6 Ways I Never Understood My Mother Until I Had Children Of My Own

by Azra Ahmad

My mom was born organized. Even though she repeatedly told me stories about how clumsy she was when she was young, I couldn’t believe her. No one would.

How could I believe it when she had the ability to remember to take her medicines on time? She was the only person I knew or ever heard of who could administer medicines timely and consistently. And she did this for years.

As curious as I have been about many things concerning my mom’s life, there were certain things I didn’t understand about her. If I asked, she would repeat, "You will know when you are a parent."

So true. I now know the answer to all of the "whys:"

1. Why my mom called me a trouble child

The saying, “What goes around, comes around” is so true. I regret, more than anything, being such a troublesome child. Every single trouble I created for my parents, my kids now create for me.

From refusing to eat to breaking toys and even throwing wild tantrums, there is nothing they haven’t done. I want to apologize to my mom.

If only I had been a good child, I wouldn’t have to suffer like this. As a result, I often warn my kids to be nice to me, for fear their kids will turn out even worse.

2. Why my mom wanted me to top my class

As an adolescent, I was tired of that feeling. I hated that my parents wanted me to top the class.

But as a parent today, I understand those feelings.

I hate being envious, but it's really annoying when some awful parent goes on and on about how her daughter had the highest test score in the class.

Our parents may have never told us this is why they wanted us to be the best, but sometimes, that's just how it is.

3. When did my mom find me the cutest?

I have wanted to ask my mom this question many times. I never really asked, and now, I don’t have to. Kids are cute, especially when they are toddlers. But that’s not when they are the cutest.

I think my kids are cute every now and then.

However, their cutest moment -- and it never changes -- is when they are fast asleep. After a long day of energy-draining activities and yelling and screaming at them to sleep, the peace that follows on their faces is priceless.

It must have been the same for you, Mom.

4. Where did my mom hide her snacks?

I always thought my mom was the ultimate, all-sacrificing being. Whenever nice snacks or sweets came, she gave us all of them. She would divide them into portions and give each one of us equally.

I wondered where her share went, or if she just sacrificed the delicacies for us. Little did I know, her portion was removed before the division. I now also know where she kept them.

In order to eat my share in peace, I stash away my treats in a never-to-be-touched treasure box that hosts my valuables. Kids are warned not to go near that place. I am smart.

After all, I have taken after my mom!

5. Why my mom didn’t love shopping like other women did

I had always heard women love shopping. It seemed like a myth to me as a child, since my mom hated it. If she ever needed anything, she would ask my dad to get it, and stay "conveniently" at home.

After having three kids, I know why her shopping desire died.

How can you really shop when your kids gather most of your stuff? You have to return 90 percent of the stuff, in addition to running wildly after them and keeping them from touching and spilling things.

I would prefer sitting at home any day.

6. Why my mom always bought the same toys for all of us

I found it kind of silly when I saw other parents (and even my own) buy the same toy for each one of us. Come on, you could use some variety! After becoming a parent, I know now why it’s the right thing to do.

Kids tend to like others things better, even if it’s just a color variation. So after experimenting with my brilliant idea of getting different toys for my kids and seeing the disastrous results, I now buy the same toy for each one of them.

I wonder what other secrets I'll unveil about my mom as I continue my own journey into motherhood. As I look at my little kids, I understand one other thing about my mom that she always expressed, but never really said in words: She loved me immensely.