What I Learned from Mothers

or Do as I say not as I do.

My mother Pam and I (1969)

Mothers’ Day is a time to honor the women in our lives. The mothers, grandmothers, and mother like women who help make us who we are as individuals. If you are like me and lucky enough to have your mother in your life you know that there are things that only she can get credit for teaching you and things she wishes you hadn’t learned from her. Not only did I learn amazing things from my mom, but I also was blessed with my grandmothers, my stepmother, and mothers in law.

Women pass down all sorts of knowledge. Here is a list, in no particular order, of just a few things that the women in my life have taught me.

  1. There is no shame in hiding chocolate, soda or wine from your kids when necessary,
  2. Wash your hands and face. Germs, like Jesus, are everywhere.
  3. If your slip is showing you best fix your skirt. (not only the undergarment, but slip was a code word for attitude.)
  4. If your neighbor needs something and you have it, give it to them. Don’t loan it. You are not a shark.
  5. Yes, mam and no mam are required when addressing any female. Not just those older than you.
  6. Wing Dick is a person who is fond of the car horn and is not to be confused with a bat out of hell.
  7. Surround yourself with the people who can do what you can not. Learn from them.
  8. Listen to what people do not say.
  9. If you’re hungry, eat. If you are tired, sleep. You can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.
  10. If it is worth doing, do it right the first time.

I asked friends to share what they learned from the women in their lives too and some of the things were universal. Things like to treat others with respect and put the needs of your family first. I also heard things like if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. If it is broke, fix it don’t buy a new one. Take care of the earth, we only have one.

The other lesson that rang through was faith. Mothers are our biggest teachers of faith and hope. They are our cheerleaders. You are beautiful they say, They tell us we can do anything we set our mind too. That’s what my mom says.

Respect the people in your life who love you. They don’t have to love you but they do. My mom told me often to behave when I was out in public or visiting someone. I always thought it was because she didn't want me to embarrass her. When I was grown she said she knew I wouldn’t embarrass her. It was because she loved me so very much and she wanted others to love me too.

So, stop trying to fix yourself. You are all the amazing things your mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, and pseudo mothers said you are and more.

You are the image of the women in your history and a reflection of the love they gave you.

Believe in the power of a mother/female love and strength.

~Lori O’Gara

Thank you for your time. You can see more of my writing here.

P.S. If you send me a letter I will write you one back.