Dear Mom,

I didn’t begin to understand the unrealistic impossible expectations I put on you. I would easily forgive Dad’s transgressions. He could do no wrong in our eyes and though we loved you deeply, as children we’d tend to see what you did wrong before we’d see what you did right.

The expectations that you should be the one to take care of everything and then not understand your frustration of feeling overwhelmed was unfair. We expected you to do it all, to be it all. Your title was mother, after all.

To us, you were superwoman.

There are so many things I think we get now that we’re mothers ourselves. You did so much for us growing up and still do so much today. I think now we get how you could be happy one minute and on the verge of losing it the next. We now totally understand the load you carried. I imagine we all owe you an apology for all those childish transgressions of not picking up our crap, not listening the first time, sassing back, and most importantly, for not recognizing all you did day in and day out.

Because like most—if not all—kids, we just expected you to do it all and then didn’t understand what you were all frustrated about. I don’t think we really gave you the appreciation you deserved. Whether as kids or even adult children now, we made the mistake of focusing too much on what you did wrong or didn’t do.

As your children, we placed impossible expectations on you because society told us we should expect you to do it all.

We accepted society’s expectations of you, yet didn’t see until we become mothers ourselves the unfairness and unrealistic ideal of those expectations. Mothers aren’t perfect and to put that expectation on any of us is unfair. But we all deserve to be recognized for the things we do or do well.

So to my mom: thank you for all those countless nights we’d get home late and you’d wash uniforms so we could play in clean ones just to dirty them all over again the next day.

Thank you for all the hours you put into managing ball teams over the years.

Thank you for the nights of coming home from work and making our favorite dinner.

Thank you for always cleaning up our crap, even to this day when you come to all of our houses and hang curtains for us or scrub some part of my house that probably hasn’t had a cleaning since the last time you were here.

Thank you for being there at EVERYTHING. Though you had countless things on your plate at any given time, you never missed a ball game, an award ceremony, an elementary musical show, or anything else of importance to our little girl hearts.

Thank you for being someone I can call who will listen to me when I just want to vent to someone who gets how hard doing this momma thing really is.

Thank you for being the one who kept our family life organized and always running smoothly—because we now know you were the mastermind behind getting it done.

I’m sorry we haven’t always SEEN you, but I hope you know we love you and appreciate all you did for us growing up, and now as mothers ourselves.

Love,

Your grown daughters

You may also like:

To My Mom: I get it Now

A Mother’s Mind Never Rests, Because We Carry The Mental Load

I Am The Keeper

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Angela Williams Glenn

Angela Williams Glenn writes about the struggles and joys of motherhood. Her book Moms, Monsters, Media, and Margaritas examines the expectations verse the realities of motherhood in our modern day digital era and her book Letters to a Daughter is an interactive journal for mothers to their daughters. She’s also been published with Chicken Soup for the Soul, TAAVI Village, Bored Teachers, and Filter Free Parents. You can find her humorous and uplifting stories on Facebook page.

When Your Son Grows Up, You Will Remember This

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and son posing in older portrait, color photo

When your son turns 50, you will remember how, when he was a baby, he would kick the arm of the rocking chair just when you thought he was finally asleep and wake himself up for another 15 minutes of grinning and rocking. And you will smile at the memory. When your son turns 50, you will remember the endless walks through the neighborhood you took with him rain or shine because your husband had the only car for the family at work. You always visited the little wooden bridge that ran across a tiny stream, and he would jump...

Keep Reading

I’m So Lucky to Have Parents Like Mine

In: Grown Children, Living, Motherhood
Husband and wife, smiling, color photo

I was reminded recently that not everyone has parents like mine. I’ve always known it in theory, but seeing it around me is different. Getting to know and love people from different kinds of homes is eye-opening, and it made me realize something . . . I’m so lucky to have parents like mine. So, here’s to the parents who show up. The ones who work full time but still manage to make it to seemingly all your school functions, church outings, and sporting events. Here’s to the parents who took the time to sit down to dinner with you...

