I have a fantabulous mother. Seriously. She had me when she was twenty two, and by the time she was twenty nine, she had my brothers, my little sister, and an ex husband who was a disaster. I can only say that he was probably a worse ex than he was a husband, no child support, dashing in and out of our lives, train wreck of a parent. But my mother raised all four of us on her own, she's amazing and wonderful and kind and giving and one of the few people who thinks that everything I do and everything I think is right and good and exactly as it should be. She gives new meaning to the term unconditional love, she's my biggest fan, my most ardent supporter and I'll never, ever, no matter how much I try, ever be able to tell her how much I love and respect her.
That being said - she makes me crazy. She can't say no. Ever. If you ever need something, just call my mom - she'll do it. Watch your kids, drive all over creation to run your errands, sit by your bedside if you're sick, cook you dinner, loan you money, make herself sick with exhaustion and stress just to make your life easier.
I'm very much like her. We look alike, I grew up constantly being told how much I was like her. We have big brown eyes, long legs, fuzzy brown hair and healthy fear of heights. I was her lieutenant growing up, I kept track of my younger siblings, I picked up whatever she dropped, metaphorically speaking. I was her back up, the one that everyone else counted on. For a long time, I had children very late (as far as my family was concerned - I was 28, with eight nieces and nephews before I had Jess). And spent so much of my life being just like my mother... and I stopped.
I don't jump when anyone says jump anymore. I don't leap to help, I don't put off my needs to accomodate someone else's. I say yes when I want to, when I can, but don't confuse when I want to with when I can't come up with a good enough reason to say no. I have my own children, and my own life, and as much as I love my family - I know that I am as important, my wants and needs, my husband's wants/needs and most importantly, my kids' wants and needs are far more important than anything else I could come up with. Is that selfish? Yeah, I know it is. But I'm okay with it. I freely admit that I'm a crappy sister/daughter/friend (see post from a few weeks ago). But I don't want to be in my mid-fifties, running errands for everyone else, and putting myself last all the time. That might make me less wonderful than my mom, but I think it makes me happier as well.