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When I was 16, I considered my mom a cross between the Wicked Witch and Attila the Hun. She forbid me to do half the things my friends did, and wouldn’t let me go to many of the places they went. She controlled, or at least tried to control, every step I made. Whenever I complained (which I did on a regular basis), she assured me that one day I would thank her.

When she got fed up with my complaining, she warned that my kids would one day do to me what I was doing to her - being nasty and feisty.

Ever on the alert for misbehavior, my mother set traps for me by asking random questions and carefully watching my reaction. Even though I was fairly good (I thought) at lying to her with a straight face, she always managed to catch me in my lie. Then one day I came home to find her holding a notepad that my best friend and I used to write back and forth to each other during class. As she read our conversations aloud, I couldn't decide whether I should blush or simply pass out from disbelief and mortification.

Needless to say, she grounded me for months after that one. At that point, I swore I would never treat my children the way mother treated me.  I solemnly vowed never to set rules, never to make them clean their rooms, and never to limit their time on the phone. I promised myself I wouldn't tell my kids who they can and can’t be friends with, and that I wouldn’t invade their privacy or embarrass them in front of their peers. Above all, I would never read anything that was clearly not written for my viewing.

Now Who's the Witch?

This Mother's Day of 2010, I have a confession to make - I'm a big, fat liar!

Ladies, I'm here to announce that my mom was the fairy godmother compared to the mother I turned out to be. In fact, I have surpassed my mother by leaps and bounds. I have made so many rules that I sometimes have to rely on my kids to keep track of them. I not only voice my opinion loud and clear on which friends of theirs I like and which I never want to see, but I make it a point to interrogate each and every one of their new friends and do a "refresher" from time to time on their olds ones.  

In other words I turned into the wicked witch of the valley my mother once was, and then some. Moreover, I don't apologize for it.  Until my kids are grown up, out of the house and living on their own, it's my job to be the parent, not their best friend.  And if they get mad at me, that's a sure sign I'm doing my job right.  I would much rather have them get angry at me now for a little while (because I did the right thing) than have them angry at me for the rest of their lives because I failed them as a parent.

As for my mom, I can proudly say that she is now my best friend, confidant and number-one supporter.  Ironically, she tells me that I'm too strict, that I yell too much at my kids, and that I often expect too much from them. This from the woman who was ready to crucify me if I arrived home 10 minutes late!

This is also from the same woman who taught me right from wrong from the moment I could comprehend it. Who instilled in me the courage, self-discipline, self-esteem and ability to navigate through life while stepping over the bumps in the many roads I chose to take.

This is from the woman who believed in me when no one else would, and convinced me that I should never take "no" for an answer and never settle for less.  Who was always a role model to my friends and I.  Who paved the road by showing me what it takes to be a good friend, wife and a mother to my children.

This is from the woman who is never too tired to listen or help, and is more than willing to be there for any news that comes my way.  Who is the only person on earth who can still look me in the eye and tell me that I'm out of line and had better rethink my actions.  

Mom, you are my hero.  Thank you for all the love, care and guidance you offer, for all the wisdom you provide, and for making me the person I am today.

I Love You Mom. Happy Mother's Day!

P.S.   Regardless of your current relationship with your mother, take the time to honor your mom this May 9th.  And remember, now it's our turn to be there for them.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anonymous wrote May 6, 2010
    • That is wonderful!

      Sometimes I feel the same way, I have dreams about being “an evil person” or a “witch” as you call it.  Or I don’t like to look at myself in the mirror because I feel like I am just plane mean.  

      But, I know, the bad stuff always glares at me much stronger than the good stuff.  

      I am glad that you have overcome the issues with your mom.  I still have a ways to go, but I can say that my 22 year old daughter and I are the best of friends, and I am in awe of our relationship together.  It is so out-of-character from what I have had with my own mom.  

      I learn every day, more about me, accepting me for who I am, even the mean-spiritness I feel I have.  I learn to accept it, tame it and embrace it.  That’s all I can do.  

      Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours.
      And thank you for sharing your story.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote May 6, 2010
    • Hi,

       Well put, Yana.  Happy Mother’s Day!

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Faye43 wrote May 6, 2010
    • estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Hbrose wrote May 6, 2010
    • So beautiful and well said, Yana.  For many of us it takes a long time to realize just how much our mothers mean and how it really is in our best interest that they look out for us and mold us.  I, too, thought my mom was mean and unfair many times when I was younger.  And now, I’ve become my mother and understand why she was the way she was. And I love her all the more for it!  Of course, how many years later, right?!  So yes, it is my job now to show my mom how much she means to me and how much I appreciate her for everything she is now and was back then!

      Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mothers out there! heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mzd3 wrote May 6, 2010
    • What a great Mom you have heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote May 6, 2010
    • That’s wonderful Yana! heartheart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote May 6, 2010
    • I don’t think I could say it any better than you Yana!

      Happy Mothers Day to you and your Mom!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Msj wrote May 6, 2010
    • You have a wonderful Mother! and sounds like you too really are like her!
      She taught but you were the great student!
      estaticheart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote May 6, 2010
    • Well said, Yana!..I have learned over the years no one is perfect and we all can take wise advice from our mom and as moms give it to our kids..you and your mom look like sisters!estaticheart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote May 6, 2010
    • Thanks Ladies, and Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote May 6, 2010
    • Well we had Mother's Day the other month –  but mothers are the rock in most women's lives and I'm lucky to have an awesome one .
      Great article Yana heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote May 6, 2010
    • I know I’m more laid back than my mom.  No one’s perfect.  We all have our “weirdnesses“, but we‘re all lucky that we had mothers.

