In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share a post dedicated to my amazing mother and 5 of the most important things she’s taught me throughout my life. I think every mom tries to always be a perfect example for their kids, and although life threw some curveballs at our family, my mom is still the most amazingly positive person you will ever meet. She has taught my sister and I so much that I couldn’t even try to get it all down, but I rounded up some of the finer points to share today.
Today is also my momma’s birthday! She was born on Mother’s Day and her birthday is always within a few days of it every year, if not right on it. So my sister and I got to spoil her extra this year to let her know how special she is and how much we appreciate her. I think all kids go through a phase in their teens where they think their parents don’t know anything and how could they possibly relate? Then you turn 20 and start to see your parents are always right, so just shut up and listen. I’m now 26 and ask my mom’s advice on EVERYTHING. She knows every aspect off my life and is one my best friends.
Here is my list of lessons she taught me, most of which I had to learn the hard way:
1. Always put God first. No matter what happens in life, my mom sticks to the fact that God has a plan, and we just have to surrender to that plan and accept things as they are. She does what God would want, even though people (including me sometimes) don’t always understand the reasoning behind her decisions. She loves the Lord FIERCELY and is not ashamed of it. She’s taught me that God is the only one whose opinion truly matters at the end of the day, so you have to live for Him and how He would want you to live. I’m so proud of her for always sticking to her beliefs and not letting others influence her even when they don’t agree. I don’t think it’s a common thing anymore for people to act and think the way she does without worrying about what anyone else thinks about it. I’m truly thankful that she’s helped me see the real importance of my relationship with God and been patient with me while I figured it out for myself over the years.
2. Love yourself more than anyone else loves you. I think my favorite new trend I’ve seen lately is self-love. Everyone is starting to see that it’s so important to put yourself first because if you aren’t in tip-top shape, you can’t give your all to anyone or anything else. If you don’t take care of you, no one else is going to! I think the main things I’ve learned about self-love are that you have to have boundaries and stick to them, you really do need an adequate amount of sleep at night to function at a healthy level, and you really are what you eat. I truly enjoy sleeping and eating well as an adult, and while I rebelled quite a lot as a child, her lessons were well enough engrained that they came back when I needed to remember them.
3. Respect yourself. This is slightly different from loving yourself, but does have some overlap. Self-respect is also about setting boundaries, and for me specifically, it was understanding that I need to have enough respect for myself to know when to walk away from a bad relationship. This includes not only romantic relationships, but bad friendships and bad jobs as well. It also goes along with how you dress and your overall attitude. My mom is a big proponent of dressing modestly because it’s a sign of respect to you and to God. I’m not saying wear high neck long sleeve maxi dresses every day, but not wearing things that leave nothing to the imagination is more along the lines of what I take from it. Unfortunately for us women, society has a negative connotation associated with revealing clothing and I feel better not being included in that and the extra unwanted attention that comes along with it.
4. Be Polite. I grew up in a military family, so manners were always on point with us. We always said yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir in our house (and of course please and thank you). If we said “yea”, we’d get a quick “what was that??” back. People LOVE when you’re polite to them, and I’m pretty sure that me speaking that way in interviews has given me an advantage over other candidates as you come off more professional. My grandpa also instilled the importance of having a firm handshake, which also makes a big difference in how you’re perceived by others. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on both of these things throughout the years and always mention mom and grandpa’s lessons to give them credit.
5. Don’t be afraid to work hard. I also grew up around a ton of entrepreneurs, so I got to see first hand what it meant to work hard. My grandpa, all 4 of my mom’s brothers, my mom and my dad all owned their own businesses at some point (or still do). Being around people who run their own business shows you what it’s like to put in real hard work and not stick to a clock. My mom works so hard and I’m so proud of her for all she does. You have to work toward what you want and not be afraid of failing. Failing is necessary in life and you just learn your lesson and move on. People respect hard work and find you much more reliable, which is great for moving up in your job.
And here are some fun pictures with my momma that I love so much 🙂
Memorial Day 4 years ago
The day we found my wedding dress!!
My momma and my Godmother at my baptism 3 years ago
Mom and my sister Julie two Christmases ago
Out for a shopping trip 🙂
Julie’s 5 year wedding vow renewal September 2016
One of my favorite pictures ever!
Getting ready for the ceremony
Christmas 4 years ago we surprised our mom with a new TV and DVD player. She tends to cry when we give her gifts 🙂
What are your Mother’s Day plans? We’ll be with Jakes mom and grandma today, and I get to Skype with my mom and sister to open gifts 🙂
Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing momma’s out there, and to the momma’s like me who carry their children in their hearts instead of their arms.