North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

May 27, 2014

Danielle Cater: Three stages all mothers experience

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

NORTH JEFFERSON — Mom, momma, mother or mommy; it doesn’t matter how your kids say it. If you are a mother, you are likely to hear it said more than 3,402 times each day.

It certainly feels that way when they are young children, but I’m sure it will lessen as they grow older. I’m sure there are mommas who sit by the phone, just hoping their adult babies will call.

As time rolls on, the roles of mommas change. They go from being everything in their children’s lives to being viewed as the biggest dummy in the world by teenagers. Then, mommas are viewed as wise women who actually knew what they were talking about the whole time.

Sometimes I am so grateful that all four of my babies depend on me so much. There is rarely a 10-minute span at my house when a child doesn’t yell out, “Momma!” It can be overwhelming at times, but for the time being, my children tend to think I hung the stars.

They believe every word that comes out of my mouth, and with that comes great responsibility. You see, I am molding four little minds and, in essence, I am teaching these girls how to become mommas of their own one day. They depend on me to pick out their clothes, brush their hair, prepare their food, remind them to brush their teeth and tell them when it’s time for them to go to bed.

They don’t do anything apart from their parents at this stage in their lives. And although it can be overwhelming, there is so much safety that comes with that. I don’t spend nights wondering where they are or what they are doing. I don’t wonder if they are actually at school while I’m working in the day. Nope, they pretty much go where I tell them to go and stay there.

Then I start to think about their teenage years. Oh heavens; my heart skips beats and flutters when I think of raising these girls through their teenage years. When I think back to the pure torture I put my own parents through as a teenager, I want to cry.

I read a Mother’s Day card this morning that pretty much summed up what I would like to say to my mother about my teen years: “Thanks for always thinking about me to the detriment of your own mental health.”

I don’t know how moms of teenagers survive. I’ve heard it said that raising teens is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. But thank God, children outgrow their adolescent years and eventually become parents themselves. I figure this is when attitudes really start to change about how they want to treat their mommas.

Once you realize even a portion of what your mom endured to raise you, it completely changes your perspective of motherhood. Who knew there were days she would sit and cry in her room because of some smart little remark you made before going out the door? Who knew she would get raging mad when you told her about the bully at school, but she couldn’t respond because she was teaching you how to handle situations the right way? Who knew that one woman could love you that much?

Nothing compares to the love of a mother. This Mother’s Day, it would be nice if you reminded your mom of how much you love her. She probably does a good job of expressing her love to you throughout the year.

Return the favor this Sunday.