I cannot help but fall victim to envy when I see my friends blossoming in their relationships with their moms. Especially in recent years.
The older I get, the more I see this new dynamic take place in a mother-daughter relationship. It seems like there is a point in life when you and your mom become friends, almost even peer-like. You both stand on common ground since you have entered motherhood yourself. There is real, genuine friendship that seems to strengthen as time goes on, for you have more in common with each other. You can relate to your mom now, more than ever before, because you understand what she has done and sacrificed for you. You are doing the same thing with your own kids. You see her in a different light. She must see you differently, too.
The simplicity of it is what makes it so hard when you don’t have it.
I see my girlfriends go out to dinner or grab drinks with their moms. They go shopping or take in a craft class together. They call each other on the phone or text throughout the day.
I truly cannot fathom what that would be like anymore. It’s been eight years and I’m such a different person at 30 than I was at 22. So much has changed, and I will never get to experience my mom as my best friend in my adult life.
I often wonder how many times a day I would unconsciously turn to my mom for advice, reassurance, and companionship. How often I would feel more confident of myself and my parenting because my number one supporter was rooting me on from the sidelines. Her presence a daily reminder I’m safe, and I’m doing a good job. She was my tether to everything I was and everything I had ever known.
And when that tether has been severed, it gets lonely. Sometimes hard.
This is when I need her. Right now, as a grown woman, a wife, a mother.
I miss that never-ending line of support and love only my mother can give me. I want to hold her hand. I want to feel her arms wrapped around me so hard that all of my worries are snuffed out. It’s a hug only she is capable of.
A hug I needed on the day my sons were born. I needed her hand in the months of doubt and exhaustion that followed. I needed her presence in the years of forming new traditions and memories with my own family. I wanted her to be a part of those memories for my boys.
My boys. I look at them and wonder what it would be like to see them through my mother’s eyes. To watch the pure delight she’d take in them and them in her.
I think about the really little things, too. The seemingly small gestures that are taken for granted, like seeing them reach for her hand or pull her face in for a kiss. I wanted to meet my mother as the grandmother of my boys. She would have excelled in that role.
I am under no illusion that my life would be perfect if my mom were still here. I know we would have our days, or moments, even disagreements. I would take those in a heartbeat. I would take the good and the bad because that’s real. And this? The not having her? It just doesn’t seem real, even still. When in fact, this has been my reality for close to a decade.
I’ll be honest, I have a hard time when I see these silly, harmless phrases on social media that are meant to be funny or sweet. The ones about still needing your mom even as an adult or the I don’t know where I’d be without my mom comments.
I’ll tell you where you’d be. You’d still be here, doing life, but it would be lonelier and sometimes sadder. A little bit harder, depending on the day.
You’d be strong enough to do it, even when you don’t want to be strong enough. You would be brave enough, even when it hurts to be brave. Some days would be better than others. Not all are hard and sad, but all are a bit emptier.
So I see my friends, and I see them becoming friends in such a way with their own mom and I think, “So that’s what it would be like. That’s what it would feel like. That’s what it would look like.”
And I pray my friends appreciate everything they have by still having their mom. I really do. Because as someone who longs to have hers, I watch. I see the beauty in every relationship between a mother and daughter and yearn to have my own still.
So friends, hug your mom today. If you can’t, send her one through a text. I would even settle for that.