Thursday, March 10, 2011

10 Things My Mother Taught Me...

As I think back over some of my earlier posts, I am reminded of just how much my mother has taught me. As I approach 40, these things drift through my mind. I want to make sure I am living them, and teaching them to my children. So, here are 10 things my mother taught me, in no particular order.

  1.  Do for others. Whether it is as a Girl Scout leader, a room mother, a volunteer for Right To Life, band mom, grandmother, mother, daughter, or babysitter. 
  2. Always welcome people into your home, and to your table. I've written so many times about how my parents invited all of our friends in, everyone was welcome. My mom was a great cook, and she always made room at her table. "There's always room for one more!" was something she said all the time.
  3. Look for the good in others. My mom used to tell me, when I was having a problem with someone in the neighborhood or at school, to always look for the good in others. "There is something good about everyone, you just have to find it!" she reminded me often.
  4. Say your prayers. I can remember my mom teaching me to say my prayers, and then reminding me my whole life. I know she sometimes stops to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, and that brings her peace. I hope that I am teaching my children to have faith, the way she taught me to be faithful. 
  5. Love your husband. My mom always cautioned us girls to be on the look out for a man like our dad. She'd tell us that we would be hard pressed to find anyone nearly as good, but that we should try. I think everyone who knows them, knows of their devotion to each other. It's a beautiful thing. I hope that my children see the same when they look at their father and me. I hope my girls learn to look for a man like their dad, and Papa Tom. 
  6. Love your children. My parents loved us - there was no question. We never had to wonder. Both my mom and dad would do anything they could, and have, for their kids. They have been there through everything, rooting for us the whole time, and holding us up when we needed it.
  7. Hold your babies. My mom told me when my first daughter was born, "Hold her, stare at her. The dishes will wait, but she will grow so fast, and you don't want to miss it." Because of my mom, I have held my babies. I have let the dishes sit, and stared. I will never, ever have to be sorry that I missed anything with them, because of all the things she has taught me, this one really impressed upon me how fleeting life in general is. So, I hold. I stare, and I try so hard to implant the image on my brain. I try to memorize the feel of that particular child in my arms, because I know it will only last but a second.  
  8. Be nice. My mom used to tell me all the time, "You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar." This has served me well through the years. When tensions get high, and people start slinging unkind words around, it helps to have something nice to say. It stops people in their tracks, reminds them that they are dealing with human beings, and helps defray the tension. It helped me so many times when I felt like being unkind, and remembered what she taught me. 
  9. Treasure your sisters and brother. My mom never had any sisters, but she was always so glad for us that we had each other. When I was younger, (and sometimes still), my youngest sister and I did not always get along. My mom would always tell me how lucky I was to have sisters, and that someday, she would be my best friend, and understand me when no one else could. How my mom knew this so well, I cannot say, but she is so, so right. Both of my sisters, and my sister-in-law are my very best friends. My mom had brothers, and has lost both of them. So, I treasure mine. He is one of the best people I know, and though he is a "little" brother, he looks out for me like a big brother would. My sisters and brother understand me so well. I ask their opinion before I make big decisions (and little ones, too). When I have a parenting, or more often, step parenting issue, I ask them for advice, knowing that they will never lead me astray. They are so much a part of me, I am actually glad I am the oldest, making it less likely I will ever have to live without them.
  10. Believe you can do anything. My mom has always told me, "You can  do anything you put your mind to.", even the hard things. Even things I didn't want to have to do. She has pushed us, believed in us, and helped us make things happen in our lives. From degrees, to building a business, to finding true love, she has always been our biggest cheerleader. 
There are so many more, but these are the things I think of when I think of my mom. As I attempt to parent  young adults, I hope that I have taught them all of these things.  I hope they know I love them. I hope I have taught them to pray, and have faith in God. I hope they know I think they can do great things. I hope they have grown to love and appreciate their siblings. I hope I am teaching them all the things my mother taught me.


  1. So many of your possts make me cry, just a little. This one, a lot. I told Taylor just today how I feel when reading your blog. It often makes me feel like someone else just put my own thoughts into words without me telling them what to say. Somany times, I have read my own memories. This more than any of the others is the same. I have learned so much from Mom. I hope and pray mu children can learn as much from me.


  2. Thanks Meg - I am sitting at my desk trying not to cry at work!

  3. Umm, Stace? I'm afraid you and I are more alike than either of us would care to admit. :)

  4. Beautiful! And kudos to your mom she did a great job.

  5. These are all such wonderful things! I especially love #6 - hold your babies. Such good advice! With each baby I have, I do this more and more and more. I don't believe my house has ever been messier, LOL, because I choose to hold and stare at my babies over cleaning the house :) Now that I have an almost 20 year old, and an 18 year old, and a 15 year old....I am so aware at how quickly they grow up! I just cherish the babies and the little ones all that much more, because time has taught me that lessons: they grow up so quickly, and you never get that time back (of when they are babies) so yes, the house chores can wait! I'm holding my babies :)

    What wonderful advice for a mother to pass down to her daughter -- all of it! Thank you for sharing.


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