In Lessons for Joey there are a few places where I write about the unique relationship between a child and his mother. With Mother’s Day tomorrow, I wanted to share one lesson in particular, because I think it’s easy for us all to forget—or at least overlook—the unbelievable sacrifice that our moms make for us, beginning the moment we are conceived. This chapter was written to remind my children, myself and anyone else who may read it that our mothers have done something worthy of our respect just by bringing us into this world…
Lesson #27 – You’ve already put your mother through enough. Go easy on her.
Childbirth is traumatic for everyone involved. When you were born, I was the least imposed upon, and it still took quite a toll on me. I can’t imagine what it was like for you or your mother. As little more than a witness, I can tell you I experienced the full gamut of emotions that day. I was excited. I was scared. I was nervous, anxious, ready, unprepared, happy and hungry. I was a little angry too, but that’s because I get that way when I’m hungry. Still, I felt all of these things before we even really got started helping you into the world. Once that whole process began, my mind was completely blown. Childbirth is the most remarkable and amazing thing I’ve ever seen. It gave me an entirely new level of respect for women. I am not sure I could have gone through what the mother has to. But your mom can. She did. And she did it for you.
The fact that she happily put her body through all the changes that it went through, with the understanding that it probably would never be the same again as a result, is reason enough to earn your respect. So give it to her. She is your mom—your only one—and she loved you before she ever met you. She made you her first priority long before she ever saw your face, let alone held you in her arms. She has, and will continue to, sacrifice her wants and needs to make sure yours are taken care of. And she would still do all of those things, even if you never showed her how grateful you are—because that’s what moms do. Knowing all of this, how can you have anything but love and respect for her? How can you not be thankful that you have someone in your corner who would do anything for you?
It’s natural that she’ll have your back and support you. She’ll always do what she can to make sure you’re happy. She’ll continue making sacrifices for you, many of which you won’t even know about. But that’s not to say she’s going to be perfect all the time. Even though her intentions will always be good, and her actions will always be based on what she thinks is best for you, she will make mistakes. She will do things that upset you. Love her anyway. Sometimes you will think she’s being unfair. Respect her anyway. No matter how much you disagree with her decisions, she’s still your mother. Together, she and I are doing the best we can, and most of the time, we’re learning as we go.
When you feel the urge to give her a hard time because she exposes herself as the imperfect parent that she is—that all parents are—remember all the things she’s already done for you. Remind yourself of the sacrifices she made before she even knew you. Understand that she is not out to get you, and that everything she does, and has ever done, is directly inspired by one thing: love. Show her some of that love in return. Give her a break once in a while. Go easy on her. You’ve already put her through enough.
I want to wish all the moms out there a very happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do for us.