"Moms make life beautiful." At 17 years old, I didn't think so. I thought that my mom was this authority figure that didn't want me to have any fun and have rules in her house that I had to abide by. Now that I am a mother, I understand my mom more. My mom has been with us the last couple of days helping us out with Aubrey because she has been sick and the way that she cares for her grandchild makes me appreciate her more and has made me reflect on all the things my mom did for me that I took for granted. Here are 3 lessons that I have learned from my mother. 

1. Be Patient. When you're tired and your child doesn't want to go to sleep, or she doesn't want to eat the 4th meal you've made for her because she doesn't like anything and is being picky, you have to be patient. I've watched my mom do whatever it takes to calm Aubrey down and to make her happy, even if that means she has fruit snacks and french fries for breakfast. My mom always tells me "it's fine, at least she's eating something." I've watched her chase after Aubrey, playing games with her and engaging her in a way that she used to when I was a child. She has shown me the importance of patience and that as much as I want things planned out, it doesn't work out that way when you have children. 

2. Make Time for Family. I'm a workaholic. I always have been. Since I received my working papers at 14 years old, I started working. Now as an adult, I still work a lot and one of the times my mom was watching Aubrey, my schedule changed and Aubrey had to stay with my mom for an additional three days. It was then my mom told me that Aubrey needed me and that I needed to make her a priority. My first job is being a mom and everything else is secondary. Honestly, it made me feel guilty because I felt like I needed to work in order to help provide for our family and I want to be able to give Aubrey the best life possible, but I had to slow down and take time for my family. Aubrey, at 2 years old sleeps in my bed and snuggles on my side of the bed, and even though at times I hate it, my mom reminds me that there will come a time where she stops crawling into your bed and begin living her own life. She reminds me to enjoy it now, because time will go by faster than you think. 

3. The Meaning of Sacrifice. Now that I am a mom, I realize how much my mom did for me and my siblings when we were younger. My mom was a single mom, with 5 kids, and 2 of them autistic. I was angry at my mom when we were younger, for making me wear my sister's clothes, driving this white old station wagon, and not being able to do things because we didn't have the money to. Now that I am an adult, I realized that my mom did everything she could to survive and make sure that we were taken care of. We were on public assistance and would go down to the Salvation Army for food and I was embarrassed, not realizing how hard my mom had it. When I watch her with Aubrey now, it makes me sad to think how ungrateful I was for everything my mom had done for us. Now, my mom spoils Aubrey and does everything to make her enjoy her time with her. My mom gave up her own happiness and life to make sure that my siblings and I had the best possible life she could give us. My sisters and I all went to private colleges and are successful. None of that would have been possible without the support and the sacrifices my mom made for us. 

As much as I want my mom to live forever, I know that it is not possible and I appreciate her even more now. My mom just turned 68, recovering from cancer and I want her to know that I am proud to be her daughter. I am very happy that I was able to give her a granddaughter to enjoy spending time with. My mom has taught me to be a better person and a better mother and for that I am thankful.