I read a quote once that said, “If I can turn into my mother, I’ll consider my life a success.” I couldn’t agree more. My mom is happy, helpful, generous, loving, and kind-hearted. On top of that, her children and grandchildren think the world of her!
Here are ten lessons that I have learned from my Mom…
1). Love your spouse.
My Mom & my Dad have been married for over 35 years. They get along really well- they laugh with each other, hug each other, share everything, spend time together, and treat each other with respect.
When my husband & I got married, my Dad said “Remember that if it is important to one of you, it is important.” I see my parents living this every day. (As I share in my tips for a happy marriage)
2). Be a parent first & in the end, you will be their best friend.
My Mom and I have a great relationship. She is truly my best friend. I feel like I can tell her anything! There were times when I can remember getting in little arguments with her as a teenager and then there are times when I really relied on her at that same age.
Even at a young age, she talked to me about everything (even if it was a touchy subject or an embarrassing subject, at the time). She held me to high standards and she taught me right from wrong.
I can remember gossiping about a girl in middle school and when my Mom overheard me on the phone, she said “I am so disappointed”. I remember the feeling of letting her down and I knew that I would think twice before gossiping again. I hope that my children think highly enough of me to not want to let me down, either, causing them to be the BEST that they can be.
3). Be generous
My Mom is so giving. She gives her time, her money, her possessions- she really lives by the “what’s mine is yours” rule, especially with her family. When our kids were not yet in school, she would watch them one day a week. She has been a SHINING example of what a volunteer looks like (Hospice House, Meals on Wheels, American Cancer Society, etc…) She is a nurse, so even her job is helping people.
(This is me dressed up like my Mom for Trick or Treat one year)
4). Be smart with your money.
While my Dad studied finance, among other things, I still turn to my Mom for money-savings tips! If you think that I am a good saver, you should see my Mom. She & my Dad live debt-free & mortgage-free in a beautiful home on the lake. They have the lifestyle that they want because they saved when they were younger.
They have always watched their money (similar to what Dave Ramsey talks about… but much before Dave Ramsey type programs were even popular!) They didn’t buy things that they couldn’t afford and they lived below their means, to be able to save.
My Mom only shops the sale racks, she buys things on clearance (even though they can afford more, she watches what they spend and I’m sure she always will). She doesn’t waste it. As I said, she is a generous person and I think that those things come full circle.
5). Go to church
My Mom has always had us up on Sunday morning, going to church. It didn’t matter if we were tired, if it was cold outside if there was something else to do, we went to church. It was important that we kept God first & foremost in our lives and we went to mass every week.
It is an important value to teach our children.
No, going to church doesn’t make you a better Christian, but it does teach us things about God, it reminds us of the truth, it instills values in us and it helps us to have a renewed connection with Christ and our family.
6). Family First
We always had dinner together when I was little. My husband and I do this today with our own children (Here is my post on what studies say about eating dinner together as a family.)
It is important to eat together because you really “talk” (try not to eat in front of the TV so that you can use that time to just connect… here are 10 topics to get conversations started at the dinner table.)
We knew that our family came first when we were little. If we had something to do, our family was always involved. We went on family vacations, spent birthdays and holidays with our families, and we kept our family first.
7). Greet your child at the door.
My Mom was always waiting for us when we came home. It is important to give your child your full attention when they see you after being away- let them know that you’ve missed them!
Whether it be when you pick them up from preschool or daycare or if you are seeing them when they come home from school- give them your full attention.
I can remember her being happy when we came home- She always had a snack ready for us. (I can remember my brother having those little white powdered doughnuts & a glass of sprite every afternoon- which would shock those that know him now because he is such a healthy eater!)
After school, my Mom would ask us about our days- while reminding us to put our backpacks, shoes & coats away.
I think it’s important because they are willing to talk when they get home. I can see how quickly they “forget” what they did that day if I can’t get it out of them right away.
8). Listen to your children:
I watched an episode on Oprah once, where Maya Angelou told Oprah that one time her son brought her a picture that he had made and when he showed it to her, she didn’t give him her full attention and just said something like “its nice”.
He then took the picture, ripped it up, and threw it away. When she asked him why he said that it was because she didn’t like it. She vowed then & there to pay attention to everything that he showed her.
He truly valued her opinion, as I know that our children are valuing ours. I always felt like I had my Mom’s full attention, and I still do. I know that if I am talking to her, she is listening. What a wonderful feeling to know that someone cares about you enough to really LISTEN.
9). Be your child’s biggest fan!
I can remember when I was in high school and on the homecoming court, my Mom gave me a card BEFORE the ceremony that said “You will always be a queen in our eyes.” It has been almost 15 years and I can still see her handwriting on that card.
She and my Dad have always been our biggest fans. They have supported our dreams, no matter what they are, and have listened to us (even when I would go “on & on & on” about the same things over & over) and they helped us.
They have encouraged us in our education, our marriages, our dreams, our jobs, our parenting, and other big & small things in our everyday lives.
I see them encouraging our children now and being their biggest fans. My Mom talks about all of her grandchildren with such pride and love. I pray that I continue this with our own children.
10). Be happy with what you have and live each moment.
This lesson was from my Grandma, passed onto my Mom. My Grandma always said, “Are we having fun?” She lived a relatively simple life: a little house, on the ocean, with family being the center of her life. She was the happiest woman that I had ever met.
Her life is one that I strive to live… being happy with what you have. Make the most of your life. Surround yourself with those that love you. Live every minute to its fullest. As my Mom says, one day, when we are old, we will have plenty of time to rest and when that time comes, we will wish that we weren’t resting, so let’s make the most of the moments that we have.