Today in the challenge, I’m supposed to write about someone who inspires me. My mother is probably my biggest inspiration. Shhh… Don’t tell her! We don’t want her getting a big head about it!
Seriously though, she’s done a lot for me, and even though I thought she stole my dream of becoming a teacher, I am still in awe of her awesomeness.
Yesterday also happened to be her birthday. Yes, she’s an Independence Baby… or whatever it is you call someone born on the Fourth of July (which is not my favorite Tom Cruise movie, by the way).
We celebrated with a lunch barbecue with sausage and barbecued chicken, pasta salad, beans, and a cake with that whipped cream icing that I think tastes like cardboard, but the rest of my family loves.
Then she and I went to work.
Which is where my inspiration begins. As long as I’ve known her (which is all of my life so far… minus the three days it took them to release me into my adoptive parents’ care), she’s always been a hard worker. Both my parents have an amazing work ethic.
But Mom married a man who still believed in the 1950’s style family dynamics, a man who believed that once he came home, his job was done, except maybe to take out the trash and do other manly tasks that the “little woman” was incapable of doing. So after working her full-time job, she would come home and clean house and cook dinner and help me with homework or whatever was necessary. She had 2 full-time jobs, basically: working at the veterinary clinic and the job of a stay-at-home mom.
She went back to school while I was in high school, and still worked while still doing the job of a house-wife. It fell to me to pick up the slack, but that’s a post for another day… There were some rough times in the middle of all that. But she managed to do it, while getting into the Teacher’s Honor Society and graduating cum laude, maybe even magna cum laude!
She graduated college the same year I graduated high school, but in December.
At first it was hard because I felt like she’d stolen my dream of teaching, and as we had some pretty bad times from about the time I was 14 til the summer of my 21st birthday, I was determined NOT to follow the path I knew was right for me, just to not be like her.
That was probably the dumbest thing I could have done, but I didn’t realize it at the time. I allowed myself to get sidetracked, because I was lost. I purposefully abandoned my purpose, and look at what it’s done to me. It’s taken me years to overcome the negative feedback I received at other places. And I’m still not completely over some of it… hence my personal feelings of failure and being an impostor.
Things aren’t always great between she and I, but a good many of the decisions I’ve made in my life have been made with her in mind, and whether or not she’d be proud of me. Even when I strayed from what I thought she’d approve of, I still needed her to accept my decision.
It’s taken me years to get past some of my own hangups, and obviously I’m still not completely over them, but I’m home for the summer, and get to spend some time with my mother, who now works three jobs while she helps all of her children (myself included) out of some tight spots from time to time.
Admittedly, not all of her decisions have been great, but neither have mine. It’s her determination, and her big heart that inspires me. Her ability to do so much, and ask so little for herself is one of the things I admire about her. I couldn’t do it.
I know I couldn’t; I tried to do it for a while, when I was younger, and I couldn’t keep it up.
She’s just such an amazing woman, my mother!
So maybe it wasn’t quite an ode, but it was truthful. I love you, Mom!