This is the 13th Mother's Day since my mom passed away and I still miss her every day. One of the things I have realized is that no matter how many children you have, Mother's Day will always remind you not of being a mother, but of your own mother.
As I sat here pondering my Mother's Day post, and thought about how I could pay tribute to my mother, it occurred to me that the things she taught me made me the mother and the person I am today.
Mom taught me to have faith in myself. I'll never forget the very first meeting I attended with her, when I first started working for her marketing company. I was incredibly nervous because I had just started and barely knew anything about direct marketing. She calmed my nerves by saying, "Relax, you know more than they (the client) do." Which is funny, because I did not know anything! But going into the meeting with that attitude helped me wing it through the meeting. That client is still a friend to this day, and she recently joked to me how little SHE knew at that first meeting! My mom was right after all.
She taught me to hold my head up high. When I was a junior in college, I got very depressed about a series of bad decisions I had made. She sat me down and we talked through my shame and embarrassment. She emphasized that no matter what regretful choices I may have made, I should feel proud of who I am and all the good I have accomplished in my life. A few bad choices are not defining. I was able to move past that dark period and turn my life around in a positive way.
Mom taught me to be a working mom. She worked a corporate job with long hours for many years while I was growing up. Later on she started her own business which gave her far more flexibility. Even though my mom always worked, I always felt that my siblings and I came first in her life. I never wished I had a different mom, one that was home all the time or one that could be the carpool driver more often. She was there for me when I needed her, even if she was not there right when I got home from school.
It saddens me to think that my mom died just weeks after my first child's birth, so she did not get to experience the joys of being a grandmother. Nor did I benefit from the wisdom she undoubtedly could have passed down to me as I raised my children. The lessons I learned from her as a child and a young woman are all I have, but I cling to them in hopes they will carry me through my parenting years and beyond.