From 12 to 18, my mom and I had a tumultuous relationship. In her defense, I was a total brat and a complete pain in the ass. I started wearing makeup. I started smoking. I started skipping class. I was fighting undiagnosed depression. And I was fighting my mother — constantly. It wasn’t until I became a mom of my own that I really understood everything my mother did for me. My dad died when I was young, and it rocked my entire world straight to its core. For years, I took out my anger on my mom, not realizing grieve manifests itself differently for everyone. But having my daughter changed my relationship with my mom and made me realize everything she gave up for her children, and this Mother’s Day, there’s just one thing I want to say to my mom.
Before I was born, my mother was a businesswoman. She worked a job she loved with people she loved, but when she became pregnant with me, things changed. She resigned, moved hundreds of miles away with my dad, and became a stay-at-home mom. Like so many women before and after her, my mother gave up her job and her career to raise her children. And she stayed at home with me and my younger brother for six or seven years. Hell, maybe it was eight. She did it because she wanted to raise us and care for us, and she wanted to be a constant and present part of our lives. She wanted to watch us grow and she was determined to help us do it.