Those shoe stretching thingies

So, my mom just left after an extended 1.5 month visit from the Philippines and I'm really missing her. Normally she'll stay for a few weeks and for most of that time I feel annoyed and inconvenienced and I'm relieved by the time she leaves.  This time, however, I was still occasionally annoyed, but we got past the annoying part and settled into kind of a rhythm.  She let me sleep in, made the kids their lunches, took them to school, cuddled them to sleep, did our chores, and even cleaned the garage.  The few times that I did get annoyed, she didn't nag and just let me be to burn off whatever bitchiness I had to let out. Who was this lady?

I've never seen her this productive and I've never seen her like this as MY mom growing up.  We always lived with my aunt in the Philippines(with helpers and drivers) or my grandma after we moved to the States and they were the ones who kept house and maintained the household while she was off to work and doing who knows what. I've always seen her as an absentee mom and my only vivid memories of my mom being a mom were when she would lecture us or scratch our backs/butts to sleep.  And my previous post about her irresponsibility just perpetuated that image of her.

As a parent, I spend a lot of time worrying about what I do/didn't do with/for my kids. I know I still think about my childhood and wonder how I would've turned out if things were different. I've been far from perfect as a parent and I truly worry that what I've done/haven't done will somehow mess my kids up down the line.  I often tell people that I wish I could just get a glimpse of my kids in the future and just know that they'll be happy adults and then I'd be able to relax and just enjoy them.  So I asked my mom while she was here, what her biggest regrets in life were, if any, just to get her perspective as an "older" adult/parent/daughter and to feel out if she would bring up any of the shortcomings I held against her growing up.  I was a little surprised at some of her answers and could also relate to the others.  It made me feel better about my fears as a parent and gave me insight on what to prioritize and stress about.  Talking to her also made me wonder if she was living out her second chance of being a better parent through the time she spends with my kids.

 Now that she's left, the kids have been looking to me to fill their grandma void.  My 15-yr old even surprised me and cuddled in bed with me when we took an afternoon nap.  And they were only half joking when they wondered out loud who would make them breakfast in the morning and cut up fresh fruit for them on request. It made me realize that I haven't done that in a while, even before my mom came.

So, thanks, Mom, for being my shoe tree(now that we know what those darn things are called). Thank you for stretching out the mom shoes that seemed to have stiffened up and gotten uncomfortable for me to wear.  Now that you're gone, I have bigger mom shoes to fill, but you helped make them more comfortable and easier to slip back on. Even though you've stepped up the mom game later in life, I'm just glad I've had the chance to see you in a different light.  I'm even more thankful that I get to share your awesome mom-ing with my kids.
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