since the boys turned 4 up until the present. Why? Because I desperately want to know how the hell she was a solid stay-at-home mom and loved every minute.
My father, as amazing as he is, doesn’t always get the details right. After one particularly frustrating day with the boys we had this exchange:
Me: So Dad, when you would come home from work, would mom like throw us at you and be like “I’m done!”
Dad: No, I don’t remember that at all. She loved being with you guys and was so happy to be spending that time with you. She loved being a stay-at-home mom.
My mom has been gone for over 20 years now and it’s hard to get the details or the answers that I want about specific things. I have a lot of family to ask but the problem is three-fold:
1. Times were so, so different. My mom aspired to be a stay-at-home mom the way I aspired to become a personal trainer and fitness studio owner.
2. Moms didn’t share their stories about how challenging or downright awful raising kids was. Basically, there was no brutal honesty and most SAHMs smiled and said they were happy to be there.
3. I am not my mother.
But, I am my mother’s daughter and I refuse to believe she was blissfully happy at home, raising my brother and I. What I do know is that my brother was not nearly as “active” as my boys are, but I was quite a handful. How do I know? She told me.
Instead of looking outward for answers, I racked my brain for memories I could come up with. After all, I did spend 17 years with the woman.
When I was growing up, there was no YouTube or Netflix but there were soap operas! I distinctly remember that my mom watched “Days of Our Lives” (like sands through the hour glass…) every freakin day. There was also no DVR so whatever was happening at 3pm, she ditched it and sat her ass on the couch.
One time I was home sick from school, laying on the couch in the TV room (remember when there was only one room for it?) and she let me watch it. I think I was 7 or 8 at the time and definitely not ready for the content. Did she care? Hell no. She wasn’t going to miss that day’s saga just because I had the bad luck of being sick!
Now that was the kind of stuff I was searching for. Pure selfishness! I love it. Then I remembered more…
She let us eat sugary cereals with reckless abandon. I must have eaten 100 boxes of Lucky Charms during my childhood.
She drove a Ford pick-up truck like a maniac and sometimes left me alone in it while she “quickly” ran inside a store.
She was an amazing artist and created paintings, wreaths, hair bows and ties, Christmas ornaments and countless other things in a room she had all to herself in the basement. She sold her crafts to local businesses and I remember the pride in her face when her pieces would sell. She kept her craft room meticulous and spent hours down there honing her talent. She would have ruled Pinterest!
She said plenty of awful things to me like “I love you but sometimes I don’t like you,” and “one of my kids makes my life easier and the other doesn’t.” Guess who didn’t?
I love remembering all these very human things about my mom. She didn’t always get parenting right but that wasn’t the point. I’m the strong, intelligent, loving woman I am because of her and whether or not she relished staying home and raising my brother is not what really matters.
In fact, I’m pretty sure when she was smoking Virginia Slim Menthol Lights (which she had me purchase for her once, and they didn’t hesitate to sell them to a 10 year-old!) on our front porch with the neighbor, they weren’t talking about how much they loved every moment of child rearing.
She may not be here now for me to talk to but I’m still learning from her everyday. I would give anything for more time with her but, the time I did have was real and I’m grateful for it every single day.
Happy Mother’s Day!
When do you feel you’ve needed your mom the most?
What real moments have you shared with your mom?
Happy Mothers Day weekend to you as well. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life Allie. You are truly an inspiration and role model to everyone.
Thanks Hollie! I certainly appreciate it.
What a beautiful tribute to your mom!! I love that she watched Days everyday and have you sugary cereal. My mom said to me the other day that she regrets letting me eat frosted flakes everyday. I’m like duuuuuude that was awesome!!! LOL!
I love that you are still learning from her, she was a great woman with a ton of patience that absolutely loved taking care of you guys and that in itself is awesome.
Happy Mothers Day Allie! <3
Happy Mother’s Day to YOU! I know you and your mom are so tight and she helps with your boys and I’m just so envious of that!! You and I could have totally eaten Frosted Flakes together back in the day 🙂
This is so beautiful Allie! I watched Days (as the regulars call it), with my mom too. Now I can’t even imagine sitting down to watch a soap by myself or even with my kids. That’s just weird! Happy Mother’s Day to you and to all the mama’s who rock this world!
