In my household, I have a saying, “Know what you want to take with you, know what you want to leave behind.” If I could bring my mother with me, I would.
For this Mother’s Day, I wanted to make a list of all the characteristics that I strive to take with me, from my mother. I attribute so much of how well my kids are doing today, to how she mothered me because I learned to mother from her. Thanks, Mum!
Keep in mind, that there are many, many things about my mother that I love, it’s hard to choose, but these are the biggies that come to mind first.
- Listening skills—on point.
- Love of tending the “fleurs”–nothing that a nice, homegrown, fresh-cut bouquet of flowers can’t do to make the soul happy.
- Work! When the going gets tough just get to work–I live by this. Idle hands ARE the devil’s workshop. Working makes all your troubles go away.
- Family, family, and more family. We stick together. We work together, we play together.
- Nurture. My mother is an incredible nurturer. Not only to her kids but also to my father. She takes care of him with no grudge, always happily—-but he takes care of her too. It’s mutual. My parents are great role models for this, no tit for tat stuff. What a waste of time!
- Process, plan, carry out. To this day we spend a lot of time talking through strategy, at cocktails…and it carries over to the next morning too during coffee on the deck. 🙂 It’s good to look at all angles together.
- We trot on. My mother has never taken herself too seriously, and I appreciate that. When we mess up, we trot on and try to do better next time. It’s never the end of the world.
- It’s what’s on the inside. When we were little we were not allowed to buy many fancy name brands. It was a challenge getting my mother to splurge on an article of clothing (which we rarely did). It taught me not to get caught up in the focus of name brands and the “keeping up with the Jones’s” lifestyle. But more importantly, it helped me understand how important it is to love yourself for yourself, and not for the baubles that you choose to wear and show the world. It’s what’s on the inside, not the out that matters most. And in 8th grade, when all I wanted was a Benetton rugby shirt, it might have been hard to understand, but things come full circle like all lessons. I am thankful for this one.
- Deal with it. I grew up in a household of girls. Periods happened and my mother never allowed it to be an excuse or a reason to be miserable to everyone around. Low drama and be responsible for your mood and how it affects those around you.
- And most of all, her good disposition. I think that I have seen my mother in a bad mood maybe 5 times in my entire life. She has never been snarky, spiteful, or antagonistic. She taught me the value of being steady and straight. I always knew how I would be received by my mother–with open arms, and an open mind. There was a great deal of comfort in that growing up as a kid and as an adult. I am extremely thankful for this one and pray every day that I can be so steady and open to my children.
This list barely scrapes the surface of all of the things that I have learned through the years from my mother. How lucky I am to be 47 and still have a mother who is active and engaged, working, and smart. She’s pretty fun too!
I love you Mum, so much, and I feel so very blessed that God gave me you!
With great love,