I do my best to appreciate my mom year round. I also try to make up for the moodiness of my teen years—hey, we’ve all been there—by being a diligent daughter every day. It’s rare to go a day without speaking to her, and I know how lucky we are to have such a close relationship and be in regular contact.
This Mother’s Day, though, I was grateful not only for my usual gaggle of girls (my own mother, grandmothers, and mother-in-law), but for the slew of moms who’ve reached out to me in the months since I announced my pregnancy. The outpouring of love and support has overwhelmed and delighted me. When my panicked blog about creating a registry debuted, so many of my friends offered up their services. There were a notable few who immediately emailed me with direct links to their favorite recommendations, which I promptly added to the registry.
I’ve reconnected with old high school and college friends thanks to this process. And not just the ones who are moms (although those have been the majority)! I love that opening up about my pregnancy has welcomed a new wave of women into my life willing to share in the joys and woes of pregnancy and impending parenthood. There have been the rare few moms and moms-to-be who have sat in judgment or made this process a competition, but those individuals are the exception, not the rule.
All of the pregnancy books and apps make sure they clarify that every woman, and even individual pregnancies, are different. For example, nausea’s a common enough symptom to warn people about, but it doesn’t necessarily afflict everyone. And while some women experience cravings, others don’t. But one thing that seems true across the board is that moms and moms-to-be are willing to share their experiences, for better or worse. And to those who have pitched in and helped me get my bearings, I can’t thank you enough.
Someday I hope to pay it forward with other up-and-coming mothers. I also look forward to the relationship my son or daughter and I will share. While I hope to be as lucky as my mom and I are with our bond, I want it to happen organically. I’ve seen so many relationships where the parent is more invested in their child than the child is in their parent, and vice versa. I would never be the kind of mother who takes a disinterest in or abandons her children, but I don’t want to be the overbearing kind who smothers her offspring so much that they push me away.
I feel like I’m getting ahead of myself, per usual. Who knows what upcoming Mother’s Days will bring once I become one. Chances are, I won’t get there without the solicited guidance of other moms. So to all of you mamas out there, thanks to all that you do for your children and mothers-in-training like me!