It’s Mother’s Day and maybe you still haven’t found the ultimate gift. Well, lady luck is smiling on you because it’s about to fall into your lap and you don’t even have to leave the house or place an online order. This gift won’t cost you a dime, wilt in a week, or be eaten in a day. But it will be appreciated for a lifetime.
The gift is understanding. We moms spend a lot of time understanding our people and today is a day for reciprocity. We want you to understand us. Really understand us. It’s not that we don’t dig the flowers and gift cards to the spa… we do. But we, the queens of understanding, long to be understood, too. Even if it’s just for today. That’s a start.
So, moms from across the U.S. and Canada answered this question:
What do you want your children to understand about you?
They gave an array of answers, sharing their hearts in the process. Grab a pen and paper and take notes. This is where your understanding begins….
We want you to understand that our love for you is big. Really big.
“I wish my kids fully understood the extent to which I love them and to which they are the greatest part of my life, along with my husband. I make sure I tell them at least once a day...but I think until they have children of their own, they won't truly understand. That my life is truly complete because of them. I am so blessed!” (Ann, California)
“Mine are still young and can not grasp that I would die for them ... I think it's something they will never understand until they have their own children.” (Amber, Ontario, Canada)
“Every morning, when I open my eyes, my thoughts go to the well being of my children. I love them completely and fiercely. I am trying so hard these days to be mindful of the changing relationships we are embarking on as one leaves for college and the others are becoming young adults. I hope I can impart the wisdom of our faith and they know they have God's and their mother's love forever.” (Tracey, North Carolina)
“I wish my daughter and son understood that no one will ever love them like I do. Not even that gorgeous guy or girl they’re dating. A mother’s love is unconditional and I want them to know and appreciate that.” (Susan, Washington)
“I wish they could understand why it’s so hard to let them go as they prepare to leave home. I shared my body with them for nine months. Then my world, my thoughts, my actions, my love revolved around them. It takes time for a mom to switch gears so please be patient and compassionate.” (Eileen, British Columbia, Canada)
“I wish my kids understood that I put their wants and needs before mine more times than they realize every day. I wish they knew about the many times I choose to do what they want or need before what I want or need. They almost always come first.” (Deb, North Carolina)
We want you to understand that we cherish the time you spend with us.
“I wish my sons understood how much I value those few minutes a day when they call and just say they are ok! That part of me will always need to be needed by them. That being both father and mother most of their lives was really hard and that I would have done anything to have their dad see them grow into the beautiful souls they are today, but that God's plan was different.That just because they grew up, they will always be my babies. (Although I tell them that all the time!) I wish they really understood how important faith is to me and that I want that for them. Mostly I hope they know how much I love them.” (Betsy, Pennsylvania)
“Mine are all in their late 30's early 40's. I still crave their time. Even ten minutes. It amazes me how happy it makes me when they stop by. Since my mom died I try to explain that no matter how badly I would love to be with them forever - that nothing lasts. I would give anything to hear my mom's voice one more time. I ask for their gift of time. No gifts that require dusting” (Janet, Louisiana)
“I wish my children understood that what I want most from them is to connect with them, to be in relationship with them. Just share your time. That's it.” (Erin, Ohio)
We wish you understood that we have needs, too.
“As I age, please remember how I cared for you when you were little and helpless. Care for me with the same love and commitment. Yes, your patience will grow thin and it will seem terribly unfair that the person you leaned on your whole life must now lean on you. As disconcerting as that is for you, it is even more so for me. Please extend grace and compassion.” (Suzanne, Texas)
“I wish they understood that sometimes it is about me and what I need and want.(Deborah, Pennsylvania)
We want you to understand that we’re not perfect, but we try hard.
“It’s really hard being a mom and it’s tough getting the balance right between being too lenient and being too strict. I’ll make mistakes, just as you do. We both have to be willing to forgive.” (Karen, New York)
“That as much as we work to raise them to be kind and thoughtful and, basically, the best version of their own selves - we are also still doing the same damn thing with ourselves. Even on our best days as moms, we still see how we might have done, said, explained or modeled it better for them. So, when all is said and done, we hope they can offer us as much grace as we (keep trying) to offer them. (Tamara, North Carolina)
“I wish my children understood that being a mom is harder than being a kid. It’s wonderful and fulfilling, but it’s hard. And though we don’t always get it right, we always try and we always want what’s best for them.” (Sue, Michigan)
We wish you understood that your accomplishments are great, but they aren’t the most important thing to me.
“I wish my girls understood that I really don't care about grades and other people's measure of success.” (Nancy, Pennsylvania)
“I wish my daughters understood how much it fills my heart with joy to see the love and devotion they have for their children. Much more than their advanced degrees and them finding careers which are more like vocations I feel truly blessed to know they are so very good at parenting the next generation of my family.” (Cee Cee, Pennsylvania)
And one more….
“I wish they understood that I'm actually pretty cool.” (Deb, North Carolina)
So, sons and daughters, show them the love this Mother's Day. Take your note pad and pen and ask your mom what she wants you understand about her. Have a meaningful conversation about it. Linger on her thoughts and feelings and really try to understand her. It'll be the best gift she gets today. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms we love!