Loving your own mother more

Let's face it. Mothers can sometimes be a pain. It seems as if it's in their job description to annoy us, irritate us, even enrage us. They appear to worry incessantly. Some call all the time, while others never call, leaving us feeling utterly abandoned. Pick your issue, and I'll show you a mom that fits the bill.

On the other hand, which speed-dial do you lunge for when you need to brag about your new job promotion? Whose shoulder do you cry on when you get laid off? Who else will tolerate yet another version of your "101-Reasons-You- Know-That-Your-Child-Is-A-Genius" speech? I'll wager that mom gets the good news within minutes of baby's first tentative steps. And remember who will tell you exactly what to do when your two-year-old refuses to eat anything but graham crackers.

By reflecting on our common ground as parents, we can improve our own relationship with mom. Let's try an exercise. Recall how it felt to be pregnant for forty, very long weeks. Nausea, hip pain, backaches, expanding waistlines… Now remember that sense of excitement as you daydreamed about your future family. During those months, you probably spent as much time thinking about your baby-to-be as men dwell on sex. (And that, as we all know, is a lot.)

Now imagine your mom some thirty or so years ago, lugging a mini-you in her burgeoning belly. Most likely, she had wonderful expectations for a lifelong friendship with her daughter. In fact, she probably felt exactly like you did. Interview your mom, and you might discover that she spent agonizing hours selecting a color-scheme for the nursery. The perfect shade of yellow could create an optimist, she concluded, but banana yellow might instill a false sense of worldly cheer. Maybe you'll smile in recognition as you learn that mom had contractions for ten days before she labored for ten hours before you entered the world and kept her awake for the next ten months.

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