23 March 2015

Now That I'm a Mom I Understand...

I will never forget the look of fear, relief and anger in my mother’s eyes the morning I came home after staying out all night with my girlfriends with no phone call to let my parents know I was okay and what I was up to. It was my senior year of high school, which of course translated to: “I’m an adult now. I can do what I want.” 

Her eyes were blood shot, haggard a bloated. With tears streaming down her face she asked, “Do you have any idea what you’ve put your father and me through tonight?” But I didn’t. I had no clue. In my adolescence, I couldn’t see or understand her point of view. I remember thinking, “I’m here. I’m okay. What’s the big deal?” 

Back then, I desperately wanted to understand why she was so upset. I wanted to understand why she had stayed up all night worrying and fretting. I wanted to be able to comprehend why, if she was so happy I was home and okay, why was she so upset and angry?

But I just couldn’t. I was a teenager and I was an asshole.

Now that I have a child of my own, I can look back on that moment, and many others from my childhood, and understand it all completely. It sounds cliché as hell for our parents to say, “When you have your own children, you will understand” but it is a statement that couldn’t be any further away from the truth. 

Now that I’m a mom I’ve come to understand…

…The constant worried, anxious, afraid feelings all moms carry with them deep down in their gut.

…How it broke my mother’s heart to see me cry.

…How it broke her heart even more to see me cry after disciplining me.

…The amount of time and monetary sacrifice my parents gave to me and my sisters so that we would never have to go without even when my mom and dad had too.

…How I can feel so incredibly angry, happy and relieved all at once when something happens to my child. More so, if it’s because she was doing something I asked her not to do.

…Why all mothers cry a lot.

…That my mother and father were not perfect but they tried their best. 

…That parenting, in some ways, is a thankless job.

…The never-ending feelings of exhaustion.

…The incredible amount of pride of seeing your child{ren} get it right and excel.

…That no matter how old I am, I will always be my mother’s “baby.”

…How I can go from happy to bitch in 2.2 seconds.

…How the longing for just a sliver of alone time is real and so very needed from time to time

…That despite all the sleepless nights, arguments and the ups and downs of parenting, she would do it all over again. 

How about you? What are some things you couldn’t understand about your parents growing up that you completely get now that you are a parent? 

Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.


  1. I feel the same and now understand what being a mum is all about

  2. I am totally on board with this...I have new found respect for mom now that I'm a mom myself! And of course I find myself sounding more like her every day.

  3. Well this just made me cry. :) And now I think I need to call my mom and apologize. Again.

  4. I remember my Mom telling me that I was such a hard baby that she knew any other after me would be a breeze to raise. I totally get that more than every before now that I have a strong-willed little guy.

  5. I definitely had to hold back some tears to this. Now that I'm a mom, I've come to understand...the unwavering NEED to get it right. I always thought my mom was so hard-headed in trying to get every detail right. From my education to my sister's bedtime, she focused so much on every detail and making sure that it amounted to growing us into great adults. I get it now. I get it so hard.

  6. YES! I was also not the nicest teenager. Communication was something that I knew, but I wasn't concerned about. At all. My mom always said that I wouldn't understand until I had kids of my own. She was right!

  7. I am only a mother of an 8.5 month old, but I agree with these as well! Especially the last one!

  8. Yes, yes, yes! Completely agree with it all! I always thought I respected and understood my mother, but becoming a mother to two children myself, I now see her in a completely new light!! I once told my mum that she was lucky as she got to stay at home all day doing nothing while I had to go to school... Needless to say she will never let me forget that! But when my daughter told me something similar the other day... I couldn't help but smile! What goes round comes back around ;)

  9. I'm not a parent yet, but now that I'm an adult I definitely understand some things my mom said and did that I didn't back then. I've also come to realize she was always right, even when I though she was crazy!

  10. Desiree @ Macke MonologuesMarch 24, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    Yes - to all of it.
    May I also add:
    … the NEED for a good cup of coffee in the morning.
    … the NEED for a good glass of wine at night.

    There's so much I *thought* I knew when I was a kid/teen/young adult. And holy cow, it's amazing how far off I was. I've often said that I can't believe my mom still loves me after all the shit I put her through when I was younger. That seems to be another thing I have a feeling I'll understand soon: Your mom/parents will love you, no matter how big of an asshole you were.

  11. This is all so true!! There are so many things I thought my mom was crazy for and now I realize I feel the same way she did. It's amazing how that happens when you have one of your own.

  12. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    So true! Karma is definitely at play here, lol. Thanks for reading!

  13. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    This is why I love you, because you understand the dire need for coffee and wine. :-) And yes, my parents were always quick to forgive but they are even more quick to laugh nowadays watching me with Chickie. Tis the circle of life!

  14. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:07 AM

    I've had to admit SO MANY TIMES how wrong I was and for being such a bratty kid at times. It's all the circle of life I guess but, WOW. I was so wrong about so many things. Thanks for reading, Erin!

  15. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:08 AM

    YES! So very true! Karma is a bitch, isn't it? ;-) Thanks for reading!

  16. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:08 AM

    Thanks, Tayler! I appreciate you reading. Have a wonderful week!

  17. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:10 AM

    There are so many things I understand clearly now that I'm a parent and more that I'm learning every day. Thanks so much for reading, Jules!

  18. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:10 AM

    Agreed. And sometimes we have to learn the lessons the hard, challenging ways with ups and downs to boot. Thanks for reading!

  19. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:11 AM

    Our parents have been waiting a long time for this karma, baby. Between us both, you know they are laughing their asses off! Love you. XO

  20. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    Right?! I find myself apologizing quite often nowadays, lol. Hope you're well!

  21. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    Sometimes I hear the shit that leaves my mouth and I stop and think, "Whoa. I just sounded like Michelle." LOL. It's the natural order of things I guess! Thanks for reading.

  22. Courtney PattersonMarch 25, 2015 at 11:13 AM

    Thanks for reading, Kela!

  23. I now know my Mum was the best in the World ( aren't they all ) and how lucky I was :) Thanks for linking up to Pin Worthy Wednesday, I have pinned your post to the Pin Worthy Wednesday Pinterest Board.

  24. I've ended up at a different place completely. I understand my mother and her actions even less now that I'm a mom. I can't understand how she said some of the things she said, (that had she known that I would have severe food allergies, she would have aborted; that the failure of her marriage was my fault since I was conceived to save it). But as my wise 8-year-old told me earlier this week, any mistakes my mom made have made me a better mom.