I know, right?? I can’t even watch Ellen with them!! Thanks so much Angela and I hope you have a great (twin) Mother’s Day 🙂
This is a fantastic post Allie! My mom watched Days too! I honestly don’t remember much about my mom doing selfish things or anything like that. I remember she worked full time so she was not a SAHM BUT after Cooper was born she told me that sometimes you have just do things for yourself and your husband might say “oh let’s go out” and you’ll be like “no, i’m going out by myself.” Haha. So I guess we must have driven her crazy at least a few times!
YES!!! It’s so true and I absolutely love that your mom gave you that advice. My dad is always telling me to get away and travel alone with my husband because my mom would never leave us when we were little. I’m lucky to have my dad and stepmom to leave my kids with so that I CAN travel with the hubs…I would also like to travel alone…just saying’ 🙂
This is really sweet. Remember the days when you had to set you VCR to record something? :)…too funny! Or when you had to actually watch commercials! It is funny because it seems like my mom looks at being a SAHM as not doing anything with your life, but she was one until I was in 6th or 7th grade. We don’t quite see eye to eye on it :).
Happy Mothers Day to you! I hope you have a super special and wonderful day!!!! You are one amazing mom!!!!!
That is very interesting. I wish I knew what my mom thought about it. She did get a job as soon as we were in high school so…
Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mom!! I hope your girls take care of you 🙂
I actually did need my mom most right after having babies to help with newborns. My mom had her regular card-playing days with some of her girlfriends…..when they came over to play cards, we were out of the house riding bikes on the street, and when it was time for lunch or dinner or whatever, we were on our own. Unless we were about to die, we’d better not interrupt their card games, which happened more than once a week.
OMG that is so great! It’s important for mom’s to have hobbies, right? 🙂 Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!
I give you credit ! I work full time and think being a SAHM seems so exhausting!!! I couldn’t imagine doing that ( just like SAHMs probably can’t imagine working full time:) you do what works for you and your family and it sounds like you are doing a great job!!! My confession: my daughter is named Belle which I first fell in love with from Days of Our Lives ( remember Marlena’s daughter 🙂 true story:)
I could not even imagine working full time – you are right! I love that you named your daughter Belle. OMG I totally remember that 🙂
When I sit down to write, I remember so many things about my childhood that I thought I had forgotten…I’m so glad you took the time to remember such awesome things about your mother, Allie.
My mom watched Guiding Light from 3-4 and The Edge of Night from 4-4:30 every day, and I watched them with her. Not as much homework as the kids have these days!
It’s so true about the writing process and how it helps you remember. I love writing about mom and kind of just getting a record of my collective memories. I love that you watched those shows with your mom! What good times!
So sweet. It’s funny, I used to watch All My Children with my mom and that started at a very young age!! I have definitely needed my mom more since I had my boys!!
It’s funny how big soap operas were for so long. I think everyone’s mom had their “show.”
I’m so grateful for my dad and stepmom as they have been amazing with the boys from day one. But, there’s really no one like your mom when it comes to your kids.
Allie, I love how you remembered the details! My Mom wasn’t in to Soaps, but it was our special treat to watch in Junior High school if home sick. She was, still is, the Food Mill- Yoga- Bike Riding Mom who only allowed us to watch “321 Contact” and shows she approved of. But with reading your words, funny is how much I learned from her then and do every day. Grateful you have the memories with your Mom, wish there were more years of them. However as your boys grow and do more and more things, you’ll see your Mom in them all the time too.
So much love to you this Mother’s Day! xox
Thank you so much Erin! I love that your mom was the kind to only allow educational tv. So funny. And YES, I can already see and feel my mom in so many of the things we do as a family and I’m also very lucky to have an amazing dad and stepmom.
Hope you had an amazing mother’s day with your beautiful family. xoxoxo
Very touching tribute to your Mom! My mother worked a ton to help the family make ends meet. I got my work ethic from her.
What a great thing to inherit! I love that you’re thankful for it and are using it 🙂
This is so, so sweet, Alie. I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!
I did! Thanks Alison.