At 34 years old, I own a home. I have a two-year-old and have been married for seven years. My credit score is great and I manage a team of 13 employees. I’m smart, independent, and living the life I always dreamed for myself. I also talk to my mom twice a day.
I could tell you that the reason I talk to my mom so frequently is that hearing from her daughter is the highlight of her day, and it is my responsibility to check-in on her, especially during these challenging times. But I’d be lying. The real reason is because I need her.
My mom is my rock. My sounding board. She’s the one person I can go to and truly be myself without sugar-coating things. She drives me completely up the wall sometimes—usually because she is giving me advice I don’t want to hear but so desperately need.
COVID-19 has set loose a hidden-away fear inside of me, the fear of knowing that my time with my mother is finite. Acknowledging this has made me fully recognize the importance my mother has in my life.
Mom has seen me through literally every phase, from birth to middle school awkwardness, college boyfriends to fertility issues, and now as a mother myself. She has been with me during job losses, car accidents, and life mistakes. We have fought like cats and dogs, and I’ve been ugly. Despite all of this, she has loved me completely unconditionally and has accepted every apology.
Since my daughter was born, I’ve seen the ‘mimi’ side of my mom. She loves my daughter maybe even more than she loves me, and that’s saying something. The two of them are the best of friends and it makes my heart grow each time I see them laugh and share secrets the way only grandmothers and granddaughters can.
My relationship with mom has also evolved since becoming a mother. I have a whole new appreciation for the choices and self-sacrifices my mom made as a parent.
While I have always looked to my mom for advice like how to break up with a boyfriend or what to do about a job I’m unhappy in, we now talk about potty training, swim lessons, and motor skill milestones. Her experience is invaluable to me and I never hesitate to go to her with a challenge. I don’t always take her advice, but hearing her perspective always helps me on my path.
Why is our relationship like this? Perhaps it is generational. Millennials trend towards more open relationships with their parents (just wait for all the Mother’s Day Instagram stories), and a greater appreciation of family history then some previous generations. Looking to the past often provides wisdom and inspiration in ways we don’t find elsewhere in our daily lives.
This may be true, but I think we, as millennial mothers, are starting to acknowledge the importance of having a steady, unconditional female force in our lives that we can turn to no matter what. In a world and a time where we’re doing so much for others, we need someone we can let our guard down around and not have to “stay strong” for. A person who we trust implicitly. These kinds of people are hard to come by, it’s only natural that we look to the single person who has been there for us since day one—our mothers.
On this Mother’s Day, I won’t be able to give my mom the hug that I want to. My daughter won’t be able to present her with a homemade card or macaroni necklace. And maybe that’s the hardest part about all of this, not being able to physically show the people we care for how much we love them. But this Mother’s Day, I will make sure my mother knows the value she brings to my life, my daughter’s life, and how much I love her.