I just got off of the phone with my mom. We spent some time talking about how fast children grow up. Then the conversation veered toward the life of our children, and my mom's struggle with her "Empty Nest" once we grew and moved away. (A little side information, back in 2005, I married my husband and the Army had us living 700 miles south of where I grew up, and both of our families still live. We are still living here, and they are still living there. In 2006, my younger sister moved a few hours away, and earlier in that year, my grandmother, her mother in law, who was living with us since 1995, passed away after a battle with cancer. My mom was a nurse, and spent a great deal of time taking care of her. So her "Empty Nest" happened fairly quickly and suddenly.) But we were talking about a lot of different things regarding raising children, being wives, and just... life in general.
I fully enjoy conversations like this with my mom. We talk, and laugh, and she is able to be my friend in addition to my mother, instead of the rule maker and advice giver. I am not able to be her friend and daughter, instead of the unruly and probably rude teenager. As an adult I have this new found respect, and a new kind of love, in addition to the love and respect I already had for her as I am able to see all of the things that we have in common.
The point that I am trying to make, is that sometimes, as moms, we don't feel as loved and appreciated as we ultimately deserve to. After a long day with our children, husbands, homes, etc. When I was talking to my mother earlier, without her necessarily saying anything, I realized that my teenaged years were probably hard on my mom. But not as hard as when I left the state shortly after.
But, I have ALWAYS and still love my mother so very dearly, and I have more respect for her than probably anyone else in the world. So what I'm telling you, is that your children love you. They respect you and they need you, even on days when that may be a little hard to believe. There will be a day when they have children and families of their own, and they're going to understand you so much more than it seems like they do now. None of us are perfect by any means. Our parents weren't, we aren't, and as much as we love them, our children never will be either. But all you need is love (and lots of patience).