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At first, they are heroes, the perfect ones to whom you want to hold on to forever because they are the source of unconditional love, safety and wisdom. Then, they become sinners, the ones who don’t understand you and who don’t have all the answers to your infinite questions. Finally, they become people, the real persons with all their flaws and qualities. As we grow, our versions of those strange people we call our parents change and we finally learn to see them for who they are.

It took me a while to see the real person behind the figure of my mother. As a child you don’t really think of your parents as people but as your parents. As if they hadn’t existed before you came to the world. Now, from a slightly wiser perspective, I can see that everything my mother said or did revealed the greatness of her personality. Both advertently and inadvertently, she passed onto me certain life lessons that shaped me and helped me throughout my life, and I surely intend to pass them onto my children.

Together, we can do it all

My mother has always emphasised the importance of togetherness, both in marriage and in family. She’s always valued family activities, traditions and dinners, as well as her and dad’s personal time. It has always looked as if it were us against the world. We’ve always been closely connected, providing each other with support and advice. She has a habit of saying, “together, we can stand against any storm”. I can only hope that I will transfer such a sense of togetherness onto my children because nothing has felt more valuable and comforting in my life than knowing that my family will support me no matter what.

Honesty is always the best policy

I know that this sounds like a cliché, but honesty has always been one of the most important qualities in our family. My mom always emphasised that we shouldn’t hide anything from her and dad. Open and honest communication is crucial in any relationship, as well as in our attitude towards ourselves. There have been numerous occasions when my friends lied to their parents and their parents lied to them, trying to protect them from the negative aspects of life. In my family, it has always been different. No lies, no mitigation. It wasn’t always easy to hear the truth, especially when I was wrong, but I’m eternally grateful to my mother for that. I’ve adopted the cliché “honesty is the best policy” and will keep repeating it to my children no matter how annoying I get.

The future is coming

No matter what the occasion or event, my mother always had everything planned out. I, on the other hand, used to postpone everything until the last moment, for which she often criticised me. While I used to start studying for an exam late, my mom always had her business plan ready several months in advance. She even started thinking about different options for independent living in a retirement community even when she was in her 40s. I used to joke around about this until I realised that I was completely unprepared for the future. At one point, I didn’t even have a savings account. After a few anxiety attacks, I turned to my mother for advice and she helped me create a simple financial plan. I always wanted to live in the present so much that I forgot to prepare for the future. My mother’s preparedness didn’t seem so funny anymore and I realised that once again, she taught me a valuable lesson. I will make sure that it doesn’t take so long for my children to learn it as it did for me.

You’ve got nothing to lose

My mother has always advised me to seize any opportunity I came across, especially when it came to education and personal growth. She used to say “Try it. You have nothing to lose. It can only benefit you”. Of course, not everything proved to be useful, successful or interesting, but she was my source of motivation when I lacked it. I’ve learnt to get out of my comfort zone and keep working on myself. As a mother, I will always try to inspire my children to strive for more, just as my mother taught me. Life is full of great opportunities, but if we don’t grab them ourselves, they will just pass by us.

My mother has been by my side as long as I can remember. Although it took me some time to really get to know her, she’s always been my favourite person in the world. I can only hope that my children will think the same of me.

 

 

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