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

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To My Mom: I get it Now

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Angela Williams Glenn

Angela Williams Glenn writes about the struggles and joys of motherhood on her website Stepping into 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, Perfection Pending, and That's Inappropriate. You can find her on her Facebook page at Stepping into Motherhood.