Article By: Contributor Ese Ofurhie
One of the greatest things I have learned as a growing woman is how important my relationship is with my mother. Her qualities have added to the person I am today. Over the past several years I have realized our relationship evolution. We are now at a place never before of comfort in expressing emotion, trust and love. As I look back at my childhood to adulthood, I have and had to admit she was right and I see why my mother was so strict and had so many rules. In every situation that I reflect on, I am overcome with immense appreciation for her.
As a teenager I would say to myself, “I could not stand this lady!” My parents were very strict and my mom was not one to play with. My mother would say things I would not like, tell me who I should and should not be friends with because she just had a feeling or tell me to just focus on my school work and study. These messages were repeatedly daily. She would not allow me to sleep over at my friends or borrow clothes. This made her the worst parent in the world because everyone else was doing it. I would act up in school having teachers call everyday to complain about me. I was one of those kids always on punishment because I was always in trouble but had the nerve to be mad about it. When I look back, I know she was right about those people and it was her intuition that knew best. The same intuition I am now growing to trust about myself. The strict schedule and repeated mention of school and work has led me to the work ethic I have today that I take much pride in. I have a habit of not asking for anything and just making it happen on my own, that was from my mom teaching me to not want what others had.
Then I graduated high school and left for college. Boy did I miss those cooked meals! I missed how her food made me feel. It was that caring feeling that I would mimic away from home. There was something about how my mom prepared food for everyone that stood out to me. My mother always cooked her food from scratch and put so much love into her cooking down to serving plates. My first year of college, I would always make sure people ate when they came to my room. I usually had people in my room but that still did not stop me from doing my work. That work ethic of pushing through no matter what would kick in. Those moments and my love of making sure everyone eats comes from the values my mother instilled in me as a teenager. By my second year of college I was able to live on my own. Yes I was scared but I did it. Being told to wash dishes, throw away garbage, make your bed would be the basic habits my mom would repeat to all her children. I do not have the OCD clean tendencies as she does but I am aware of the basic home chores and maintenance.
After graduating college and in my twenties I thought I knew it all. I had lived on my own and completed a Bachelor’s degree, no one could tell me anything. This was another time frame where we clashed. I just knew I was an adult and doing what I was supposed to do. A year after graduating college I had moved back home and it still would feel like I was in high school. My mother would still ask me where I would go and what do I do when I get there. I will be honest, my ego of thinking I knew everything and she did not need to know attitude caused a lot of our disagreements. I would not open up to her about my relationships, friendships or situations. I thought that all she would do is scold me so I would rather keep it a secret. And of course, mothers always find out! All the things I chose to hide from my mom eventually came out. I did not realize that not opening up to her was also affecting me and my decisions.
When I think back to my late twenties, I would learn to trust my mother more and open up to her. She always had my best interests at heart. When looking back she had the actions to match each and every time. My own personal experiences with life and relationships has allowed me to reflect back on each impactful moment with my mother. And remembering allows me to acknowledge what my mother has taught me, what she went through teaching me and what she dealt with on her own personal level. From that reflection my admiration and appreciation grows for her every day. From my experience, the older I get, the closer our relationship is, the more of a best friend my mother is to me.
How many of you can relate on this mother’s day to how your relationship with your mother has grown?