      Okay, some not so lucky, but thems the breaks.

      My mom is awesome, but had a rough upbringing that made her more controlling about how she feels things should be-truly scares her to not be able to tell us what outcome she wants and for us to comply.  

      Me, I vocalize my opinions once, then I feel the kids have the right to make their choices, stand by them and live w/ the consequences.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rose Nino wrote May 6, 2010
    • Happy Mother’s Day! heartheartheart



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      Amy L. Harden wrote May 6, 2010
    • Happy Mother’s Day, Yana and to the wonderful mother who raised our beautiful friend!  happyheart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      KRIS JULIN wrote May 6, 2010
    • I scared the crap out of myself some years ago, when I said to my son, that while he lives under my roof, he will wear what I tell him to wear, when he tried to sneak past me wearing his jeans half way down his butt. I said he can go to school with or without jeans, but no way in between.  It was as though my mother spoke through me.  She says that everything my son did to me as a toddler was payback, for what I put her through.  

      I surprisingly enough was not a very nice child, spoilt rotten by my father.  My father and I are estranged and have been for over 35 years, but my mother has always been there for me, through thick and thin. I now encourage her to do anything she wants and spoil her rotten ( well my husband does ) when she comes for her bi-annual 3 month trip here. I get to see her next month for the first time in 14 months. Lots of plans. We laugh alot and she is still very socialable and gets together with her friends and gets tipsy



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Darlene Sabella wrote May 6, 2010
    • You are both so beautiful and look just  alikeheart Your letter made me cry but of course most things seem to do that lately. Loved your letter to Mom, I wish I could write my mom a letter put I will tell her tonight in my prayers how much I love her. She spoiled me and let me do whatever I wanted, I turned out to just like you when it came to my children, but we all learn in life in so many different ways, one why is good for one might not be good for another. I love you Mom, and thanks for the great Mothers Day reminder.
      Your friend, your fan always...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote May 6, 2010
    • If she was still here you bet your sweet bippy I’d honor her as I always had in past times. Thanks for a great post Yana!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sveta Rom wrote May 6, 2010
    • Thank you for sharing. You both look great together! I wish our moms live forever! Happy Mother’s Day!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tina Sickinger wrote May 6, 2010
    • Great post Yana! It’s amazing how as we get older we realize that they really DID know what they were talking about. I miss my Mother so now that she’s gone, but she still lives and always will in my heart and I’ll see her again one day. Until then, I know she watches over me just as she did when I was young with the same unconditional love and commitment!heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote May 6, 2010
    • My mom is in heaven now and, boy, do I miss her!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lita wrote May 6, 2010
    • GREAT STORY!! THANK YOU!! FROM TIME TO TIME WE HAVE TO REALIZE THAT OUR MOTHERS DID THE BEST THAT THEY COULD WITH WHAT THEY HAD EMOTIONLY.  PROTECTED USE THE BEST WAY THEY KNEW HOW.  MY HAT GOES OFF TO THEM FOR LOVING US ENOUGH TO EVEN TRY.  MOTHERS NOWADAYS I PRAY FOR CONSENTLY, I FEEL THAT IT‘S HARDER TODAY TO RAISE CHILDREN THAN WHEN I WAS BEING RAISED.  TO ALL MOTHERS “KEEP LOVING YOUR CHILDREN“!  AND ASK YOURSELF “WHAT DO I WANT MY CHILDREN TO REMEMBER ME BY“? “WHAT TYPE OF EXAMPLE DO I WANT TO BE“.

       I‘VE OFTEN HEARD PEOPLE SAY HOW CHILDREN DON‘T COME WITH A “MANUEL“, NOT TRUE, GOD LEFT US INSTRUCTIONS : PROVERBS 22:6 “TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO: AND WHEN HE IS OLD, HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT“. THEY MAY GO OUT TO LEFT FIELD BUT THEY WILL COME BACK “HOME” EVENTUALLY.
      WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER—estaticO BETTER!!
      *HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL***



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kalic0 wrote May 7, 2010
    • Guess what Yana, even as a teenager, I would have loved to have your mother for a mom. Of course that's because (as a teenager) you can only appreciate a great mom when you have a bad one, or in my case, a "broken" one.
      My mother was mentally ill and "back then" they really did not have an clue how to medicate/control her illness. She also had other health issues and was in and out of the hospital.
      Don’t get me wrong though, I had a pretty good childhood, my father is a wonderful man who always tried to compensate for what my mother lacked.
      ...
      Anyway, Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mother



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mindy Wilson wrote May 7, 2010
    • Wonderfully written Yana, thanks so much for sharing!!
      Mindy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Idahodawn wrote May 8, 2010
    • How sweet I think I’m going to cry.  I love my mother beyond belief she was without a doubt to me the best mother ever!!!! even though no I didn’t always think that. I am now the proud mother of 3 grown children and proud as could be at what wonderful parents they are.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote May 10, 2010
    • My dear mom died in March. She was overwhelmed by motherhood, but a creative individual that did her best to pass it along to her children. We were poor, but the
      opportunities she found for us to have “kid fun” were great! I have lots and lots of
      good memories of my childhood, despite the bad times and not being there for us
      always.  

      Without my mother I wouldn’t be here to enjoy life so I thank her often and think of
      her every Mother’s Day. (Her religion didn’t celebrate any holidays.)  

      Thanks for sharing, Yana.  

      Cathie



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