Keep Reading

In These Teen Years, I Wonder If I’m Doing Enough

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Boy walking in the ocean surf

It’s a strange feeling to look back at all the years as a parent and wonder if I am doing enough. My boys are teens. One of them has just a few baby steps left until he heads into life after living under our roof. He is fiercely independent. One of those kids who I have for my whole life mistaken for being years older than he actually is. The kind of kid who can hold a conversation that reminds you of when you are out with your friends enjoying a bottle of wine at a restaurant made for middle-aged...

Keep Reading

18 Years Went by In a Flash

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Girl walking into college dorm

If I close my eyes, I can conjure the feather-light weight of my newborn daughter. At under five pounds, my tiny bundle of love looked up at me with eyes so big and bright I swore they could discern my soul. No one warned me then of the chaotic parenthood journey ahead. So many firsts and lasts would pepper our paths. Her first word, steps, and school day flew by amongst a whirlwind of activities designed to keep us both occupied—park play dates, music classes, and mom and baby yoga occupied much of our early days. I recorded everything in...

Keep Reading

The Sandwich Generation Needs Support Too

In: Grown Children, Living, Motherhood
Grandma and grandpa with baby, color photo

Caregiver. Nurse. Custodian. Mother. Parent. Daughter. Son. Rinse, lather, repeat. If you had told me 10 years ago (heck, even 6 years ago) that I would quit working, care for my babies, and provide care for my parents on a daily basis, I would have laughed you out of the room. I remember how hard it was to go back to work after I had my son, commuting 45 minutes each way. I remember calling home during lunch (my husband was able to stay home after my maternity leave had ended) and yearning to see my baby boy. My new...

Keep Reading

Moms Know the Small Things Matter

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother playing blocks with young girl

I have always given credit to my dad for letting me find my path in life, for making me independent, fearless, confident, and everything I am today. It was he who taught me to drive a car even when my mom thought I was too young. He let me be reckless till I figured out exactly what I was doing. He even taught me to fix a puncture so I always get where I ought to. Wasn’t Dad the one who encouraged me to choose the university of my choice and find an apartment far away from home? He wanted...

Keep Reading

The Lucky Ones Know the Love of a Grandma

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss
Wedding photo of woman with her grandma, color photo

Not so many years ago, my grandma passed away. She was my last grandparent, and when she died, it hit me like a ton of bricks. She was a force: a strong, independent, opinionated bundle of life—all wrapped up into a tiny frame of skin and bones. She rocked a solid Bob Dylan haircut, loved classical music, opera, and theater, and knew how to hold her own with my sisters and me and a bottle of good red wine on Thanksgiving. My grandma had frail, bony hands that had touched the earth of every continent short of Antarctica. She had...

Keep Reading

I Couldn’t Do Motherhood without My Mom

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and grown daughter, color photo

I have vivid memories of mornings as a child. I would wake up and go downstairs into the living room just to hear my mom say good morning in the happiest voice. I looked forward to that sing-song good morning from my mom each and every morning, without fail. When I was five years old, she went with me to the pumpkin patch on a class field trip. I  remember riding on the hay ride and looking at her and smiling, just so happy that she was there. When I was 10, she took me to the mall to get...

Keep Reading

I Am Her Mother and Her Friend

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mother and grown daughter at restaurant, color photo

The moment I realized my daughter was my friend was her first college drop-off. Her tears displayed her love and gratitude to both me and my husband while her honesty and openness revealed a true strength of our friendship. I left her peering out her open dorm door, knowing the bond of mother and daughter was strong but so was that of friend. In the early years of motherhood, I knew about that fine line between mother and friend. But I found the concept even more present with my daughter. She was the last of three and the only girl....

Keep Reading

A Backpack and a Father’s Love

In: Grown Children, Living
Yellow backpack

My grandma’s standard answer when it came time to discuss upcoming events, holidays, or family gatherings was the following, “I’ll be there . . . if I’m still here.” “See you at Christmas, Grandma!” Or, “Can’t wait to come visit this summer.” Or, “Wow, it will be so exciting to have you at our wedding.” “I’ll be there . . . if I’m still here,” was always her response. And the thing is, for a very long time, she was. She enjoyed nearly 90 years and took in every possible moment when it came to time with family and friends....

Keep Reading