Motherhood Made Me a Better Daughter

Becoming a mom gave me an unexpected gift: the gift of having a better relationship with my mom. It started out slowly… Little things like the first time I had to leave the house with my newborn son — I remember it took me two hours to get ready. I ended up having to reschedule because I was running so late. When I did finally make it outside I said to her this is so hard — “How did you do it with TWO kids??”
A few months later, I was contemplating how expensive babies are. I remember saying “How did you manage to do everything you did with us, the Catholic school education, the trips to Disney World?”  But the most important thing I’ve learned  in these four years is that I’ve come to understand the choices that she has made for her family. Choices that I did not understand beforehand.
I am so grateful for all she has done for me, and does for my family, especially my son whom she loves beyond measure. Now, I find myself connecting to her a lot more, something I don’t think could have happened if I had not become a mother.

While I spent my teens and young adulthood trying to get away from her, now I find myself trying to spend as much time with her as possible.

I ask her to make me my favorite dishes that remind me of my childhood.  I  try to be more patient. I listen more. We talk more. I understand her so much more than I ever did.

15 años

When I was 15 she gave me a card and she wrote “I haven’t ever said it but the day you were born was the happiest day of my life.” I remember the words because she’s not one to say that kind of stuff, so I remembered. I didn’t think much of it, because I figured that is what moms say. But it wasn’t until recently that I actually thought about it and GOT it.
When I was little, I knew that I had had a little brother who was born prematurely and died two weeks after. I knew about it, but I didn’t understand what that meant to her as a mother. Until recently. The sadness, the grief she must have felt losing a child. How does a mother  recover from that?  I don’t know. I haven’t asked her and I don’t think that I can. I only know that she thinks about him often, if not every day. He would be 35 years old now.




So I just got it a few months ago. After losing her firstborn baby me being born was the greater gift life could’ve given her. Maybe that is why she was so protective all the time.
So to my mom I want to say: I get it now. I get why you were so protective and why I wasn’t allowed to do half the things I wanted to do or why you wanted me to have a chaperone even to go around the corner.
It is only now that I  am a Mother that I understand.  So while motherhood gave me the biggest gift I could have asked for– my son, it has also given me another amazing gift– becoming a grateful daughter who no longer takes her mother for granted.
mami te amo

Puedes leer este post en español: Ser Madre Me Hizo Ser Mejor Hija

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Diana Limongi
Diana a mom, activist, nonprofit professional, podcaster and writer from Queens, NY. She writes about motherhood, activism, raising my multilingual kids, culture and travel. She and her multicultural family live in Queens, NY.

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