As I was snuggling with my daughter Ginny this morning, it was still dark- the room was slightly chilly as we lay ‘cheek-to-cheek,’ but her miniature dough-like body radiates the most comforting, soft heat. Everything was still and quiet except her gentle sighs and sweet little noises- the birds weren’t even awake yet. It felt like it was just us- Ginny and me- and that’s all that mattered.

Though my brain was still stirring and not fully conscious yet, a string of images and thoughts flashed through me in a matter of seconds as I was overwhelmed by the incredible amount of love and beauty I felt from this sweet, squishy person in my arms. Kissing those soft, marshmallow cheeks and squeezing that Buddha belly, I think, ‘I get it mom and dad.’

*You can see pictures of my lovely family below: mom, dad, brothers, sister and I both pregnant, my daughter, my mom and me at my baptism, and even grandma made the cut!

13 Things I Learned About My Parents After Having a Baby

  1. I get why you insisted on me wearing a helmet, and I feel bad that my sister and I secretly took it off when we were out of sight.
  2. You were completely right- nothing good happens after midnight, and I’m sorry you stayed up all those nights waiting for me to get home.
  3. Now I get why I always had a curfew, even though I was embarrassed and mad about it at the time.
  4. I understand, mom, why you still get in those moods where you have to cuddle and hug me. I find myself telling my daughter that “I MADE you,” just like you tell me.
  5. I get it, dad, why you were so emotional during the time surrounding my wedding, but I’m thankful our bond is so close that you never lost me at all.
  6. I understand why dad shut down and mom put on a strong face when I had to get my thyroid nodule biopsied twice. My heart breaks if my baby gets a diaper rash.
  7. I appreciate that you never let me get my belly button pierced when ‘everyone was doing it’ in high school. I don’t like a scratch on my baby’s perfect skin.
  8. I get why you dropped off forgotten lunches, shin guards, and books, even though your friends said you coddled us.
  9. I realize how hard it must be to stand by and watch your kids make mistakes because you know we have to figure some things out for ourselves. I’m beginning to really understand and appreciate your strength.
  10. I understand why you could be strict and had rules; I appreciate it and realize that’s part of the reason we’ve always been best friends.
  11. I get why you liked me to sleep with my door slightly open- I sneak in my baby’s room every night for a kiss and to hear her breathing.
  12. I’m sorry for feeling embarrassed at your ‘pushiness’ and insistence in certain situations, but I see that you just wanted the best for me.
  13. I understand the real, purest, deepest meaning of I love you, and I’m overwhelmed that this is how you felt about me all of these years. Wow, I never really knew.

So yeah…I think I get it now mom and dad. I always felt your love but never really knew until now. What did you learn about your parents after having a baby?

  • MrsBarBelle

    Haven’t had little ones yet, but these are great reminders of all my parents have done for me! Thanks for sharing.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks for reading! I also enjoy your blog- you’re right though, you actually don’t need kids to come to these realizations- they sort of come with adulthood 🙂

  • This totally made me tear up! It could be the pregnancy hormones or the idea of learning these things for myself soon enough, but this was so sweet.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Aww, I’m sure you’re having these mommy feelings already. How far along are you?

  • Patricia Hickey Rosasco

    I learned that my Mom really does want the best for me…..even when she says, “Is that what you’re going to wear? I wouldn’t pick that color nailpolish. etc…she really wants the best for me at all times. She’s honest, but always loving and funny! She was the Mom who would wake me at 2 in the morning to give me my next dosage of medicine. She was the Mom who waited up for me so that my Dad didn’t know exactly what time I got in….and then we stayed up and I would tell her everything that happened! She is the Mom who shopped with me and came in the dressing room to take everything off and on the hangers for me. (Something I still do to this day with my daughters!) She is the Mom who ALWAYS has enough food in her house to feel 8-10 people an elegant and delicious dinner in an hour, and does! She is the Mom who I speak with everyday, sometimes multiple times, yet we never run out of things to say, and still forget to tell each other things at times. She is the Mom/Grandma whose house my kids wanted to go to when they were sick, because Grandma had the big comfy comforters and would let them lay on her couch and dote on them all day (Like I didn’t!?) They say you shouldn’t be “friends” with your children, right? My Mom was always respected as my Mother, but i truly call her my friend, too. She’s the first one I call when my kids are sick, when something great happens, etc. I hope I have carried on all of her fantastic and loving traits as a Mom.

    Then there’s Dad. It’s funny how all of my friends were afraid of him and thought he was so strict. He was strict and we kids all respected him, but he is so kind and loving and fair and funny. Being the oldest of 6 and a daughter, I had a strict curfew and believe me, I followed it! Nobody called our house without saying hello to my parents, and we all had to answer the phone, “Hickey residence, who’s calling please?” Guess whose 4 kids did the same thing? Mine! With a different last name, of course! We weren’t allowed to walk around in our stocking feet. We had to wear shoes or slippers. I never made my kids take off their shoes to this day. My Dad taught me to always save money, even when I was earning $26.95 a week. I have always saved and my children were taught to always save, too. My Dad taught me the importance of our Catholic religion and was an ideal example of never missing church, even holy days! He is kind and compassionate. Just don’t bring up our current president! Another thing about my Dad, he was an avid reader. I say “was,” because his vision is now so poor that he can no longer read. It is very hard on him. But as a child, he made us read at home. Not only read….we were quizzed and had to write down and look up any vocabulary we didn’t know. I didn’t particulary like it at the time, but I totally get it and all of my kids love to read. I introduced new vocabulary weekly to my kids as they were growing up and it became sort of a game and contest to see who could use the new words the most in that week. As a result, all 4 of my children have great vocabularies and are fantastic spellers.

