In celebration of Mother’s Day this month, I’m sharing some life lessons my mom has taught me. Being a mother takes patience and sacrifice and it’s the most challenging job and the most rewarding job in the world. The day I became a mother, my life was changed. I share those intimate moments in a video of my daughters’ birth footage here. My mother had me at a very young age. While her friends were out celebrating their 21st birthdays, enjoying their freedom, and eating dinner before it got cold, my mom was busy raising a two year old. She sacrificed SO many things to raise me- things I was unaware of until becoming a mother myself- and she’s taught me so much. I share some of those lessons below:
“Being a young mom means we met a little early, but it also means I get to love you a little longer.”
1. Accept your circumstances: My mom didn’t always have it easy- she got pregnant with me at 18 years old, worked numerous jobs, went through divorce, and struggled with failed IVF attempts and miscarriages, all while raising me. Growing up as a child, I never knew of her struggles because she never spoke to me about these things since I was a child. I’m very grateful for this.
2. Don’t hold grudges. By failing to forgive someone, you will only hurt yourself. Always say “I love you” and never go to bed angry. She also taught me that saying “I love you” on a daily basis is important. We say it when whenever we depart – whether it’s in person or over the phone or text. I think it’s so important and I say “I love you” to my daughters too many times to count throughout the day thanks to my mama making this the norm in our family.
3. Be open to change. My family moved quite a few times while growing up. Before graduated high school, I had gone to 7 different schools in Delaware and Ohio. My mom never made a big deal about moving and starting a new school was never scary for me. She made it a positive experience, so I always went into a new school with confidence, excited to make new friends.
4. Money isn’t everything: There were numerous times growing up when money was tight. Nevertheless, my mother was content with it. Or at least she never let her worries affect me. I remember her coupon holder and watching her sort through them as we walked down the grocery store aisles. She also taught me the value of money by giving me an allowance. If I wanted to go to the movies with friends, I had to do chores around the house first to earn it. These skills have definitely transferred over into my adult life and loading the dishwasher, taking out the trash, etc. are all things that I do without even thinking twice about it.
5. Enjoy conversation with strangers. My mom loves chatting with strangers. She is constantly meeting people at the airport or wherever she goes. She definitely takes after my Pop Pop in that way- striking up conversation whenever possible. Just the other day she was telling me about how she swapped numbers with the lady sitting next to her on the airplane. You never know who you will meet and friendships that could be formed. I take after my mom here too and get so much enjoyment connecting with all of you. So many friendships from social media have turned into real life friendships and conversations that have had such an impact on my life as a mother.
6. Education is important. While I was always rewarded for receiving A’s in school, my mom never frowned upon receiving B’s. I was a better student because she never put unrealistic expectations on me to get straight A’s all the time. I really enjoyed school and never found homework to be a burden. Because of this, I went on to get a law degree and spent 19 years of my life in school (wow, that seems like a lot now that I think about it) and it was all because of her encouragement and support.
7. Get involved. My mom was constantly making sure I was involved in activities; everything from dance (ballet, tap & jazz), to ice skating, field hockey, tennis, and track! Getting me involved in sports is something I am so grateful for. I played field hockey in college and really believe that playing a team sport teaches so many things like teamwork, discipline, and hard work. She also gave me the confidence to know that I could do and achieve anything I set my mind to.
8. If you’re unhappy, make a change. This applies to relationships, jobs, friendship, etc. Life is too short to remain in a place of unhappiness. My mom recently moved to Florida and then moved back to Delaware to be closer to me and her grandchildren. Although she loved the life she created in Florida, she wanted to have this time with her grandchildren while they are young and she said that Florida will always be there. I admire her for having this positive perspective and her time spent with us each week is something I am extremely grateful for!
There are many more life lessons I have learned from my mother and every day I am realizing them as I raise two daughters of my own. Thank you, Mom!! I love you.
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