Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Right Thing

A few weeks ago, during our nightly call, my mother and I started discussing a topic that we’ve debated before and can never agree on.

“It’s the right thing to do,” I said firmly. “The boys need me!”
“They already have you,” she pleaded. “They don’t need you every minute of every day. You have a great career where you’re respected and valued. Don’t give that up.” Then she said with a sigh, “I would have loved to do something with my life.”

My parents left their country in the middle of a revolution and came here to give their children a better life. Raising me and my two brothers in a foreign land wasn’t always easy for my mother but she never let it show. While my father went to work during the day, she stayed home to take care of us. A home that was a million miles away from everything and everyone she knew. But that didn’t stop her from putting her heart and soul into creating a loving home for us.

Every day after school, I would sit at the kitchen table and tell her my tales of junior high hardship. And I had a lot of them, being the new foreign kid in school. She would listen to me while she was preparing dinner or folding the laundry and comfort me in the best way she knew how. She would tell me how lucky I was to have a good family and remind me that I should be thankful for that, instead of seeking the approval of my classmates.

Or course, at the time, I didn’t see it that way. All I saw was that my mother didn’t understand me. I wanted desperately to fit in with the other kids. “Why can’t I go?” I would say with pre-teen angst, “everyone goes to sleepovers here, it’s NO BIG DEAL!” But she was adamant. “No sleepovers,” she would say in her heavily accented English. No boys calling the house. No TV in my room. No make-up.

I was angry a lot during those early teenage years but every day after school I would still tell her my tales and she would still listen.

I had no idea that while I was going through my life-is-so-unfair mini dramas, my mother was dealing with her own obstacles: learning a new culture, a new language, and a new way of life. Despite these hurdles, she powered through -- raising three healthy well-adjusted children.

Through those first few tough years of transition, she kept the family together, the house clean, the cloths pressed, our lives organized and had an amazing meal on the table every day. I never thought about how all that got done or if it was hard for her. I didn’t understand what it took to be a stay-at-home mom. That is until I had my own children.

To her, I’m doing it all, working and taking care of my family. But I have it so easy compared to her. She doesn’t know how much I admire her strength and the way she made it look so easy. The way she sacrificed for us every single day. They way she loved us even when we didn’t deserve that love. And the way she was there whenever we needed her. How could I express in words how much that really meant?

“You’re wrong mom,” I finally said “you did do something. You did something amazing. You were there for me and that meant everything.”


  1. I agree with both of you. You're mom is amazing and you do deserve to have it all. Beautiful post.

  2. I did give up many things when coming here, my house'smell and taste is also thousands of miles away of it's roots.
    but when you leave familiar things behind and build your nest in unfamiliar grounds is love and that smell and taste what gets you going.
    I just wish my kiddos will some day feel about me the way you feel today about your mother.
    It's awesome spending full days with your kids... do whatever makes you happy.

  3. Dear Anonymous - Your comment made me cry. Beautiful!

  4. What a nice post Anastasia!
    I'm agree with anonymous... whatever make YOU happy is what you need to do.
    And you can always take a decision and if times let you know is not what you want, you can come back and do what you where doing or even something else.
    Specially with that supporting husband!
    You have it all, just choose! :D

  5. I echo, albeit a few days later, what others have said about should listen to your instincts and do what you feel is right. If you decide to do something and decide later to change, you can do that too...Follow your blissss!

  6. p.s.p.s. Thank you for sharing and writing this post.

  7. Beautiful sentiment about your mother. I'm so glad I came here and read this post! I don't have any littles, but I sometimes get anxious when thinking about what to do with work when kiddos come along. Knowing that others can make good decisions and be great moms is a huge encouragement. :)

    Also, thanks for stopping by The Lucky Stone!