Like most mother-daughter relationships, the relationship that I've got with my mom has been an up and down one. As I get older, the more I find that I have a lot in common with my mom, but it hasn't always been that way.  My mom is more of the soft-spoken type who prefers lace and floral prints and I definitely toe the line of being brash in my jeans and t-shirts. However, there are two huge personality traits that my mom and I have always shared-  we're both incredibly stubborn and we're both total control freaks.

Because of our stubborn and controlling natures, my mom and I have gone head-to-head and toe-to-toe our fair share of times. Over the years, my mom and I have disagreed and disagreed hard, but we've also loved and loved hard. My mom and I are both such passionate people and yet neither of us stifles the other. We may not always be on the same page, but we do have respect for each other.

A couple years ago our family had a terrible scare when my mom got incredibly sick and ended up in the hospital for several days. We thought she wasn't going to make it and my siblings and I all jumped to take care of my dad and the three of our youngest siblings and to check in on my mom at the hospital. We may not always participate in every family event and we might have times that we're awful when it comes to returning calls and emails, but when the serious stuff hits, we all come together and create an unstoppable force.

This Mother's Day, I have a few things to tell my mom.

Dear Mom,

I'm sorry for all of the times when I was younger that I told you that I hated you.  Now that I'm a mom, I understand how much this must have hurt you and to the core, but I'm I hope you know that I didn't mean what I said. I was just being an emotional and dramatic girl.

You told me not long ago that you'd been cuddling kids for 38 years and that you were really sad to think that those days are coming to an end as your baby is now a teenager. I'm sorry that I didn't lay in your arms a little longer when you wanted to snuggle. My John is growing up way too fast and doesn't like to cuddle the way he used to and I it, just as I'm sure you did when I pushed away from you. 

When you were a single mom, you did an amazing job of handling day to day life with the four of us big kids. Just the thought of going to the grocery store by myself with my toddler makes me want to cry. You were the master of going to the grocery store solo with four little ones in tow. You never lost a single one of us. Good job, Mom! No really- I can't tell you how many of my friends (and even my husband) have told me stories of getting lost while shopping with their parents. I swore when I was a kid and I still do as an adult that you've got eyes in the back of your head. 

When I look back at photos of when I was younger, I understand why you were always trying to get me to stop wearing black. You're right- I really do look more approachable when I wear vibrant colors. And you're right about my hair. I could be wearing a bag, but if my hair is washed and styled, I somehow manage to look put together. I wish I could tell you that I spend the time on my hair that you want me to, but I don't. I get there one day though. Maybe when my boy is grown and I get more than four hours of sleep in a night. 

I'm so sorry that when I lived under your roof I wasn't mature enough to understand and appreciate all of the sacrifices you made for us kids. The lack of sleep, the missed or cold meals, not buying anything for yourself or pampering yourself because you'd use what little money you had to make sure we were taken care of.

I know you probably wished that you could have given us kids more, but you did the best with what you had and I really appreciate that.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Thanks for always keeping me on my toes and holding me accountable for my actions, even now that I'm grown. 

I love you, Mom. 

Love,
Traci