Mom First, Friend Second

My mom was not my best friend, and I am so grateful for that. 

My rock, my inspiration, my role model.
My rock, my inspiration, my role model.

First off this is my beautiful momma and me picking out christmas trees this year.

A little about my mumma – my mom is the oldest of 4 I will not go deep into her past because that isn’t my story to tell, but you can take my word for it when I tell you my mom is one badass woman and became a leader at a very young age.  My Nana, uncles, aunt, and my mom are some of the strongest people I know and continue to amaze me every day.  Each of them have come from a place of very little and have made some incredible lives for themselves.  My mom has literally worked her way from the bottom of the barrel and up through the corporate ranks before my eyes.  One moment that will forever be engraved in my mind was at a time where our family didn’t have much, my mom was still working her way through the ranks – her and my super father were doing the best with what we had – we were driving home from the mall in the blue explorer, Keith Urban’s song “Better Life” came on and my mom turned to me and said, Jillian this is our song, this is going to be us we are going to have it all. As I sit here writing this, tears in my eyes .. mom .. we have always had it all, but now we are living the dreams you spoke that day – we have more than just the things we need.

She is one of the hardest working people I know and one of my biggest inspirations in life.

My mom and I did not always have the best relationship.  We had some pretty great memories don’t get me wrong, it just wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine. When I was younger my mom worked her ass of to provide for our family, but at the time I didn’t know that I just knew that she was gone during the day and my dad worked nights so he was the one that was home.  I put my mom (and my dad occasionally) through hell fighting back with every word she said and making things way more difficult than they ever had to be.  I am not exaggerating here when I say I marked every special occasion or event with a good ol tantrum and a fight to get my way.  Weddings were the worst when she made me wear dresses and tried to help me do my hair and look presentable. I am disgusted when I look back at times I was rude to her or disrespectful.  I know someday when I have kids they will go through a stage like that, but ugh I can’t imagine how awful that made her feel.  In high school you see the girls with the ‘cool moms’ who let their kids have parties at their house or the girls who were best friends with their moms – I was jealous of these girls and their relationships.  I am so thankful  my mom was not like that.  Looking back I realize that every stupid fight I had with my mom and all the times I rolled my eyes at her turning away telling her she was ruining my life, she was teaching me lessons.  She was being exactly what I needed her to be in my life; she was a role model, a guiding force, she is my mother.

Mom, I will work my hardest every single day to make you proud and I promise I will show you that every single struggle and battle we went through were all worth it.  

On the day of my high school graduation my mom and I had a fight over a stupid dress .. A DRESS, a day I will never forget because after graduation I went out with some friends and as I sat on the cement wall looking at the beach I realized, she isn’t going to be here forever and while I may not have figured this all out in that moment, I knew that this was one of the most important relationships in my life.

I am thankful for every single time that she lectured me, every time she made me change before going somewhere (she still does this), every time she stood there listening to me rant despite how rude I was, I am thankful for every time she drove me completely insane – because I have learned from each of these situations – always be respectful, family first, communication is important even if you don’t agree with the other person, you have to work for what you want, she sets high expectations knowing I can exceed them, most importantly i know she loves me with everything she has and she will always be on my team. Through all of the ups and the downs my mom has allowed and instilled in me “Bí dílis duit féin” or in plain English – be true to yourself.

Friends can drift apart and destroyed by time and distance, but our mother daughter bond is stronger than anything on this planet.

My mom was my mother and she absolutely still is and can still snap out a good ol’ “Jillian Clare” like no other, but now that we are older we have become so much closer and have become great friends – perhaps this is because I am old enough now to realize …

I am my mother.

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