23 Lessons I Learned From My Mother
Usually, if there is a time where I know every blogger in the world will pretty much be blogging about the same thing (such as Mother’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc) I will try to do something still fitting within the theme, but a little different, a little less cliche. I racked my brain for a good Mother’s Day post idea, Googled it, Pinterested it, nada, zilch.
I mean I could give you 15 tips to be a greener mom, my best advice for moms, yada, yada, yada, but my only child is a spoiled rotten cat. Although, I use used plastic bags for his used cat litter and recycle his wet food cans, I’m probably not the best person to go to for that. The only thing these searches helped me do is arrive at the conclusion that my mom is anything but cliche and there is no subject matter more deserving than my own mother.
She is a unique woman, one who has risen above her life circumstances, didn’t use them as an excuse. The things she started doing 20 or so years ago, were hardly even known about much less popular, but despite my father’s and my opposition, she stood her ground and did what she knew to be best for her family. That being said, here are the 23 lessons, one for each year I’ve been alive, that I would have never learned, if it weren’t for my mother.
How to Be Selfless
I think the one trait she has that links directly or indirectly to all her other good traits is she is selfless. I admire this about her not just because she’s selfless, but she taught me to be selfless, too. In some ways I’m a brat, but in some ways I really try to go out of my way to help others or give up something I want so someone else can have it. This wasn’t an easy feat, I struggled with greed, jealousy and selfishness, but I try to remember all the times my mother gave up something for me. So many times, I’ve seen people rattle on about their moms for being selfless, which is a trait all is great, but then I see those same people take advantage of their mother’s kindness. What is the point of being selfless with your kid, if they don’t learn something that helps others in return.
2. Follow Through
If you say you’re going to do something for some then make it a priority to do it.
3. Don’t dwell on the past, but live for the future
The past is in the past and there’s isn’t a thing we can do to change it, but we can save ourselves the trouble and do better next time.
4. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
5. Our choices matter.
We are all interconnected and what we do today will ultimately affect what happens to us and people around us (sometimes even those we even meet) in the future.
6. There is more to life than being cool
If you would have asked me when I was 7, 12 or 18 if this was true, I would have been lost for words. Every teenage girl wants to fit and be cool. I never did, even in the circle that I ended up hanging out with, they were all goody-goodies making straight A’s and then there was me. I ended up embracing my loner status and it helped me grow into the person I am today, which is trying to encourage others to live a more sustainable life both environmentally and ethically. I’m proud of it and I have my mom to thank.
7. How to live within my means
Again, this goes back to the former statement. There is more to life than being cool, having what everyone else has. It’s ok to give up the latest gadget to save money or spend it on more important things.
8. To be happy with what I have
To live simply so others might simply live. This is probably one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned. Go without so others, who need it can live a fuller life. This kind of mentality helps me live within my means and not go chasing every new fad that comes out.
9. Fight the good fight
A lot of people in the world are out for themselves and will do whatever they can to bring you down. But it’s up to us, the someones of the world to keep fighting for what we believe in. My mom gives me strength, courage and hope when I feel like no one else cares. I honestly would not be anywhere near where I am today without her.
10. Nothing is as it seems
She taught me to look beyond what people said and did. Sometimes people lash out because they are hurt or selfish, not because they actually want to hurt you. This helped me learn not to take things so personally and have a little more compassion.
11. How to Care for Others, Even When They Don’t Care for You
Along the lines of number 9, my mother taught me how to have compassion. My mom doesn’t have an ounce of apathy in her body, mind or soul. No matter how people treat her, she shows them love and compassion. I know this from first hand experience, but this was not a quality that I appreciated in my younger days. I was mean, hateful, bitter and judgemental, but she never gave up on loving me and showing me there was a better way. I still struggle with those negative feelings, especially as I try to help people, I see more and more things to be angry and bitter about, but not anywhere near the way I used to. My mom has helped me focus on the positive, the solution and what I can do instead the problem and what I can’t do, completely changing how I approach the world.
12. Be a good example
She says this to her day care kids all the time. The older kids have to set a good example for the younger kids and she used to say it to me when I was little. Now, I see it as be the change you wish to see in the world. People are always watching you. Lead your life, so if you see people following after your example are doing good instead of harm. If people are hurting you, it might be because they don’t know any other way, so we have to show them love and compassion, despite their cruelty toward us.
13. Life is too short to be angry
This is one I still get hung up on, but she tried her best to teach less bitter ways.
14. How to Care for Animals
My mother taught me to care for animals. She is not so extreme that she believes them equal to people, but she believes they should be properly taken care of, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and loved. She taught me that before I even sit down to eat, my animals should be fed. Another thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is how neglectful people are of their animals, not feeding them, not giving them a way to go to the bathroom, or letting them suffer before taking them to the doctor. Some don’t give it a second thought. It makes me so glad that she taught me better, to have empathy and take care of them properly.
15. Work Hard, Play Hard
She would always make sure my school work was done before I played. This taught me self-discipline and strengthened my focus.
16. Early birds get the worm
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” she’d always say.
17. Respect Honesty and Character
18. How to Choose Quality over Convenience
She taught me how to be a hard worker. She grows and processes most of her own food. She makes her own bread, grows pretty every vegetable she eats during the summer from her garden, she grows her own tomatoes and makes her own spaghetti sauce. She cooks real food and cleans up for 7 daycare kids all day. She is the best example I know of someone who chooses quality over convenience, proving that anyone can do it just taking one step at a time. We shouldn’t let convenience or low cost rule our lives. It may take more time and work, but eating healthy, homegrown food will add time with our health instead of being sick all the time, wasting time at the doctors office and years to end of our life. The most convenient option is not always the best option.
19. Spend money on memories not things
We didn’t always have a lot of money, but that never meant she couldn’t spend time with me. My most cherished memories are not of spending time with the things she bought me, but our experiences together.
20. I can do anything that I put my mind too
Now, a lot of millennials heard this and we get smack for this mentality, but the good thing is that my mom also taught me that I had to work hard to get what I wanted. I got the best of both worlds.
21. How to Let Money Come Secondary
Yes, I can do whatever I set my mind to, but that also means I have to work and give up things temporarily or maybe even permanently. Sometimes, in order to do what you love, you have to give up being rich. Both my parents have this in common. They would rather do what they love than be rich. They would rather spend money on having experiences as a family, than to put on a show like they have more than they do. They’re not up to date on the latest fashion, accessories and technology, but rather they spend money on healthy food growing in their huge garden. My mother taught me about priorities, how to budget for what’s really important, instead of buying something new just because. They don’t have a lot of money, but they are happy doing what they love. There is no better lesson to teach kids than to be happy with they have and if they do what they love, they’ll go much further in life.
22. Don’t quit
Once you start something, don’t just quit because you don’t like it. Follow through with what you said you’re going to do.
23. Worship God
My mom taught me a lot about what it means to love, respect and worship God. He has a plan and purpose for our life, so we need to answer His call and worship him actively through our lives’ daily activities. She showed me the love of God and never gave up on me, even in my worst moments. She also shows me how to love others the way God loves us, this too is an act of worship.
I love my mom so very much and I am so blessed to be able to spend this Mother’s Day with her and I pray for many more to come. If you’re interested in other Mother’s Day thoughts, check out the links below.
The Peculiar Treasure Blog- 5 Things I Have Learned From My Mom
House of Fauci’s- Mother’s Day Candy Bar Bouquet
Little Sprouts Learning- Working Mom! Stop Feeling Guilty!