Family Friday: Moms

9 Mar

I could probably write a whole book about my relationship with my mom. It wasn’t up until a couple years ago that we got along.  This was also around the same time she realized things were pretty serious between the bf and I. Coincidence? I think not. Most of my childhood was spent in fighting matches, half in Korean and half in English, with her. It would end in tears and hateful words. That’s the past; here in present day, we get along quite well. Most of our conversations revolve around what I’m going to do with my life, when I’m getting married, and how I can lose weight.  And, of course, like all stereotypical mother-daughter relationships, we like to shop, we watch crappy TV together, and wear each other’s clothes. We DON’T get our nails done together; it’s just bad (she’s much too critical). In all seriousness though, my mother is the reason why I love fashion and food; she’s also the reason why I’m a feminist.

My mom immigrated to the US in the early 80’s and went to fashion school. Before this she was a business owner in Korea and made her own clothes. In the US, she lived the life of a woman who spoke English as second language and faced the realities of being an immigrant later on in life. While my mom talks about marriage there isn’t a time where she    doesn’t follow up her statements with “you have to be independent! Have your own money! Never rely on a man!” She is also the biggest proponent of higher education for women. My mom, in her own funny way, is a feminist to me. Even while she’s feeding me kimchi chigae and telling me to lose weight at the same time.    ~Vera~

*The picture is from a trip to Korea. This post made me miss my mom. A lot.

My mother and I have always had a somewhat contentious relationship.  It’s not so much that way now, but when I was younger I was a difficult child.  As the oldest child I was thrown into the role of my mother’s little helper, which I kinda resented.  I would do most of the things my mom asked of me, but not without questioning her as to why I had to do it.  When I was 9 my parents started to divorce, I say started because it was an ongoing battle for 2 years, and I felt like my mom relied on me even more.  However, this is also the time period where I got to start spending time one on one with my mom.  I’ve always had to “share” my mom with my siblings and I always felt like I didn’t get any attention.  I was never the one being coddled or soothed.  Since I was the oldest I was taught I had to be strong, my parents wanted me to be mentally and emotionally tough-this is what I resented.  Needless to say once I hit my teenage years I was feeling very angry at my mom.  I accused my mom of being selfish because she worked at a job that she enjoyed rather than the highest paying one she could get.  I hated her for moving us to a different state and the suburbs after the divorce.

Now that I’m older the things I disliked about my mom as a teenager I now admire as an adult.  I admire her choosing a job that she likes over a job that just pays well.  I appreciate her generosity and kindness; she is the most giving person I know.  She is intelligent, open minded, and non judgmental which she encouraged all her children to be.  The biggest lesson I learned from my relationship with my mom is you can’t put expectations on people, you can’t expect them to be something they are not.  My mom isn’t an affectionate person at all and I had to just accept that about her.  She tries though and she is just so awkward.  It took awhile, but I’m glad it didn’t take me too long to realize what an amazing woman my mother is. ~Phaydra~

*This pic was taken when I was 4, I’m the one in blue.

O,  my mother and me….all the things I could say! But I’ll stick to describing our relationship as electric. I wrote a whole paper about my mother, yes, talk about the personal is the political is the academic, is the everyday…. I consider her one of my best friends, no, I don’t tell her everything… I don’t think she could handle it, but we’re close. She’s over protective and pushy, but very loving and thoughtful. I think the best thing she has ever done is to be somewhat open about sex. She got pregnant with me at 16 and became a parent much too soon. She constantly reminded me of how difficult this made her life and so she always reminded me to use condoms. She drew diagrams to explain to me how my reproductive organs work and what was happening when I had my period. I am so lucky to have had this education, especially from my mom. So needless to say she rocks my socks. But I did say our relationship is electric which means that we can make sparks both in the positive and negative spectrum. So as much as we laugh, we shout. But recently, we have done much less shouting…  🙂 :::sigh::: I miss her.  ~maria~

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