5 Things Mothers Teach Us
What I’ve Learned from the Mothers in My Life
1. No Sacrifice Is Too Great For The One’s You Love!
Sometimes it is something small like the last piece of cake. It can also be choosing whether to spend Saturday resting or instead cleaning house and doing laundry or watching your grandchildren so that your daughter/son and their spouse can have some time to themselves. Other times, it can be something even more, like working extra hours, or a second job or selling something they love, just so your child can play sports or pay their college dorm room rent.
Love is..sacrificing our own wants, needs and desires for others.
2. Learn From Your Mistakes
Failure is just part of life. Everyone experiences it. I remember as a child experiencing failure in school, in friendships and in sports, but my Mom always encouraged me to try again. One of my favorite Zig Ziglar quotes is, “Failure is an event, not a person.”
Don’t Quit [on yourself]
My oldest son set a personal goal to make straight A’s. When his first report card came in, he had one B and was very upset. My wife sat him down and helped him think it through. She asked him to talk about the mistake. She asked him what he thought he could do differently next time. She asked him what else he needed for support. It took two more report cards, but he finally met his goal of having straight A’s.
When we learn from our mistakes, we create new possibilities.
There is a very thorough and excellently written article on learning form mistakes at IQ Matrix: Quit Complaining and Start Learning from Your Mistakes, by Adam Sicinski.
3. Be Gentle and Kind To Those Who Are Hurting
When we are little and we fall down and scrape our knees, it is mom who picks us up, gives us a gentle hug, and ensures us that it is going to be okay. Even though our knees still hurt, this gentle kindness helps us through it. In this, there is no judgement and no lecture, just the gentleness and kindness that we need in that moment.
Our need for gentleness and kindness never goes away. When we are hurting, we need those we love to gather around us and without judgement, show us that they care. Whenever someone at our church is going through sickness or loss, it is the mom’s who sign up to bring meals, or babysit children and write each other messages of hope and caring.
Treat everyone with kindness, you never know what they are going through.
4. Togetherness Is Important
Mom’s bring us together and show us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. I sometimes wonder whether families would get together at all if it weren’t for mothers. In my own life, whether it was my aunts, my grandmother or my own mother, the holidays were a time of togetherness and everybody was made to feel welcome.
My mother-in-love plays this part too! From holidays to family vacations, she brings us together. When we are together, we catch up on either other’s lives, our children (the cousins) get to know each other and a legacy of togetherness continues.
When life get’s tough, it is nice to know there are people who care about us and are connected to us through family. Without regular togetherness, we can lose this important connection.
Connection to others brings deeper meaning to life.
5. Be Yourself!
No matter how many children or grandchildren they have, mothers make everyone feel loved. From encouraging words to big, warm hugs, our mother’s love validates who we are. These simple acts of affection tell us that we are worthy of being loved, just the way we are.
Something that gives me peace is knowing that there is nothing I could do to lose my mother’s love. And, while not everyone is going to give us this kind of unconditional love, by being ourselves we will attract relationships that are authentic and are more naturally nurtured. And, because continuous self-improvement is important, these authentic relationships can become the source of many areas of growth.
Being yourself is less risky than pretending to be someone else.
Don’t Forget These 5 Things
Whether or not you learned these things from your mom, doesn’t matter. Add these five things to your roadmap, they won’t steer you wrong:
- Sacrifice For Your Loved One’s
- Don’t Quit [on yourself]
- Be Kind
- Stay Connected To Your Family
- Be Yourself!
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