mother’s day is an odd sort of day for me.
do I celebrate myself. . . ? . . .
or do I celebrate my own mom . . . ? . . .
maybe both ? ! ?
or maybe neither > > >
I love my mom, and our relationship is as strong now, as it has ever been > > >
we understand each other more each year. . .
which is a beautiful thing > > >
– but it hasn’t always been peachy –
for years, my grandmother and three of her four daughters, would all attend the mother’s day banquet at our southern baptist church. . .
my mom, was often absent.
in fact, she was ALWAYS absent.
but the mom I had back then, wasn’t the same person she is now.
she was a completely different person back then.
as a kid, I didn’t care what she had going on.
whether my grandparents were raising me, or she was. . .
somewhere, somehow, I knew what the perfect mom was.
& the mom I got > > > well.
it wasn’t her.
growing up I resented her, for everything she wasn’t.
but most importantly, PRESENT
while my other friends had moms who took them to basketball practice afters chool and to travel ball on the weekends . . . mine was often working.
or doing whatever it was she wanted or needed to do. . . .
she’d always say it was “for me”
she was working “for me”
she was going back to school “for me”
she even told me she was moving me from my grandparents house in Pensacola, to Pace, to be with her & her new husband. . .
& I wasn’t hearing it or having it.
Even back then, I was a pretty smart kid.
I knew drinking tequila and smoking cigarettes on the back porch wasn’t “for me”
I knew getting drunk with her coworkers occasionally or at friend’s houses on the weekends wasn’t “for me”
I’d run to my grandmother to tell her the awful things I was living through.
as my mom reads this, she’ll be thinking. . . “MY GOD. DID I DO ANYTHING RIGHT. PLEASE LET THIS MOTHER’S DAY POST GET BETTER FROM HERE”
she knows she did.
& honestly, she doesn’t care.
my mom didn’t have the grandmother, I had raise me. . .
raise her, as a mother.
read that again.
the grandmother, who raised me and cared for me.
was not the same person, whilst raising my mom.
but as a kid, you don’t know that.
you don’t care.
A parent, is just that.
When I had Jackson, my mom was probably the largest she’d ever been. . .
Most people who’ve met her in the last 10 years have no idea, she used to be a totally different person.
On the inside, and the out.
They live on a busy road, and one day when Jackson was around 2 or 3 she took him for a walk. . .
& he, being the boy he was, took off into a full blown sprint. . . straight towards Spencer Field. . .
my mom tried chasing him, and all she could think of was
“my God, he is going to die. & it’s going to be all your fault, because you can’t even catch a 2 year old running”
she changed her life.
she gave up alcohol completely.
she gave up cigarettes, completely.
she gave up meat, completely.
she lost more than 100 pounds.
she quit her job she’d been at for practically my entire life, and decided to become a yoga instructor.
and travel the world.
by this time, I had two kids, creeping up on three,
and though she’d become most of the things I’d hoped for as a bratty middle schooler, who was super worried about what everyone else had to say. . .
she was still gone.
Then Costa Rica.
then somewhere else.
then somewhere else.
My therapist and I talked often about loving people for who they are, or not loving them at all.
It took years and years to finally forgive my mom, for not being who I THOUGHT she should be.
AS A MOTHER.
As a child, somehow, I’d envisioned my mother to be the clean cut, wealthy, educated, lawyer of a mom, who also finger painted and never had to actually work. . .
the one who baked regularly and always had my best interests first and foremost.
you know, PERFECT.
and I had no problem calling her out on her shortcomings anytime she gave me the chance.
when she talked to be about underage drinking, I told her she was a poor example of someone I should listen to.
when she told me to never do drugs or smoke I reminded her my real father was in prison. . .
when she told me not to worry about what other people thought about me, and just to find inner peace,
and be happy with myself I told her she was an idiot, and could never understand my life . . .
but then it happened.
I grew up.
I was mom, of the year.
present, yet working hard.
educated (somewhat) and ranked.
fit and showing it.
each day, I’d motivate myself into being a better mom, by telling myself how NOT to be like her. . .
Don’t we all do that.
Pick the good parts we want to keep and bury the bad parts as deep down as we can.
I kept it up for a while.
But then some REAL life happened, and I nose dived.
I became depressed out of the blue and couldn’t kick it.
