Like most mother-daughter relationships, the one I've had with my mom has been an up and down one. 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, but my mom and I do share two huge personality traits- 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 fought and fought hard, but we've also loved and loved hard. We're 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.

Last year, our family had a terrible scare when my mom got incredibly sick and ended up in the hospital for several days. My siblings and I all jumped to take care of my dad and the three of our youngest siblings, and to check in with 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 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 and to the core, but I'm sure you must 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 37 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 a wiggler and doesn't cuddle like he used to and I miss it, just as I'm sure you did when I pushed myself away from you. 

You did a great 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 then and I still do 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. 

I'm not 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. 

Love,
Traci

If your mom is still around, why not use this as an opportunity to say some things that have been left unsaid? Maybe writing it down for her will make it easier. It did for me.