Welcome, Mamma Crew! Today is Mamma Thursdays when it’s all about us! The mammas!
Before I begin my podcast, I want to congratulate you on your special day. I hope you felt loved and appreciated because no matter what mistakes you’ve made (or will make in the future), no one loves better than you and no one tries harder than you. So here is to all of us moms. And for those of you who are listening to this podcast who are on a journey to become mothers and might feel a little discouraged at times, what I can say is: don’t give up. It’s part of the journey, and it’s a wonderful journey.
This Mother’s Day, for me, is a difficult one. It’s really a difficult one. This is officially the first Mother’s Day that my mother is not alive.
And I can’t help but go back to the first two Mother’s Day I spent with my own mother — the first two when I was a mother myself.
The first one was horrible. It was absolutely horrible. I had a very difficult pregnancy and didn’t know from one day to the next if I was going to be able to keep my twins from going into premature labor. It was just a very difficult time in my life and my mother, who had very easy pregnancies, could not relate to it.
So on Mother’s Day, she came in and she said to me that she had just been to the burial of twins. One of her friends’ daughters had given premature birth to her twins and neither had survived. And I lost it! I lost it! I know — maybe it wasn’t rational, maybe it wasn’t fair. But I didn’t want to hear about a woman who had just lost her twin daughters when I was struggling so hard not to give birth to mine. I hated my mother. I hated her with a passion at that moment.
It was such a struggle because I didn’t want to sing to my babies, I didn’t want to get even more attached when every day, at any given moment, I could lose them. And of course, it was a losing battle. It was an absolute lost battle because I wanted them; because I had wanted them all my life and I wouldn’t admit it to myself. Because I have always been told I wouldn’t be able to have them. And she knew all of these things and I couldn’t understand why she hadn’t been supportive that day. Why she couldn’t be understanding on that day — on that day in which I needed her to tell me that everything was going to be alright and I was going to become a mother.
My husband came later that day and he did exactly that. He did all the right things. But my mother had ruined the day for me. And what I said to my husband was, “I’m not a mom!” And he’s like, “You’re
pregnant! You’re carrying babies! Everything’s going to be alright!” And all I kept saying to him was, “I’m not a mom! I’m not a mom! Stop saying that! Don’t wish me a happy Mother’s Day when I’m not a mom!”
My second Mother’s Day with my mother was completely different. So completely different. The girls were just absolutely precious and we were getting ready to go on a small day-trip. My mother chose not to go with us but she came out and we took pictures together, the four of us. And it was one of those rare moments in which my mother told me that she was proud of me; proud of the job that I was doing as a mother and she told me how beautiful my babies were; how glad she was that I had been brave enough to go through everything I have gone through — the surgeries, the hospitalizations, the horrible medications — in order to give her such perfect, wonderful, granddaughters.
That’s the thing about my relationship with my mother. It had a lot of ups and downs, downs and ups, ups and downs… She was not perfect (though she did like to pretend she was), and still, I loved her. And she loved me. And that was perfect. That love was perfect then, and it’s perfect now. And on this day, when I think back about those first Mother’s Days that I spent with my mother, I know that one day, my daughters are going to say the same thing about me. That at one moment they needed me and I failed them. And at other moments, I rose to the occasion. Because let’s face it — I’m not perfect. And unlike my mother, I’m too lazy to pretend that I am. I think it takes way too much effort to pretend the perfection that we lack.
I also wonder, as an older mother, if I will see my daughter’s grandchildren. This year, they’re turning thirteen. And then they will
go off to college. And they will travel and they will get their first jobs. And they will live their lives. And my hope is that they will not be young mothers. Okay, maybe I don’t want them to be as old as I was when I had them because, well, as the doctor kept telling me, it would have been easier if I had done it at least in my early thirties. But I certainly hope, you know, that they will have their children in their late twenties, early thirties. And I always have to wonder if I will see those grandchildren or if I’ll be gone by then. You just can’t tell. And as an older mom, you do get that thought into your head. And I often wonder what’s more important: the love that I give them; the patience that I give them; the dedication and commitment that I give them; that I’m able to give them because I’m an older mother (something I could have never done when I was young); or being around later in their lives.
If we’re all lucky, I’ll die in their thirties. If I’m luckier, I’ll die in their forties. But I doubt very much I’ll see them in their fifties. And I wonder if that won’t be my greatest failure — not being there for them later in their lives. I don’t know. I really don’t. Because ultimately, we are not the judge of that, are we? It’s our children who judge us. Just like we judged our parents, and our parents’ parents were judged by them, and so on and so on. It’s such a long chain.
But I don’t regret becoming an older mom. I’m completely satisfied with the fact that I’m not perfect. And I am proud of the fact that I love my children unconditionally and I’m fully committed to them — to helping them become the best version of themselves that they can possibly be.
So Mammas, I am raising this glass of wine to you! And congratulate you on the wonderful journey that you have chosen. Knowing that you will have ups and downs; not always get it right; feel doubts, and often question yourself — but always certain of your commitment to your children and the love that you feel for them; knowing that you’re always doing what you think is best for them. You’re a wonderful mother! And you deserve all the love and appreciation in the world! Happy Mother’s Day!