& she came over nearly every day.
she laid with me.
outside on the trampoline.
begged me to take medicine.
or see a doctor.
or take a supplement.
drove me around if I had jobs to do.
answered the phone, when I’d call, mid panic attack.
begged me to eat.
no one knew how sick I was.
not even Jason. . .
but she did.
she never once judged me.
she just loved me through it.
& showed up.
Our bad years, are what I am certain, were like most everyone’s bad years.
but our good ones, are impossible to compete with.
& for that, I am thankful.
I learned to love HER for who she was.
not as my MOTHER. but as a person.
who happened to be the one that birthed me.
she had a rough childhood.
a terrible one.
and things didn’t improve for her, for a very long time.
that job she was working, that I hated. . .
it was a miracle.
and those habits she had. . .
helped get her through the chaos I now live everyday, without having had such trauma in my life like she did. . .
She never answers the phone, and she rarely shows up (actually, NEVER shows up) unexpectedly to take the kids, so I can have a break.
But when I called her at 2am because my pain meds weren’t working after my ACL surgery and Jason couldn’t deal with me. . . she drove over.
Just because she isn’ t here all the time, or as much as I think she should be, doesn’t mean she ISN’T HERE.
& it certainly doesn’t mean, she doesn’t care.
The truth is. . .she has been there, as BEST she could for me, my entire life. . .
those mother’s day banquets that she missed,
it turns out they were harder for her, than they were for me.
I don’t know where you stand with your mom.
But I do know this.
Most of us moms, are just trying.
The good ones, are putting up a fight.
We all have this vision of ourselves in our head, of how we should be, or shouldn’t be. .
and daily, we tally up how far away we are from her.
THE PERFECT MOM
Sometimes, we’re there.
We eat healthy.
We have money.
We look great.
We’re kind. and soft spoken. and always down to bake or craft in our perfectly clean homes.
But those days are few.
but my mom taught me the greatest lesson in motherhood, one could EVER LEARN.
if YOU ARE UNHAPPY.
YOU ARE GOOD FOR NO ONE.
NOT YOUR KIDS.
NOT YOUR HUSBAND.
YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF AND THE CHOICES YOU MAKE EVEN IF NO ONE ELSE CAN SOMETIMES. . .
so that you can LOVE YOUR CHILDREN FOR WHO THEY ARE, AND NOT WHO YOU WISH THEY WERE AS WELL. . .
I didn’t want to do photos today.
I am chubby.
I am tired.
I am four days late (AND ABSOLUTELY NOT PREGNANT) and have some weird hormonal cystic acne going down my right cheek bone and in between my eye brows.
Neither of my kids napped today, because my husband is on EIGHT STRAIGHT and I also had to help make 87 mother’s day bracelets so I just kept them alive with gummies and cat naps in the car to and from errands.
My hair hasn’t been touched by a stylist in 5 months (since New York actually) and I have no eye lashes because I missed my appointment, because I forgot to put my Invisalign back in after breakfast. . . and got stuck in traffic.
BUT BY GOD, I showed up.
I pulled up my spanx, threw on a dress and a hat and some fake lashes and promised my kids ice cream if they’d just BE COOL for like, twenty minutes.
BECAUSE THIS IS LIFE.
& it is everything.
It’s not perfectly groomed, well napped, well fed children.
& I am not a perfect mom.
But I am their mom.
& that, is enough.
this mother’s day,
I am thankful for my mom.
& her mom.
Both imperfect people, but people who in very different ways, made me who I am. . .
I am thankful to my mother in law, who raised the perfect (yet mouthy) husband. . .
I am thankful for my kids and all the love we have for each other.
& I want them to KNOW, life, isn’t a Disney movie.
It’s not vacations and happy endings and minimal fighting or obstacles.
IT IS LIFE.
& it is HARD sometimes.
But I am not simply MOM.
I am a person too, trying along with them, to navigate all of the hardships, with the good times and learn and grow, along the way.
This mother’s day, the key is
FOR YOURSELF, AND FOR OTHERS.
& we have it.
BUT as the saying goes
“IF MOMMA AIN’T HAPPY.
AIN’T NOBODY HAPPY”
& they know that all too well > > >
hence, these amazing photos.
happy mother’s day moms.
so so thankful, for the life I’ve been dealt .
without my mom, and her mom and all the moms before,
I wouldn’t be the mom I am today>
here, is to us <3
dearest Burch babes,
you are my entire world.
I hope you know that.
& feel that.
maybe not all of the time, but enough of the time.
you are everything.
i’ll love you forever.
thank you for having me. . .