A funny thing happened the moment I became a father. Something thirteen-year-old me would have NEVER believed. I finally understood my mother.
Before even leaving the maternity ward, I was already having flashbacks of slammed doors, rolled eyes, and words spoken under my breath. Words that might sometimes have rhymed with “witch”.
Something was happening. A growing realization that every decision, every action, every choice which at the time had seemed like an attack on my very existence was, in fact, for my benefit.
That her love for me was so wild and intense she created rules and processes to ensure I became a decent human being, capable of raising other decent human beings.
As a father, every “I’ll do it my way” turned to “what should I do, mom?”
And every “you wouldn’t understand” turned into “you were totally right.”
Just like that, it clicked. I found myself in her shoes. Sitting here, 30 years old, a day before Mother’s Day thinking, “Oh my god. I’ve become my mother.”
Honestly, it’s a really nice feeling.
And it’s an even better feeling that I can tell her on Mother’s Day—online in front of a few thousand people—that she was right. About (almost) everything.
I’m so lucky she cared about me enough to give me advice that I totally ignored.
So, here’s a list in honor of my amazing mother, Sally. It’s the 12 things she told me were true but I didn’t believe. And now I totally do.
- Always eat your meals together as a family.
- Save your money and take your budget seriously.
- Respect your elders, even when they don’t deserve it.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Create a cleaning system for your home. It will save you (and your marriage).
- Traveling will become much more difficult when kids come along, so enjoy your wild adventures while you can.
- Don’t post stupid things online. You’ll regret it later.
- Always be on time.
- Always write a thank you note.
- Don’t talk about people behind their backs. Ever.
- Do you really think that tattoo is a good idea?
- You’ll understand when you’re a parent.
Damn. You were right. Especially about that last one.
I love you, Mama. Happy Mother’s Day!