A Mother’s Day Thank You Note To My Working Mom

Dear Mom,

It’s almost Mother’s Day – and I’m sitting here again thinking about what to get you. What makes Mom happy? Flowers? A no-fail, but I could probably do a little better. A wallet or purse? Done and done – and will definitely be done again at some point, just need a little more time to pass before a repeat performance. A spa day? Definitely solid – but I’m a little broke this year. So what’s a poor daughter tired of giving flowers and purses to her Mom to do? As I’m sitting here thinking (and actually writing my first ever blog post), I thought I would start at least with something I sadly have not given you before, and it probably was not something I could give you at least until I was an adult myself. I want to give you a thank you. A thank you for not only doing all the typical “mom stuff” an adult child could – or would – finally acknowledge to a parent, but a “thank you” for being a working mom. Yes, I want to actually thank you for going to work.

No, I have not lost my mind (at least not officially) and no, I am not drunk right now (I promise I’m only sipping a strong coffee as we speak). Yes, I know you would have preferred to be home more with your kids. And no – I don’t hate that you went to work, despite some bratty tween and teen moments saying EXACTLY that when you went back to work. I liked when you were a stay at home mom. You picked me up from school. You made sure my after school snack of Chips Ahoy cookies or Devil Dogs were always well stocked in the cupboard. You helped me with homework.   You helped keep my little sisters occupied and away from me. I saw absolutely NO reason why you needed to go to work and mess with my perfect existence. Yet despite that – and how pissed I was sometimes when you were working – I actually love you more for being a working mom. Why would I love you more? Well, let me count the ways.

First, there were some basics. Basic life lessons taught to children to carry through life – but with our special spin:

“Be responsible and trustworthy: Which included not losing the house key I was trusted with – or my younger sisters that I had no choice but to allow into the house with me after school.

“If you play with fire, sometimes you get burnt”: Which at age 12 meant, “DO NOT under ANY circumstances” put on the stove, light matches, build a campfire, practice flame throwing or do anything that could potentially burn you – or the house down. The fear of God (and fire) was now officially and firmly implanted.

“Communication is key”: Yes, it is. But the irony here was that we were to call YOU – and only YOU – the moment we walked into the house. After that, there was no reason to shoot the breeze with anyone on the phone. Unless, “GOD FORBID – you need to call 911”.

“Lead by example”: So, I guess encouraging my sisters to do things they probably shouldn’t have and then take photographic evidence of said crimes wasn’t cool. Blackmail is bad. OK, got it.

“Love your sisters, they are your first friends”: I couldn’t think of anything worse at the time – clearly evident by the fact that I was blackmailing them. You’ll be happy to know that has changed (I mean, me loving them – not the blackmail part).

So, those were some of the basics I learned (or rather, you indefinitely tattooed onto my brain) while you were at work. You’ll be happy to know my interpretation of those has thankfully evolved a bit since I was 12. But then there were the lessons I couldn’t have really understood, appreciated – or even dawned on me until I grew up:

To be a strong, independent woman: Your working taught me self-reliance. Being half of a couple can be a special gift – you and Dad have shown us that. But before you can be a successful “we”, you need to be a successful “me”.

To know it’s ok to sometimes be away from your kids – and actually like it: I know you think that may sound harsh and not particularly a lesson I would learn from you working – but it’s perfectly ok. While many moms may work because it’s a financial necessity, some may work because they actually want to. Yes, there are moms that just want to – and no, they are not the spawn of the devil.

To enjoy life’s little moments and the people that make it special: Life happens, the work will always be there and time is short – shorter than you realize. No matter how busy you were or how hard you worked, you took the time to appreciate life and the loved ones that make it yours. You didn’t take it for granted.

To know it’s ok to say the “F” word: Yes, it is ok. It is ok to say “fear”. We all have them. We have to face fear head on in order to ever find the success that is ours; it’s half the equation. Oh wait, you thought I meant that other “F” word.   Yes, that’s ok to say too.   I say that one at least 20 times a day.

To do the best that you can: No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you will never make everyone happy all of the time. And that guilt we may feel as a result of letting someone down, can eat away at us. Learn to let it go; even if we never made mistakes, there will always be someone unhappy. I know I reminded you of that when my bratty younger self told you I hated that you went to work. And I’m sorry.

To accept that life is a juggling act – and know that you will sometimes drop a ball: It’s true when they say, “a woman’s work is never done” and you were living proof of that. You prepared dinner before leaving for work and ran errands on your lunch break. I never told you, but I actually once saw you driving home on your lunch break (to do something I probably could have been helping with) – and you were eating a sandwich while you were driving. You were an expert juggler and probably beat yourself up when you dropped a ball. Guess what? We never actually knew if you did.

So Mom, those are some of the reasons why I’m thanking you for being a working mom. While I’ve only mentioned some here, the lessons – and the love – were endless. I wouldn’t be the woman I’ve become (and I have to say that you and Dad clearly did a FABULOUS job). Seriously, I want you to know how thankful I am for the lessons you have taught and all you have done – and continue to do for me every day.

(Wow, I’m impressed. A Mother’s Day Gift, a first blog post and some butt kissing all done in one fell swoop. I guess I am an expert juggler too).

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you – and thank you.



Your (favorite) Daughter