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My parents recently celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary. An amazing feat in and of itself, but looking back at my childhood, I don't know how my mom didn't go insane and run away screaming when I was a teenager.
I was a typical sassy teen who didn't appreciate anything, was extremely stubborn (still am), and expected the world to revolve around me. When I set my mind to something, I was determined to do it no matter what. I'm sure she thought on many occasions, just wait until you have a daughter of your own! Well, she got her wish. I have five of them! Five times the joy and five times the stress.
My parents ran their own business and my mom was always working, or doing things for the kids (I have two older brothers). She worked from home so she could never leave the office when she needed to, or escape to the office when she wanted to. She was always there when we needed her. And up until recently, when she started taking yearly trips with her sisters, she never did anything truly for herself.
And in spite of the fact that, much like every young girl in her teens, I spouted “I'll never be just like my mom!” our lives are remarkably similar. I own my own business and work from home, so I am surrounded by work all the times and when I'm not working I'm doing something for my girls. I haven't had a vacation in over 7 years… a two-day trip to Cape Cod with my parents and my 5 girls, (the hubby couldn't make it) that was decidedly not a vacation for me.
Aside from a few short business trips 8 years ago and my Komen 3-Day for the Cure walks I haven't been away from my girls for more than a few hours at a time.
As my mom prophesied, I totally see parts of my teen self in my daughters, every. single. day. The stubbornness, know-it-all, I'm the center of attention, me that my mom loved no matter how much of a pain in the ass I was. I also see in them the tenderhearted, caring sweet child that I was on rare occasions. And I love my girls more than anything. As much as they drive me insane–and yes there've been times when I have run from the house screaming–I will always be there for them, too.