Dear Mom,

I wanted to let you know that I realize I was not the most well behaved kid. I mean, I think it all started fine and dandy and elementary and parts of middle school were a breeze. My pigtails were cute and I always eagerly told you about my day when you picked me up! Fast forward some years later, well I turned into a real butthead. Some would say I was just being a teenager but now that I have kids, I’m ok with calling it what it was. I talked back, I didn’t listen, I broke rules just because you made them (even when they made sense,) I stole, I was overdramatic too often to count.

Looking back, because hindsight is 20/20 and all that jazz, I caused you a lot of heartache and pain. As a mom, I hope my kids don’t put me thru what I put you thru. I can now absolutely imagine how worried you were when I did not come home when I was supposed to…how horrifying it must have been when I’d stay out for the night and not even tell you where I was at. How disappointing was it for you to watch my grades plummet and tank, when you knew I was beyond capable of achieving high grades and so much more? I now understand how disrespected you must have felt for me to talk back and say mean things to you when you’d done SO MUCH to make sure that my sister and I had clothes on our back and food to eat.

Yea… so that 20/20 hindsight is the worst sometimes. I don’t like who I see when I look back.

As a much better adjusted adult (at least, I hope I am ?) I can see how much that impacted our relationship. Mom, I lashed out at you, probably when I needed you the most and probably because you loved me the most. I wasted about 3 years not really speaking to you and I regret it every time I think about the time we lost.

I’m so happy that we’ve since repaired our relationship and I’m so excited to see your number on my caller ID. You welcomed me back into your life like the prodigal daughter and never once held anything against me.

How do I deserve a mom like you?

If our schedules allowed us to talk every day, I would talk to you every day! I know we visit as often as our budgets allow but just know I miss you in between! The kids love their Jam-Mama and I kinda hope they never have to know about the hellish moments I put you thru.

There are a few things I want them to know that I learned from you though.

Mom, I just want to let know that thru all that terrible behavior, when you thought I wasn’t listening…


Some lessons you preached verbally and some by example. But a lesson is a lesson no matter the method of delivery and I want you to know that they were signed, sealed and delivered.

When you were probably feeling like a broken record,


You’d tell me “bad association, spoils useful habits.” - 1 CORINTHIANS 15:33

Wow, how I understand that especially now as I’m trying to grow my own business and relationships. I used to think being with the ‘cool kids’ and following what they were doing (up to no good) would make me cool. But it didn’t and I’m not. Now, every day this scripture hits me in my forehead because I absolutely must associate with people who are like minded and positive and just want and need to vibrate higher. Negative Nancy and Still Bill can keep being cool kids because now I understand the importance of surrounding myself with the type of beliefs and positive spirit I hope to radiate!

Do the right thing, even if no one is there to see you doing it.

When I look back, I know I led a split lifestyle at times. I was a sweet, well behaved daughter in front of some and then when I got home the exact opposite towards my mom and sister. But now I know you were trying to teach me to have integrity. To be honest and have a moral compass I could wear everywhere, not just in front of certain people. At the time, I didn’t see the value in the lesson, but now I this is the basis of my decision making and it’s fuels my need to do the right thing, even if it may not always be the easiest way.

You always told me to be myself.

You tried to teach me self-love and it just took me a while to actually get to that stage in my life. I was so busy mimicking other and picking up bad habits from surrounding myself with those who were not really FOR me. I had low self-esteem and didn’t feel like I was enough. It was rough.

But you always told me I was beautiful and you always told me to be myself. To you, I WAS a cool kid.

I remember how self-conscious I was about how large I felt my two front teeth were and I was sad because the kids teased me and called me names. You’d tell me that I was beautiful and go out the way to say things to cheer me up and find pictures of models with bigger teeth. You would say, there are people out here that would pay for teeth like yours! Now, I’m loving the skin I’m in and filling up my daughter’s cup of self-esteem, too.


Resilience is a lesson I learned by watching you.  

The true definition of resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or the ability of an object to spring back into shape. - Oxford Dictionary

And if anyone is resilient, Mom, it’s you. You were hit with some heavy stuff sometimes. Divorce, relocation to a city away from everything you’d built for yourself, having to start over and all with a smile on your face and trying to keep two young girls clothed, fed and happy. But you always bounced back and you found a way for yourself and for your daughters.

Resilience resonates with me the most now in my life. And I’ve learned to ‘recover quickly and spring back into shape’ despite anything thrown at me.

You have shaped my life in such an amazing way and I feel that after all the mountains we’ve crossed and rocky patches we’ve been through, that you are truly an amazing woman.

Thank you for teaching me even when I resisted and just to let you know…


With Love,

Your Daughter,

Kanani B.

16 thoughts on “Mom, I Heard You – An Open Letter to Mom

  1. Love your letter to your mom..we understand what out mothers go through until we become mothers ourselves. I know I appreciate my mother more now than ever. Great article

  2. This is such a beautiful heart-felt post! I love how in the letter you made sure that you’re mom knew that you heard her. Parenting is hard work, but our kids do listen!

  3. I lost my mom 6 years ago and I am sorry for all the times we had a fight or I did not listen to her. My mom was my number 1 and she will always be. No matter where she is right now, she is close with me. She lives through my 2 amazing sisters and me. I take her with me on my world travels! I am afraid of becoming a mom myself because I don’t want to fail and I want my babies to love me unconditionally like I love my mom! Happy belated Mother’s Day beautiful soul!

  4. I tried not to cry but couldn’t resist those tears……when we’re little, we think our moms hate us, they say too much but when we grow and become a mom too; we realize how naughty we were and what mom meant….the unending and unlimited love, going extra miles to bring out the best in us. I’m glad it wasn’t too late before you realized……we’ll train our babies in the right way too.
    Happy Mother’s Day, Kanani xx

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