Dear Mom, I Had No Clue Being A Mother Was So Tough

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“To my mom:

I had no clue.

No clue being a mother was actually pretty tough. That it actually took sacrifice. That there were so many unseen acts of love.

No clue those times we just had sandwiches or leftovers for supper were probably following a really long day. I am sorry if I ever complained about simple suppers. I get it now.

No clue all of those times we went clothes shopping for us kids, you probably would have liked a new outfit, too. I selfishly was willing to let you skip out so I could get more or more expensive clothes. I really didn’t think you wanted new clothes. But I’m sure you did; I do now.

No clue how tired you must have been. Running us from play practice to baseball to basketball to band to church and on and on. All I could think about was how much fun life was. I didn’t realize how tiring it must have been for you.

No clue what you meant by ‘time flies.’

No clue why you would ask me to hang out with the family instead of hanging out with my friends. Now I dread the day when my kids choose time with friends over time with me.

No clue I actually could embarrass you. My kids embarrass me sometimes, and I can think of times when I am sure I embarrassed you.

No clue how hard it was to keep a house clean with kids. I think kids make bigger messes than baby ducks! (Which we have actually had.)

No clue how hard it could be for you to get up and ‘refill my drink,’ or ‘please make me a sandwich,’ or ‘can you bring me a blanket?’

But you did it. And now I do it. Even when I am tired.

No clue what having young kids could do to a mom’s social life. I just expected you to put me and my stuff first. I never realized it might take away from you and your stuff.

No clue when you said, ‘I love you most‘ that you really did. My kids have no idea how much I love them, and that’s OK. I didn’t either.

No clue why you would worry about me. I was just fine, and there was no reason to ever worry. All teenagers make great choices, right?

Wrong. I am now looking at my soon-to-be 13-year-old and not sure how I feel about giving him freedom.

No clue how often or how much time you spent praying for me. Now I realize sometimes praying is all I can do.

No clue how what hurt me could hurt you, too.

No clue what it was like ‘behind the scenes.’ I just expected things to always fall into place.

No clue watching you as a mother would influence me as a mother. When I am tired of answering a million questions or of the middle of the night nightmares or being woken up to massage growing-pained legs, I reflect back on when you would do it for me, and I know I can do it for my kids. I am choosing to pay it forward.

I don’t know if we were just really easy kids or if you were just good at hiding how hard being a mom sometimes is. I’m sure it is the latter. You made it look so easy when looking through the eyes of a child. Now looking through the eyes of a mom, I realize it isn’t always easy.

And YOU probably had no clue all of your overwhelming efforts didn’t go unnoticed and were implanted in who I would become as a mother.

There are times now when I am cooking supper and the 10-year-old is yelling for help with homework, and the 7-year-old is wanting help putting on his rollerblades while the oldest is calling to ask to be picked up from homework detention, and another one just has to tell me the most elaborate 10-minute story and a ‘mommy listen to meeee’ moment, and I JUST HAVE NO CLUE HOW I CAN DO IT.

But you did it. And I can, too.

But I had no clue then.”

A mother zips up her daughter's wedding dress
Courtesy of Ashley

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ashley of My House Full of Boys. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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