You won’t understand until you’re a parent.

Those are the famous words I heard from my mom throughout my adolescence. And you know what, she was right! My mom is amazing. She was very present in my childhood; Room Mom, PTA President, and Cheer Coach, just to name a few. She was always there to be a part of every aspect of my upbringing. She chaperoned on class field trips, sewed costumes for Halloween and talent shows, and tied hair bows before cheer competitions. In my entire life I can recall 3 occasions where she missed attending one of my many events. THREE! She always welcomed my friends over to our house and made sure there was fun to be had. She constantly put my brother and me first and made our childhood one to remember. She was the busiest SAHM I knew and she rocked it!

Looking back, I didn’t thank her as much as I should have. I looked at what I wasn’t allowed to do, what I didn’t have and fought with her about things that seem so ridiculous now. I didn’t understand how lucky I was back then. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that I had a great mom and knew that she did a lot for me, but I didn’t understand her unconditional love and that everything she did to raise my brother and me was based on that unconditional love. I knew my mom loved me, but it wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized just how much she loved me.

As much as I hated hearing those dreaded words every time we got into an argument, she was right. I wouldn’t understand until I became a parent. I wouldn’t understand just how much one tiny being can change your life for the better; how much love I would have for not one but two daughters. I wouldn’t understand that she put me first to make sure that I had the best upbringing possible. I wouldn’t understand that she wasn’t being “mean” when she wouldn’t let me stay out past curfew, she wanted to protect me from as much as she could because she loved me so much. I wouldn’t understand that she always went above and beyond so that I could have an amazing childhood full of wonderful memories. I wouldn’t understand what it was like to be an involved SAHM raising two kids.

Having kids of my own, I get it now. Things that I swore I’d never do when I became a parent, I’ll most likely do. Like set a 10 o’clock curfew, get to know the parents of my daughters’ friends before they’re allowed to go over to their houses, and watch to make sure my girls and their friends make it into the mall or movies after dropping them off. You know, all those things that embarrass you as a kids but your parents do because they love you and want to keep you safe.

It’s so funny how when I would hear my mom say, “just wait until you become a parent…” I would roll my eyes because she obviously didn’t know what she was talking about and I was going to be a much cooler mom. Ha! My teenage self is shaking her head at me in disbelief. Since having kids, I’ve wanted to be just like my mom. I want to be just as involved and do just as much to create an abundance of feel good memories for my girls.

I have learned so much about motherhood from my mom. I am lucky that we have such a close relationship. She is my best friend, my cheerleader and the one person I can count on to be 100% honest with me about everything! There is no sugar-coating with her and as much as I hated that growing up, I appreciate it now. 

So mom, here it is, YOU WERE RIGHT! I didn’t understand until I became a parent. I am beyond lucky to call you Mom and appreciate all you’ve done for me over the years. Being a parent is not easy, as I am continuing to learn, but you made it look easy. You were selfless, caring and loving. Because of you, my girls are going to grow up with a mom who goes above and beyond, is very present in their daily lives and who will tell them, “You won’t understand until you’re a parent!” Because just like me, they won’t.

Kristin Whiteside

Kristin is a perfectly imperfect mom of two and loves sharing her journey of growing with her kids. When she's not writing for her blog, you can find her having dance parties and baking with her daughters, running a local moms group, hanging with her hilarious husband and spending time with family and friends. More than likely she will have a glass of red wine in hand and befriend you instantly! You can follow Kristin on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, .