“My motherhood looks different from yours.”

This is the hard conversation(s) I had to have with my mother. It happened over time. Softly. Peacefully. Harshly. Angrily. In hush tones while the baby was sleeping. Satirically, while the toddler was playing. Seriously, while I dressed her for her first day of school.

She had to let go of the notion that my daughter was her second chance at motherhood.

“You made the most out of limited resources. You learned a new tongue, in a new land, with new and shifting expectations. You sent me off into a world unfamiliar to you every day with little more than prayers and the hope that I would return -- unmolested, whole, and still yours”

The worst photo I have ever taken in my life, thanks mom.

The worst photo I have ever taken in my life, thanks mom.

These are the things that must be acknowledged. The respect I had to give my mother. I gave it more freely the longer I mothered my own daughter. I learned to respect her strength. I learned to forgive her mistakes.

I had to let go of some of my hurt and found a new level of peace with my own childhood.

“My motherhood looks different from yours, but I still need you and I still love you. I am not rejecting you when I reject some of your advice. Just know I’ve watched you, the good and the bad, and I’ve learned from you. Just know that I understand what it means to be a mother. The love. The pain. The joy. The fear. The triumph and the sacrifice.  This is not something I take lightly. And just because I do it differently, doesn’t mean I’m doing it incorrectly.”

This is the reality my mother must be at peace with to find joy in this new season and find her own peace about MY motherhood.