Mother's Day is one of those days every year that makes me really reflect on how lucky and blessed I am to have the mom I do. Now that I am about to be a mom, I am realizing even more how amazing she is and how much she has taught me that not every mom teaches their child. These are a few of those lessons she may not realize she has taught me, but will stick with me forever! Hopefully she agrees that this is what she wanted to get across! :)
1. You are beautiful just the way you are. I have never struggled with image/body issues and I know I can 100% thank my mom for that. She NEVER would complain about any of her "trouble" spots, discuss weight or body problems, focus on how she looked in clothing, etc. I don't notice weight gain on people and I know it is because my mom raised me to have zero importance on that. She focused on treating your body right by eating well, exercising and staying active, and being healthy in general. When I was a professional cheerleader and we had weigh ins, I was never bent out of shape when I was out of my goal weight because I knew pounds don't really mean much! Her main focus was to be healthy, but to be more concerned about the person you are than your outer appearance.
|Yup. She always told me I was beautiful. Liar.|
2. Never take money for granted or spend more than you have earned. This was always a huge one growing up. My parents were great role models in teaching my brother and me to first make sure we were saving enough for both emergencies and retirement, then and only then can you buy "wants". I know that is also what attracted me to Nate (among other things). He is always extra responsible with his money and savings, and usually more than I want to be! :)
I remember being super young and my mom getting me my own checkbook to start learning how to manage money from a young age. My allowance (probably $10 a month or something? Seemed like so much at the time!) would go right in there and I would have to balance my little checkbook and make sure it always was correct. I remember wanting things that other people had when I was younger but not having the money for it, and my mom saying if it is important enough, I will save my little pennies until I could afford it. Usually once I would have enough, I was over it, so it definitely taught me the importance of only buying what you really want! I definitely love to shop MUCH more than my mom, which makes it that much more important to remind myself of this lesson on always spending within my means!
3. Eat a lot but make sure you get nutrients first. My mom has always been an advocate for me being a good eater. When I was little we NEVER were forced to clean our plates. She knew that if she had us eat what we wanted until we were full, we would learn to not overstuff ourselves as we get older. I know this worked, because to this day I will eat a lot, but my body has a "full stopping point" and once I reach that, I just stop eating. She also always made healthy meals, so of course it was ok for us to eat as much as we wanted! Then we usually were too full to eat any junk! So sneaky...
4. Go after dreams and learn from failures. Any dream or idea I have ever had, my mom has been the first person to tell me to go for it. When I was certain I was going to be an interior designing marine biologist, my mom was the one to take me right to the library to get books on both genres. When friends reminded me that I didn't even make freshman high school football cheerleading (darn realists), my mom told me she thought it was a fantastic idea to try out to be an NFL cheerleader.
Even more than being a supporter, she also taught me to be a good loser, not a poor loser. When I didn't win Miss Minnesota, she would say how beautiful the woman who won was and that God had other plans for me. She is always genuinely happy and supportive of others. She is and will forever be my biggest cheerleader and when things didn't go as planned, she never talked poorly about it, just that it was a great experience and to move on to the next!
5. Give everyone the benefit of doubt, but always have your guard up. This one is huge. My mom is a big believer in giving everyone chances, but also to never over trust. Kind of like, always smile at strangers, but don't give them a ride. Haha! With that, don't hold grudges. We both love the quote, "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die". So true! It can be hard, but it is best not to hold a grudge, while keeping in mind who you can and cannot trust.
6. Smile even when you don't want to! My mom has never come out and said this, but I have learned by example. Even when you are having the worst day, the world is falling down on you, and you don't think you can take anymore, keep smiling. She never would put her own frustrations on us (or anyone else for that matter) and always put on a happy front even when feeling down. I love this lesson because attitude is everything! If you feel like crap and scowl, pout, and put your poor attitude on others, you will stay that way. Slapping a smile on your face can slowly help you to turn things around, and what you put out in the world is usually what will come back to you.
|Forever one of my favorite pictures of us - like mother like daughter!|
7. Treat others BETTER than you want to be treated. I think my mom might be the world's best example of this. EVERYONE is her bestie! She knows every single person's name that works at her grocery store (and their life story), she will smile and say hi to people that come within feet of her anywhere she is, and she loves it! I love this because we all know that everyone is going through something, and sometimes a smile and "how are you?" even from a stranger can make your day.
8. Be a good host (and guest!). My mom and I both adore hosting. We are both homebodies, so that could also be why - we want to be social but we don't want to leave our comfy houses! :) With this, we know how it feels to be a guest at someone's home and how you want to feel welcome, have a task or are offered a beverage/place to sit, and introduced to people you may or may not know. We have all been to a shower where the host(s) totally ignore guests and stick to their agenda, and it can be very hostile or awkward! She taught me that tending to guests is part of the fun of hosting!
Being a good guest is equally important to my mom. She has trained me to always take off my shoes at someone's house, even if others have theirs on. Little things like offering to help clean up, sending thank you notes, and picking up after yourself. Even in hotels she will tell me to pick up my hairs from off the bathroom floor/sink. She always says to leave things better than when you found it, and I definitely agree!
9. Don't be anyone but you! I love that my mom forever has encouraged me to be ME. She always let me dress myself, have my room how I wanted it, be in the activities I was passionate about (and quit the ones I wasn't!) and truly follow my own path. One of my mom's biggest passions is horses, and she put me in lessons but let me quit within a year because she could tell it wasn't my passion. She couldn't have been further from a pushy or "stage mom" and I love that about her. She did always make sure we were following our heart and making sure we were finding out who we truly were, though. We always had an activity or something to work on our skills/hobbies and encouraged us in them. (I now see this as a huge way to keep kids out of trouble! If you are always in your activities, you don't have time to be doing naughty things!) I also saw this by example daily from my mom. She would wear her comfy clothes when and where she wanted, continue following her dreams and hobbies as a good example to us to never give up, and like I said in #7, she will continue being the nicest person ever to the scowling strangers she sees in everyday passing because that is who she is! :)
10. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it. I have this last because I swear this is my mom's favorite quote. She even has napkins that say this. 'Nuff said. :)
|This beauty is 62! Come on genes, rub off on me!|
These are just a few of the things she has taught me and I am forever grateful! I know my mom would be the first person to say she is by no means perfect, and she will probably be a little embarrassed by this, but to me, she is the perfect mom.
Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing mommies out there!
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