In celebration of Mother’s Day, I decided to write up a post about the one-of-a-kind relationship that a mother and daughter share. When Mother’s Day rolls around, I admit that I was never one of those daughters who “praised the ground that my mother walked on.” Now, I always loved my mother because she is my mother. Nevertheless, our tumultuous relationship never really allowed us to develop a strong, loving relationship. I envied my female friends who could talk to their moms about anything, and I yearned to have that sort of relationship with my mother. I always knew she meant well but our strong personalities would clash head first at times. All I wanted was for her to listen to me and understand me, but now I realize that we wanted the same thing.
Everyone else (well mostly everyone else), could get along with her and loved her but she and I couldn’t see eye-to-eye on almost anything. I felt so alone when it came to me and my mom’s roller coaster relationship because everyone I knew got along with their mothers well and worshiped their moms – me, not so much. I loved her always, but liking her was another story. We DID always manage to have fun and laugh together but it never lasted too long. And I wanted more, I wanted to have what most of my friends had with their mothers. In my family, it was taboo to discuss our issues and even writing this post will probably strike a cord with some folks. But I realized I wanted my mother’s validation and I wanted to hear her say “Hija, I’m proud of you.” I blamed her for all the mistakes of my adolescence because I thought if she would have just listened to me then I wouldn’t have lashed out and behaved the way I did. Feeling like a misunderstood weirdo because my mom wasn’t my “end all be all” like my friends became the norm. But then I realized I wasn’t alone.
The truth is that everyone’s mother/daughter relationship is different. We can’t hold our moms accountable for our actions because at the end of the day, they’re human too. It’s up to us as the “child” to let go of the anger, resentment, frustration and learn to forgive. We should begin to accept those for who they are; that doesn’t mean they’re right it just means that we’ve matured into acceptance. If you know how someone is, you can learn to appropriately react to situations with that person. What I’ve realized is that parenting does not come with a guidebook and my mom did the best she could and I must say she did a damn good job! She came to this country without knowing the language and made it happen. She was fearless and raised (3) beautiful children. She went to work every day and instilled values in us that I will cherish to this day. I never wanted for anything thanks to her and my precious father. She showed me how to cook, clean and pretty much take care of myself. And I must say that those cooking tips come in handy today. She may not have known how to express her love, but she always told me that a mother’s love is like no other. She was tough on me for sure, but after I started accepting her for who she was I realized that we are pretty much the same person. We’re both loving, funny, emotional and go-getters ready to take charge of our lives.
Lately, we’ve gotten closer and I’m sure it’s because of my prayers and that I’ve grown as a woman; I can relate to her more now. When I told her that I was quitting my job to focus full-time on Embrace Her Legacy, she said “Hija, I know you’re going to be ok, You got this.” Those words were so impactful because in our culture, it’s all about getting a good job and holding on to it no matter what. But for her to understand my dream, support my vision and even share ideas on how to make the transition smoother made me think I’m a blessed with a beautiful mother. She loves me unconditionally and I know she will always be there for me. Although things may not ever be picture perfect, I cherish her and the new chapter of our relationship where we talk to each other and not at each other. So, if you’re relationship isn’t perfect with your mom, I’m here to encourage you to have faith and do what you can on your end to make a better relationship. Don’t force it, all in it’s time. As I said, they are not perfect and neither are we. Forgive, forget and move forward. Happy Mother’s Day!