    I wouldn’t change anything about my parents and feel they were perfect! Not that anyone is perfect, but they are as close as you get.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      What a thoughtful response. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. Your stories made me smile!

  • What a wonderful post on family and having a new daughter. I have the same “gosh that’s something my mother would do/say” moments. I know you asked on the other post I commented on, but my daughter is 9 months old.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks for reading and congrats on your daughter, too!

  • Erin @ Love Peace Beauty

    Beautiful reflection, Lindsay! Motherhood has made me much more reflective. After having a baby, I can finally understand my parents’ unconditional love – love that despite the hardships, never wavers.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      You put it so well- motherhood completely makes you reflective about so many things.

  • Shann Eva

    Such a great post. I can see all this stuff now too that I’m a mom. I wish I could have appreciated my parents at the time, but I guess we have to learn that. Thanks for sharing your pictures too.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks for the nice comment and for reading, Shann!

  • Justine Y

    This is wonderful, and I totally agree! There are just so many things that you truly don’t get until you have kids of your own! I feel like I never really understood completely how much my parents loved me until Ihad my own children! And it’s definitely through no fault of theirs, they were wonderful and showed me in lots of ways. I just didn’t get it.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Yes, Justin, that’s exactly it!

  • Loved this post – it’s true, there are so many things that become clearer once you have a child of your own!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks for reading, Callie- what have you learned since having a baby?

  • WellWornSuitcase

    Aw, so sweet. Two of my girls are teenagers now, and I know they are starting to come around to some of these things!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      How perfect to have two girls close in age- I love having my sister so close to me : )

  • Serene Mom

    I loved this and it’s so true. I wish my parents were still here because I totally get why they did what they did now that I’m a mom. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Aw thanks for reading- I feel like I’m getting to know you through your blog, and you’re a great mommy. Your parents would be so proud.

  • Katie Brooks

    It is pretty amazing what we learn from our parents after we have kids! I have definitely been able to understand a lot more now that I am a parent.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      It’s so strange and strong how much your perspective changes!

  • What a great post, and message/letter to your parents at the same time! It’s definitely hard to see why parents have rules until we’re out of a particular situation. I just hope that we all go back and thank them like you did. So sweet!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks for your comment and for reading, Rebekah.

  • yanique

    Aww…this is great! Isn’t it incredible how much we understand the choices our parents made once we have our own kids? This was a great read. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks for reading! How many kids do you have?

  • It’s so true! My eldest daughter always tells us she loves us more than we love her (it’s sort of a nightly ritual/playful thing) and I always tell her it’s not possible and that she’ll understand if she has her own kids someday. I love all of the examples of things that you ‘get’ about your parents now. I’m with ya on all of them! 🙂

    • Lindsay Katherine

      hahah that’s so cute! It’s very sweet that your daughter tells you that, but you’re totally right- there is no way for her to know : )

  • Lauren Jane

    ah i love this so much. And man do I feel it. As my kids get older, I’m starting to understand the limits and the “I trust you, I don’t trust the people out there” comments. I used to hate that and didn’t get it and now? I find myself saying it as she goes for walks alone or out with friends.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      So true about the whole ‘I trust you but not others’ mentality. I can only imagine that’s how I will feel as my daughter grows up, and that’s something my parents always said to me, too. I get it!

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    Oh, I just love this! Although I don’t have kids yet, I totally have moments in life where I look at something and think: “wow, I totally get why you parented me this way!”. Especially when it comes to dating ha. I’m so thankful for the way they protected me, but also let me make my own mistakes and learn responsibility. Great post!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Kelsie, thanks for reading! It’s totally even a ‘grown up’ type of mentality, even without having kids, you’re so right. I’m just like you, too – I thank my mom and understand why she was the way she was for certain boys in my life, and I feel so bad for what she has gone though! haha

  • Yes! To all of these! I totally get my parents now. I find myself saying things I swore I’d never say to my kids, but now I can see why my mom said them. It’s a love and sense of protection you’ve never experienced until having children.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I knew you would relate!! I can’t believe some of the things coming out of my mouth or that I’m already anticipating saying in the future. I knew having a baby would be life changing, but I didn’t realize quite how illuminating it would be.

  • Aw Lindsay! Your family is so, so beautiful! And LOL at the phrase “and yes, nothing good happens after midnight.” So true. You’re going to experience a lot of ups and downs with Ginny but it will all be a beautiful adventure <3

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Chelsea, you’re so kind! Thanks, girl. Aren’t parents so right about midnight?! ; )

  • I am sharing this with my mom… this is the sweetest, most honest thing I’ve read in awhile. You should print and save it for your daughter one day. I can’t wait to be a mommy, too <3

    • Lindsay Katherine

      You are so sweet, Steff! Wow, thank you for your kind comment, it really made my night. I will print it for her and keep it in a journal that I’ve started for her : )

  • Colleen Goodall Muno

    After I had my children I realized how important/exciting a child’s birthday is to the PARENT. Unfortunately, I had lost my mom before I had my children, but I decided if she were still alive, it would be me giving HER a gift on MY birthday. I couldn’t believe how many years had gone by without realizing that each year, on my birthday, was 365 more days of HER putting ME before HERSELF. So, now on my birthday, I just say thank you to heaven each year for making me feel so loved.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Oh, Colleen, I never knew that about your mom – virtual hug going out to you. I love that you shared that and your point of view of birthdays with me. I am so with you on that; since I had Ginny, I am so grateful and celebrate the day she was born and made me have true purpose, but I’m like, “hey, I brought her here!” ha! I’ll always be taken back to the day I brought her here. I even told my mom that on her kids’ birthdays, she should be celebrated.