This post by LySaundra Campbell is a part of a special series in partnership with Permission to Write called Mom/Me: An exploration of motherhood and beyond. This collection of poetry, essays, and visual media showcase the many facets of motherhood and our relationship to it.
I’ve rarely written about my mom. My father died when I was 12-years old and the relationship between my mother and me was rocky throughout my teen years. I didn’t have the words—and wasn’t trying to explore the feelings—to describe how my dad’s death and the events that led up to it impacted me. So I placed the blame on the next person closest to me, my mom. More than having my dad alive, I wanted things to be “normal” again. But sometimes our idea of “normal” isn’t what is healthiest or will help us thrive. My childhood and life before my dad died was familiar, but it didn’t need to be our family’s “normal.” But I put unrealistic expectations on my mom to create that for me and my siblings. I wanted her to fit the mold of the Superwoman trope expected from many mothers.
It took years—and lots of therapy—to have the relationship I have now with my mom. And I’m grateful because it has helped me realize just how incredibly resilient she is. We aren’t best friends by any means—I’m super free-spirited and she worries—but we’re dedicated to understanding and respecting each other.
I accept, love, and appreciate my mom, flaws and all. As an adult, I’ve learned how to balance being outspoken and opinionated in a way that still honors and respects her. I see her as a survivor, thriver, and a devoted mother who did the best she could with the tools she had. She is hella goofy, selfless, and—even when we’re acting a plum fool—the biggest advocate and cheerleader for her children. Mommy, I see you, I’m grateful for you, and I love you. You are appreciated.
To read the rest of this essay, visit Permission To Write.