Monday, May 14, 2012

5 Things I’ve Learned from My Mom’s Example

The older I get, the more I appreciate my Mom: her beauty, her candor and her generosity among other things. But more than that, I realize how much I’ve learned about life, just by watching her and seeing her example. Yesterday, while spending time with her for Mother’s Day, some of those lessons became top-of-mind, so I thought I would share a few:

Pearls are the perfect accessory for EVERY outfit—including satin pajamas.

It’s a rare occasion that you’ll find my mother without her pearls—even when she is sleeping. It’s a hilarious habit that I tease her about often, but it always reminds me that you don’t need an occasion to look and feel your best, and that being sophisticated and ladylike is always in style.

It’s never too late to further your education.

When I was a junior in undergrad, my mom went to grad school. Here I was 18 and she, obviously much older, yet we were both in college at the same time. Our graduation ceremonies even fell on the same day (she attended mine). Seeing her drive two-hours, 2-3 days per week to attend classes for two years also made me realize that circumstances don’t dictate your success; that is determined by tenacity and dedication. She could’ve easily said “Since there isn’t a school near me that offers the program I want, I guess now isn’t the time”. Instead, she made the sacrifice—it wasn’t easy, but it paid off. When I’m beating myself up for not yet obtaining a master’s degree, I’m reminded that it’s still an achievement that is within my reach.

You have to know when to give to others, and when to give to yourself.

My mom is one of the most generous and giving people I know. She’s always volunteering, completing tasks for the church, cooking a meal to share and taking care of her family. People flock to her because of that giving spirit. But—she also knows when she needs to take some time to herself to regroup and recharge so that she has something left to give. As busy as my life is right now, I’m learning (albeit the hard way) that it’s okay—necessary even--to slow down, shut out the world, and attend to myself from time to time.

With faith and patience, things will always work out.

There have been moments that my mom had faith in me, even when I didn’t have faith in myself. No matter how difficult the situation I’m going through, she always reminds me to be patient, to have faith, and that things always have a way of working themselves out—even when we can’t see the solution.

Being a mother is one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding things a woman can ever do.

Becoming a parent doesn’t mean that you suddenly become perfect and incapable of making mistakes. It doesn’t mean that all the answers to life’s tough questions magically appear. All you can do is give the best of yourself, and try to teach your children to become better than you are. When I was a teenager, I used to often say that I never wanted to be like my mom. As I’ve grown into my roles as a woman and a mother, I’ve found that I’m a lot like her—and I couldn’t be happier.

I hope you enjoyed your Mother’s Day—whether you were being celebrated by your children, or spending time with your own mother (biological or otherwise). Is there anything your mother showed or taught you (whether intentionally or not) that has helped shaped the person you are today? Feel free to share with us in the comments section.


MissRockwell said...

Ohhh, I love this. I agree with every single one of your pointers-especially the one about giving. I am so proud to say that my mother is generous beyond measure too. Sometimes she gives so much to the point where I have to look at her sideways like 'why are you doing that'? But in the end, she explains how she receives it all back ten-fold. Though I may criticize and wonder about why she does what she does, I see those same traits within myself. All I can do is smile when I find myself emulating her characteristics.

Kim Jackson said...

It's funny how we don't realize how much we love being like our moms until we get older, isn't it?

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