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Now I Get It!

Amber Dusick

Dusick, blogger of Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures remembers: "My son broke a vase that was very special to me. He was trying to help clean up the table. I was angry. Then I remembered something. When I was 4, my mom bought a car. I decided to 'help' her by washing it as a surprise. Unfortunately, I used steel wool as a rag and there were scratches all over. My mom's reaction? She thanked me for helping to wash her car. I still get tears of gratitude when I think of this story."

Angie Everhart

"The moment I truly appreciated my mom was the first day I brought my son, Kayden, home from the hospital," says Everhart. "I was too nervous to bathe him, so Mom stepped in and gave him his first bath. It was then I realized she's so much smarter and more experienced than I ever gave her credit for."

Julia Hartz

Hartz, founder of Eventbrite, says: "As children, we're just not wired to identify the sacrifices our parents make for our own well-being and happiness. I didn't get it until I took on the title of 'Mom' amidst starting Eventbrite. One morning, while in the midst of the juggle-hustle of trying to make it on time to a board meeting and finding the time to walk my daughter to school, the reality and nature of my mother's commitment hit me: Driving me four blocks to school every day was a consistent demonstration that I was a priority. As I attempt to gracefully balance titles of President and Mom-to-two-lovely-little-ladies, I often think about the choices my mom made when it really mattered the most."

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Shannon Miller

The seven-time Olympic medal gymnast says: "Our son, Rocco, is only 2 ½ years old. However, it did not take much time for me to realize how much appreciation my own mom truly deserves. For me, it was the first time he got a true 'boo-boo,' sliding off a slide at the park. It was a small bruise for him; yet for me, it was the realization that I will live the rest of my life in utter fear for his safety.

"I thought about that as I pictured my own mother sitting in the audience as I tumbled and flipped for hours on end. She must have been a nervous wreck but never allowed her fears to become my fears. I don't know how she did it, but I am truly appreciative of her love, guidance and faith in God that allowed her to support me in my crazy dream of Olympic Gold."

Lori Ruff

"LinkedIn Diva" and one of Forbes's Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, Ruff says: "When my daughter was a young teen, I had a long fight with pneumonia that lasted months, followed by a bout of bronchitis. When she realized how many activities I would miss, she lamented, 'But you were just sick! You have to be better now. I need you!'

"My mother had come down with whooping cough when I was little. Even after she was 'better,' she kept coughing: in the car, in church, everywhere. I distinctly remember crying over another missed event, complaining, 'But you cough all the time! Take some medicine and get better. I need you!'

"I sat down and wrote her a letter in which I apologized and acknowledged how hard it must have been for her. Soon after, I received a call from my mother … 'I get it,' she said."

Eva LaRue

The CSI: Miami actress says: "That 'aha' moment came when I got divorced, and I moved my daughter and myself back to Los Angeles from New York. All of a sudden I was a single parent, and I started to think, 'How am I going to do this on my own?' I landed the role on CSI: Miami, but at first I was just recurring, and I did not think it would last for very long.

"This was the first time that I really thought about my own mom. She raised my sister and me alone and without a lot of resources. She must have been terrified. I really appreciate what she went through, and I admire her a lot more now that I am a mother myself."

Patti Callahan Henry

The Coming Up for Air author recalls: "My 13-year-old son and I are walking into our new hometown, a quaint Tudor-style village where old stone buildings are covered in ivy. I show him how lucky he is that we've moved to such a lovely place. We cross an old rock bridge spanning a babbling brook and he looks to me, and in that moment I think he will thank me for moving him to such a storybook place. 'You know,' he says. 'You've ruined my life.'

"And there the truth smiled at me, plainly in sight. You see, my parents moved me when I was 12 years old, and I hated them (and God, who told them to do so) for years. And in my son's single sentence, I realized—about 35 years too late—that when my parents moved our family, it wasn't meant to ruin my life, it was meant to give me a better life. Now I get it."

Angie McCullagh

The blogger and author of young adult novel Spectacle says: "I knew parenthood wasn't going to be easy from the moment my son, Max, now 9, slithered into the world, blue and unresponsive. My mom, who was in the room, leaned over me and said, 'You did your best.'

"If I'd been more coherent, I would've met her eyes and asked, 'How did you do it? How have you lived the last 34 years knowing your heart would shrivel and blow away if your children were badly hurt? Or died?'

"Instead, I watched the NICU doctors and nurses revive my firstborn. But from that terrifying moment on, I've had no doubt motherhood is the most intense endeavor a woman can take on."

Bonnie Marcus

The stationery designer and entrepreneur recalls: "My mom often chauffeured me to three activities a day—each involving an outfit change—without missing a beat. From cheerleading practice, to ballet, to Brownies, she always had a smile on her face and a delicious snack for me in her pocketbook.

"I remember asking her one day, 'Why don't you have a job?' and when she replied, 'My kids are my job,' I had no idea what she meant. What she did looked so easy. However, today, as a working mom with three children myself, as I rush from my design studio to pick up my kids at the bus stop, to karate practice—sometimes forgetting the uniforms and the snacks—I realize all of the time and effort my mom spent doing things for me, and I only hope that I could be as generous and as much of an inspiration to my own children."

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Brandi Glanville

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills's cast member says: "I was the middle child of three and all of us were in high school at the same time. I was hanging out with the rich kids from the 'right side of the tracks,' and I remember desperately wanting a pair of Guess jeans. I begged my parents for them. Christmas morning I remember so clearly opening many gifts that were not Guess jeans and pouting like a baby because I didn't get them. My mom ran into the garage and after a few minutes I went to check on her. She was crying and said she couldn't find any at discount stores and just couldn't afford the department store prices. Her sadness broke my heart, and I just hugged her and realized how ridiculous I was being.

"I feel that pang of emotion as a mom that my mom must have felt every time my kids want something that I cannot give to them. It hit me particularly hard after my divorce, when I went from having a lot of financial freedom to being on a tight budget. It triggered in me what my mom must have felt. As a mom I want to be able to give my kids everything (without spoiling them, of course) and the feeling that you cannot do so is a tough pill to swallow. I also remember that when I was a child, the most important thing to me was the love from my parents, not the material things. I remind myself of that when I start to feel guilty about what I cannot give my kids and remember that I have the gift that no one else can provide to my kids—the love of a mother. Happy Mother's Day!"

Teresa Rodriguez

The Emmy-winning Univision journalist says: "My mom's name was Hilda. She was an immigrant from Cuba, a housewife and my best friend. She was also my inspiration to succeed. Unfortunately, breast cancer claimed her life before my college graduation. When my husband died suddenly of a massive heart attack, I found myself recalling my mother's determination. I recalled her smile and as I held on tightly to my boys, then 10 and 15, I reassured them that we would get through this. She had given me the strength and conviction that I would later use with my own children.

"I know she'd be proud of who I've become. Without a doubt, her example helped me raise two independent, successful young men who are living proof of the power of a mother's love and encouragement."

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