Usually, I write a post praising my mom every year to commemorate Mother’s Day, but this year I found myself struggling for inspiration so I decided to go straight to the source of life herself and annoy her into giving me content. Below is an interview with my mom about what being a mom has been like for her, maybe next year I’ll take submissions for questions!
Note: I’ve written this in interview format so ME is, of course, me, and MO stands for Mom. Anything in brackets or parentheses is a note added by me.
ME: Let’s start with the beginning. How did you decide you wanted to become a mom?
MO: I just felt like it was time. We [she and my dad] had talked about it before we got married, so we both knew we wanted kids. The only decision part was to wait to start trying until after we got married.
ME: How did you know when you wanted kids? How did you know you were ready?
MO: I just knew.*
*We laughed here because this was so unhelpful so I pressed her for more
MO: It was just a feeling of readiness. We knew there was no ‘best’ time and we wanted them so we had them. Maybe part of it was your dad’s age, because he knew he wanted kids soon so he wouldn’t be too old of a father. [Note: my dad is 8 years older than my mom]
ME: What was your pregnancy with me like? Leave Kiki out of it haha
MO: Um…no morning sickness. I got horrible acne. For the first part, I felt kinda lousy because you hear about the pregnancy glow, and mine was more like the pregnancy plague. I still worked full time, but I was grumpy and bitchy and even got in trouble at work due to my attitude. I didn’t work out really, aside from walking [Note: She did train for a half marathon after I was born though]. However, once the first trimester passed, I was just waiting for you to get out. I just got bigger and watched my toes disappear from view. Couldn’t even have shoes with laces.
ME: How was childbirth itself?
MO: Take the drugs. That’s all I have to say.
ME: What was the scariest part about being new parents?
MO: Well we were so excited when I was pregnant. It was so cool when we could feel you move. We were excited all the way until you came out and then we brought you home and we looked at you and said: “what do we do with her now?”. Everything was easy when you were still inside, but now it was real and it was scary. Knowing that we were ultimately responsible for shaping this person, this baby, into a real person that’s going to be out there in the world was terrifying.
ME: Ok, well thanks for freaking me out. What was the best part once you brought me home?
MO: Hmmm…making you giggle. Watching you smile. Watching you discover things. Your fat rolls!
ME: Yes I was fat, look how far I’ve come. Are there any choices you made in your parenting when I was little that you were convinced were the right choices at the time?
MO: No. You’re never sure if you’ve made the right choice until much later. You can never truly know if what you did was right until your child is presented with a situation that requires that lesson later and they choose the best option or not.
ME: Well that is not comforting at all. Let’s fast forward a little bit, how did you approach puberty for me?
MO: I think we bought you a book right?
ME: Several actually.
MO: Yeah that’s right. We wanted to make sure you had literature about everything going on and we wanted to make sure you knew you could ask us any question you wanted and that we would be honest with you. And above all else, we wanted to make sure you were getting information from us rather than friends or others.
ME: How did you make sure I knew I could come to you?
MO: Just by repeating it, making sure you were aware at every step. But we also never pressed you to tell us anything. And the thing is, this worked for you because you had no problem asking us point blank questions no matter how uncomfortable, but for your sister it was different.
ME: How did you approach the situation when I wanted to start dating and hanging out with boys?
MO: Well we knew it was coming. And once you were old enough to drive we knew we had less control over the situations so we wanted to make sure there were rules in place. There had to be a structure surrounding it, no point in having you out till all hours for no good reason, leaving more room for trouble. I was thankful that you would talk to me about it though, and that you would listen to me when I would give advice. I was also thankful that you were taking responsibility for making sure that you were safe, and that you felt important and comfortable in your relationships.
ME: So do you think you were successful in raising me? Why?
MO: Well yeah…I mean…you lived (laughs), but you did everything right. You heeded advice, you made good decisions, you made bad decisions but learned from your mistakes. You help others when they ask for it. You’re adventurous.
ME: How did you decide to have another kid?
MO: We always knew we wanted more than one. We originally thought we were going to have four but once we found out how hard one kid was, we reevaluated pretty quick (laughs). But we also always thought it was a good idea for a kid to have at least one sibling so we made sure we did that.
ME: Ok what’s the best thing about being a mom?
MO: Loving and being loved unconditionally. I liked the process of teaching another human how to be a human. For as many tears that were cried, there were so many more smiles.
ME: Awwwwww, ok what’s the worst thing about being a mom?
MO: It’s just so much pressure. And not even from the kid, but from other adults that judge you and tell you you’re doing it wrong or make you second guess yourself. And puke. Puke is also terrible.
ME: What did you learn from your mom that was invaluable in your mothering technique?
MO: Patience, so much patience.
ME: There are so many questions I could ask. One that’s super important to me though is how was it traveling with two kids? Especially two small kids?
MO: It was scary in the sense that you’re going into an environment where there are so many other people and new things and you don’t know how your kid is going to react. You don’t want to be that parent with that kid. You want to be prepared for everything so you end up being a pack mule and it’s freaking exhausting to actually get to the destination, much less enjoy yourself.
ME: Ok, let’s wrap it up since you want to go to sleep so bad! How do you think your role has changed now that I’m an adult?
MO: Well you’re pretty much self-sufficient so I’m just here for the occasional question now. I don’t need to really teach you anything anymore, I just have to trust that I have imparted as much knowledge as I could before now. Obviously, we’re still here as a safety net, but you’re doing everything you need to be doing. You respect what we taught you and you use it in your life now. Now I’m just here for questions like “how long does previously frozen chicken last in the fridge?” haha
ME: What about from when I was in college as compared to now that I’m completely independent?
MO: Well we’re not your bank anymore…that really means you’re fully independent now. There’s nothing we could hold over you if necessary. It’s like we’re more equal than before. We have adult conversations but ultimately when you make your decision it’s your decision because I can’t make you do anything now. So I feel I’m more to bounce ideas off of and provide comfort than to actually give direction.
ME: It’s interesting you view us as more equal. Do you think my role within the family changed?
MO: Of course. All the things I used to do for you, you now do yourself. Making appointments, cooking, laundry. And as much as I’m glad that it’s less work for me, it was also hard letting go of those things because it means I’m not needed as much and it’s all part of you breaking away from us to become your own person.
And that’s it! Anything you wish I would’ve asked? Maybe I’ll write a little appendix if I get enough extra questions!