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A letter to my mom

One of the greatest things about becoming a parent yourself, is that you develop a new relationship with your own parents. You start to understand them more and realize all of the sacrifices they made for you. You also start to become them ;-) My sister and I are constantly pausing and looking at each other when I do or say certain things saying “omg you sound like mom”. That phrase used to embarrass me as an immature teenager, but now I’m proud to “sound like my mom”.

For those of you that know me, you know that I have a strong relationship with my mom, Gayle. She’s one of my best friends in the world and I’d rather hang out with her over anyone, any day. We see each other every weekend and talk every single day (usually multiple times a day). She’s one of those moms that lights up every room she’s in, makes everyone feel loved and would drop everything in an instant to help her family.

I recently had a conversation with her about everything we’re doing with The Returnity Project, and started asking her questions about when we were babies and she was working. I was surprised to hear her say “I had so much mom guilt going to work full-time after you were born, that I’d hold you constantly. I held you every night when I got home from work until you fell asleep. I felt so bad all day when I was at work and I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”

I never heard her say this before and my heart was breaking thinking of my mom going through this 30+ years ago. It was hard to think of my mom in the position I’m in now and to know that she felt exactly how I do today with my daughter, Olivia. When my sister Lindsey was born, she ended up staying home because she felt so much guilt after working with me. This just shows that no matter the generation, we all feel this struggle with heading back to work and leaving our babies.

Mom, I want to take a minute to thank you for everything you did for me growing up and still do today, and for everything you’re doing now in your new role as a Grandma to Olivia.

Thank you for those sleepless nights where you held me on the couch every night.

Thank you for never missing a school play, sports activity or game, or any event in my life--big or small. You were ALWAYS there and I know how hard that is to coordinate while working a full-time job every day. You always put your family first.

Thank you for teaching me to be kind to people.

Thank you for giving me your infectious laugh ;-)

Thank you for showing me what a confident, successful working mother looks like.

Thank you for always providing Lindsey and I with anything and everything we needed no matter what. Even when you were struggling, you never let us see it.

Thank you for being there for me when Olivia was born; for helping me through anxiety, sleepless nights and the joys of breastfeeding. For supporting me and always reminding me that I am Olivia's advocate and to always do what's best for her no matter what. You have always shown up for me.

Thank you for being the amazing mom that I aspire to be with Olivia.

Thank you for the new role you’ve taken on as a fun and loving grandmother. Thank you for moving to be closer to me and Olivia to help raise her and watch her grow up. There aren't many people out there who would move out of the home they lived in for 30+ years to be closer to their daughter and granddaughter. I am forever grateful.

Thank you for always being a shoulder to cry on, for listening, for supporting me and most of all, for loving me.

Thank you for being you. I love you mom.

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