(That I’ve Learned from my Mother)
Joe and I are back from our camping trip! It was awesome, and just what we needed! I’ll be sharing some pictures and fun recaps of our adventures soon, but first, I’d like to share a belated post honoring all the moms out there.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. If you still have a mother on this earth, I hope you told her that you love her and that you are very thankful for her! As I get older, I appreciate my mom more and more!
As my pastor said yesterday, “If nothing else, your mother was the vessel that God used to bring you into the world.” Even if your mother was neglectful and not loving, you wouldn’t be here without her.
Yesterday a lady came up to me and said, “Happy Mother’s Day if you’re a mom!”. I said thanks, but I’m actually not a mom. She replied, “Oh believe me honey, that’s a good thing.”
So does that make motherhood a bad thing? What I saw was a woman who regretted her life. Perhaps she was bitter at her children who had grown up and forgotten her. Perhaps she saw kids as a hardship and a nuisance. I don’t know her whole story, but my heart was sad for her. So sad.
I’m newly married, and God has not yet blessed us with the miracle of life that is a newborn baby. But I have had a tiny baby die in my womb, and unless you have experienced that yourself, you can’t really understand the heartbreak that one goes through during a miscarriage. Since then, I’ve thought quite a bit about motherhood.
There are so many stages of motherhood. First, carrying a baby inside you. Most women don’t quite feel ready to be a mom yet if it’s their first child. Then watching your child grow and change, much more quickly than you could even imagine. Watching them become young men and women, and making their own way into the world. Hoping that they make the right decisions, hoping and praying that God blesses them with a spouse if he sees fit. Wow motherhood is scary!
I look at my own mother, who I am so extremely thankful for, and I find the encouragement to be a loving and Godly mom myself one day from her. With all my heart, I want to become a mother that my children can love and respect, unlike the woman I met yesterday. Her regretful experience of motherhood lays heavy on my heart.
So as a young woman who will probably become a mother in the next few years, I am overwhelmed with all that motherhood entails. Yet I take a step back, look at my own loving mother, and I learn all that I need to know just from her life. Her mistakes become a guide map for me. Her sweet and caring personality help me understand what a loving mother should be. I have learned so much from my mom, but here are 10 important lessons that I’ve learned.
1. Don’t be an angry person
Wow this one is important. I can honestly say I can’t really remember a time that my mother has just yelled at me in anger. I felt the most repentant as a kid when I saw her tears of disappointment or frustration, not from a raised voice. If you are an angry parent, your kids will be angry people.
2. Encourage learning.
My mom did a great job at this! Every family vacation involved learning by going to fun museums and historical places. She knew how to blend learning with everyday life. She homeschooled us, taught us to cherish and love learning, and taught us to put time and effort into learning. We all love to read, and truly appreciate history and studying new things.
3. Encourage creativity
My mom isn’t an artist, or blessed with a ton of artistic creativity. But she taught us about the great artists of the past, and had us learn art ourselves. I discovered the artistic talents I had, and wound up going to school for art later, because of her encouragement.
4. Limit TV
My mom was good at this one! Ok, as a kid this got a bit annoying sometimes, but I’m quite thankful now. My mom chose Friday nights as family movie night, and we rarely watched tv or movies other than that. Guess what? We never missed it! We loved playing outside and loved using our imaginations instead.
5. Don’t smother
As your kids get older and go away to college, move out, etc., the way that you treat them needs to change. My mother is always willing to give advice or her opinion when we ask, but she lets us make our own decisions now that we are adults. As a result, we all have great relationships with her! I’m sure sometimes we make decisions that she would have done differently, but she lets us make our own mistakes and learn from them. We all love her even more for it!
6. Be selfless
I need to work on this one. I look at my mom, and I see a woman that constantly lives for others, without even realizing it. Her and my dad adopted two little boys back when I was a preteen, and now they are raising kids all over again. My little brothers are now 10 and 14, and they keep my parents quite busy! My mom worked hard to help me pay for college, and now works hard to pay my younger brother’s school bills. (My dad is a very hard worker as well, but the income wasn’t quite enough to pay for schooling too.) This is a lesson that I will constantly be striving towards, in my marriage and as a mom one day.
7. Imperfection is perfect
Clean the house, but let people live in it. Have nice things, but don’t get angry when someone breaks them. Being a bit late is better than yelling at everyone. It’s not the end of the world if somebody has a stain on their shirt. Life can and will go on. 😉
8. Show love
Say you love your kids and hubby as much as you can! They need to hear it. I’m sure glad I heard it plenty!
9. Live by example
Don’t tell your kids to do things that you never do yourself. Become the person you are trying to get your kids to become. My mom would also use other people as an example, many times our peers. She would explain why the choices that they were making were not wise, and we were able to see a real life example of why following God is always best.
10. Keep God first
I am so thankful that I have a Godly loving mother. I know I am so blessed in this case. I know it is rare, and I am very grateful. Joseph and I desire to keep God first in our lives, our marriage, and in our home. We are very thankful for the Godly role models we have had in our parents!
Motherhood is a beautiful blessing, and I hope and pray that one day my kids will learn as much from me as I have learned my own sweet mother!