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Love you mom | Anel Conradie

February was the month of love, known for red hearts flying through the air. 99 Red balloons going by!

Do you feel loved? I was taught a great lesson during February.  I am a mother of 3, a mother and (supposed to be) an adult. But sometimes it hits me – I do not feel it at all.  Somehow you grow up thinking moms are not human.  Moms are not allowed to feel. Moms are not allowed to be tired, and even flat-out drained. That is when it hit me:  this is exactly how I treated and perceived my own mother growing up.

Oh wow!  This really hit me.  I had to quietly remind myself of what I used to think, and how wrong I was, and maybe still am. I remember growing up being irritated and full of criticism and providing a running (mostly bad) commentary of how my mother used to do things.  How she would pack my lunch box. How she would wake me up in the morning-with porridge by my bed. Warm and carefully made.  What time she would come to pick me up. What this, what that. I feel ashamed. But now I need to pay it forward.

Unfortunately, only today did it hit me. When? When my kids do the same things to me. Of course, it is never meant for harm. They are kids. Only now do I realise that I was always too hard on her. Expecting way more than I was willing to give back. Yes! Teens can be very self – centred, I know, but that is, in fact, how their brains are developing. (Did you know a brain is only fully developed at 23-26 years of age?) I love them to bits! And understanding the physiology behind their (and my then) brain gave me lots of insight.

I see how they don’t see me. How your mom is the rock. Your doctor. Your Uber-driver. Your chef. Your personal assistant – without pay. All because you feel entitled to all the love and care she selflessly gives you. I did not appreciate it as I should have.  I realise it now.

Today I want to tell all the moms out there: you matter! You are building a monument. Brick by brick, and tile by tile. The thing about monuments and large famous cathedrals is that the builder is never credited. We do not know who built the famous cathedrals, the builders were silently behind the scenes. Working and grafting while nobody was looking or seeing.

Today I do appreciate it. So, dear fellow-moms, you matter. Our work is not credited. We do not get a plaque on the door with our name on. But that is not why we do it. These children were given to us to build and develop into beautiful cathedrals. 

One day you will be appreciated. Like today I find comfort in the fact that one day, they will appreciate it. Years later, when I appreciate my mom as I should have done all along, I am happy to still have her around to tell her this. 

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