The Evolution of Mom
We’ve been designing away on some new Mother’s Day cards the past couple weeks (Mother’s Day is on May 13th--don’t forget!).
We started with the idea that you should thank your mom for all she does--raising us, keeping us healthy, getting us through life, putting up with our weirdness--but the idea evolved as we thought about being in our 30s, lots of friends around us becoming mothers now, and how our relationships with our moms have changed as we’ve gotten older.
Mother/Daughter relationships are complex.
We love our moms, most definitely, but it can get jagged with teenage hormones, all the scar tissue that builds up on both sides while we’re coming into adulthood. When we’re young we don’t yet understand that Mom is a messy human being just like us.
I think part of our brain still hangs onto a childhood version of Superhero Mom (which she totally is), but it doesn’t allow us to empathize with how difficult day-to-day life is when they’re keeping willful, destructive, blooming humans alive. When she cracks, we think it’s a flaw. Something we should avoid doing, but I think it’s a moment to see a very real stripe of her, and all she changed for us.
When Mom gave me advice during my 20s, I’d get so irritated. I was striving to prove my adult-ness. I wanted people to show faith in my decisions (even when they were so obviously mistakes), because it was important for me to find my own way forward.
Her advice seemed like it was shining light on my lack of experience (experience I could only get by testing out different paths). Now I see that her advice offered me a streetlight so I didn’t veer too wildly.
Moms are people too, and yes--we’re just like them.
I’m turning 31 this year, the age my mom was when she had me.
My sister had a baby a year ago, and my best friend just had a baby this past weekend (craziest thing ever, by the way, when these people have babies--it’s surreal). They’re both moms now, these women who grew up with me.
As I’m watching them adjust into this new role, my viewpoint on motherhood has broadened. I’m no longer seeing it as part of this older generation, something above me, but rather a visceral, immediate, fluid moment--a choice--that creates an impact on an already complete person.
Life didn’t get easier when I turned 30. I felt like I understood myself better, but the decisions grew legs and arms; they reached out into a lot of other decisions. And the range on those decisions got significantly wider.
If I choose not to go home for a holiday now, I miss my nephew crawling for the first time. The longer I spend away from home, the less he recognizes my expressions. It’s helped me understand the immediacy of my mom’s attention and the choices she made for us.
My sister likes to sing the ABCs to my nephew. It soothes him, and he enjoys listening to her voice. Not too long ago, my nephew started imitating the sounds he heard from my sister, and thus began his first forays into speech.
For me, this has been the most profound part of understanding what it means to be a mom. It reminded me that Mom taught me language.
She’s not just responsible for half my DNA, she established the fundamentals of my reality. Incredible, Mom!
Best wishes, Loretta
From around the net, we’re super in love with Jenny Pennywood. If you’re looking for a great gift for a new mom in your life, check out Jen’s website: jennypennywood.com.
The textiles are hand-made & screen-printed in SF. Beautiful, beautiful work and sure to help you shower the love!
To keep reading about moms, we suggest the following from our bookshelves:
Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan,
Swing Time by Zadie Smith,
And the great classic, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Go hug your superhero mom (or the mom-like person in your life)! They do it all! :)