Mother is a verb: to bring up (a child) with care and affection. Some of us are lucky to have been on the receiving end of that. I have been blessed a million times over with my own mother. On this Mother’s Day, I am reflecting on what has mattered most to me about how my mother raised me. As a mother myself, I aim to “mother” my child in the same super hero way that my own mom did with me. Here are 3 of the top things that mattered most:
1) She never gave up on me.
When I wanted to give up, quit, throw in the towel…she said "No." She taught me to follow through with my commitments and to keep trying. This taught me that with hard work and dedication, I would prove to myself that I could achieve something that I had never done before. I didn’t like this at the time, but in the end, it was the very best move on her part. This built my confidence and my character. What a gift to give to a child.
2) She pushed me to be the best version of myself, no matter what.
There were mean girls, bullies, bad teachers, and boys who broke my heart. All the while, my mom reminded me of whom I was and that I need not be defined by what happens in the world around me.
She encouraged me to be strong and to be kind, regardless of the circumstances. The way that others treated me was more of a reflection about them than it was about me. This lesson is still true to this day.
3) She taught me to laugh a lot.
My mom is hilarious (she will disagree with this, but I know it to be true). She’s not a comedian or even silly for that matter. She just knows how to laugh and how to have a good time doing mundane, every day activities. We have always had so much fun together. For this reason, she has always been and still remains one of my most favorite traveling companions. She and I will nearly pee our pants, thinking about a funny story from one of our crazy adventures in the past. This is a part of “mothering” that I am working on. With a small child, sometimes I feel like all I do is tell my daughter what to do and how to do it. I am busy raising a small child here, there is no time for fun and games! Wrong. There should always be time for finding the fun in every day activities, because these are the memories we are building with our kids. Trying to find a balance of fun and structure when they are little is no small task, but it is so important!
As we head into Mother’s Day weekend, I hope you mamas can reflect about what your own moms have done for you, and how you use that knowledge and experience in your own “mothering” for your little ones. Being a mother is a verb, put into our every day actions. What we do with our little ones today will last a lifetime and then some, so let’s make it count!