My mom’s birthday was last week. It’s been 20 years since she passed away, but her birthday still makes me stop and reflect on everything she gave me and continues to give me.
My mom passed away 5 ½ weeks after my first child, Andrew, was born. I had just become a mother myself and didn’t know anything about being a mom. So everything I know about motherhood, I learned from example, from the way she raised me.
Now that 20 years have passed and I have 4 amazing kids, I know that her example led the way for me. I will always be grateful for the things she taught me about motherhood. Here are just a few of those things.
- Give, give, give
My mom gave and gave. She was generous to everyone who came into her life, with her time, money, energy, and love. I saw her give selflessly to people who had nothing to give back to her…maybe because she knew that giving is a gift to the giver more than anyone else.
- Take care of you
My mom knew how to take care of herself. She was always booking herself a massage or a facial, or lighting a scented candle, or drawing herself a bath. She booked herself on trips to visit friends or to go to a spa. She somehow knew, long before anyone in the self-help world started talking about it, that you can’t give from an empty tank.
- Always connect
My mom was present all the time, and I don’t mean physically. I mean, when she was there, she was really there, focused on whoever she was with and truly engaging with them. Today, 20 years later, there are so many distractions, but I always try to remember the example she set …I put down the laptop and the phone and really connect with my kids on a daily basis.
- You are loved
Maybe the most important thing I learned from my mom is to let my kids know every day how much they are loved. My mom taught me that love is everything…not just the noun love, but the verb. She taught me that loving someone means taking actions, doing the work that shows love. Being there for them, taking interest in their lives, connecting with them — not to mention all the day-to-day drudgery that’s not always as much fun – that’s really loving your child.
What did your mom or mother figure teach you about motherhood?