Being a Mom Without a Mom is Hard

How many times a day do you think of your mom? One? Ten? A million? 

How many times a week do you talk to her? A few? Not at all? 

Does she offer you advice on raising your kids? Drive you crazy telling you that you folded your hand towels wrong? Is she there to babysit when you and your husband need a night out…or even just an afternoon to go shopping? 

I think about my mom a million times a day, but I never get to talk to her. 

When I was in college my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought a hard fight filled with chemo and surgery and infections. Mary Elizabeth Anne Quint DeSimone the First (as she liked to call herself) was a STRONG woman. Up until the very end she thought that she was going back to work.

Every year on the anniversary of her passing I have a Dark Day. I try to take a day to myself to remember her, but even taking a day to myself without my mom being around is hard to do. 

In 2009 when she passed away, my oldest had just turned one. While he spent a lot of time with his Granny, he was just too small to really remember her. The other kids will never know anything except her for the memories and stories that I share. We have pictures around the house and we talk about her all of the time, but it just isn’t the same. Nothing beats a Granny hug and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees. 

My kids will not have their Granny to spoil them the way only a grandma can. (Their Grandpa and Sandy do a good job at that though!) Granny is not at their theatre performances and dance recitals. She isn’t there to bake Christmas cookies and volunteer at their school. When their friends go spend the weekend with their grandparents, they just spend more time with my husband and me. 

Being a mom without a mom is hard.

It is absolutely the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life…and I do it every day. I actually thought that it would get easier the older that I got, but I actually think that it gets harder. I have more questions. 

Who do I lean on when my son is having trouble in school? My mom was a teacher who dealt with IEPs daily. I need her guidance.

How do I act at this event or that? I’ve never been through it and don’t know how. I could brag on Facebook about how smart all of my kids are or on their latest achievements, but then I become “that person.” I want to brag to my mom because she won’t get upset by it or make me feel bad. SHE would be the one blasting it all over Facebook.

My mom was taken from me before I could absorb everything she had to offer and I NEED HER. 

She is missing from holiday celebrations and I have taken on her role without even realizing. Apparently my mom always brought a ham to big family meals, and guess what I brought to Christmas dinner…that same beer baked ham. I don’t think I got it right though. She wasn’t there to ask. 

Yes, I have aunts and friends and grandparents. In July I will even have a step-mom. It’s just not the same as MY MOM. No one can ever replace your mother. 

Thank your mother…

Right now. Call her. Text her. Walk over to her house. You make sure and thank her for being there for you. 

10 Responses to Being a Mom Without a Mom is Hard

  1. Meagan
    Meagan January 26, 2017 at 9:25 am #

    Big hugs <3

    • Anne Marie
      Anne Marie January 26, 2017 at 10:28 am #


  2. Marissa January 26, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    I totally resonate with this- my mother also passed when I was in college and I had a daughter 4 years later. It a single day goes by when she is. It thought of (multiple times) and terribly missed. Thank you for sharing.

    • Anne Marie
      Anne Marie January 28, 2017 at 7:25 am #

      It is sooo hard. I feel so bad for my kids not getting to know her. I only hope that I share memories of her enough for the kids to know how amazing my mom was.

  3. tracey gifford January 28, 2017 at 9:02 am #

    i have a suggestion for you. my mom passed almost 2 years ago and my Dad passed very young when i was 29. my kids knew her but i was a newlywed when he died. this simple suggestion changes how i spend the day she died, and my outlook on it. i’ve passed it to a few friends who do it now on the day their mom passsed and they say it changed them forever.

    on the day she died we celebrate her with random acts of kindness for others. sometimes it’s buying lunch for a complete stranger or giving someone a flower. a friend wrote a note about her mother and gave it to a complete stranger with a $5 papers gift card in it. she received a big hug from a stranger.

    it feels good to have a positive day doing things for others in celebration of our moms. 8 hope maybe you will try it and it might bless you too.

  4. Ly Sue Hernandez January 28, 2017 at 9:05 am #

    I can so relate to this! My mom passed away of colon cancer last June just a month after my first baby was born. Not a single day goes by without me thinking of her and wanting to ask her and tell her things that happened in my day. It is the hardest thing!

  5. Jen January 28, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    I’m so sorry for your loss, your mom sounds like a wonderful woman. I know how hard it is, my mom has not passed away, but she had a stroke when I was 4 and has required immense care ever since – I have never been able to leave my kids with her or call her for advice or any of the other things you write about.
    I find that milestones are the most difficult time for me. When my daughter died I really needed a mom to comfort me, but she couldn’t do it. When I got divorced, same thing. Sharing news like a new job or anything exciting is also bittersweet because she doesn’t have the short term memory needed to carry the conversation. I know it is not the same, my mom is still here and yours is not.

    While your children will not remember their time with Grandma, you can share with them all the things that made her so wonderful and that is a wonderful legacy.

    This is a beautiful post, and lovely tribute to your mom.

  6. Heather @ Country Life, City Wife January 28, 2017 at 11:03 am #

    My husband lost his mom in 1996 to cancer and his dad in 2007 also to cancer. I can’t even imagine. They passed away long before I met him. He was 19 when his mom died. He has three daughters, so it’s been very hard for him. She never got to meet any of her grandchildren (he is an only child). My heart goes out to you. I hope the good memories keep a smile in your heart.

  7. Katie February 9, 2017 at 5:13 pm #

    Anne Marie, your experience really resonates with me, as I too lost my mom to breast cancer in 2009. She too put up a very valiant fight, and I wasn’t married at the time much less a mom. Now as a mom of two, I find that the ache of missing her worsens as much as it lessens. A lessening in that you have learned to do life without her, but a worsening because you HAVE to do life without her. Those moments when you need the guidance, the reassurance, or the quiet and comfortable companionship that only your mom can provide are the absolute hardest. The greatest tribute I can offer to my mom is to be the mom to my two that she was to me. ❤️ Thanks for sharing your heart.

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