I don’t have the perfect relationship with my mom, but who does? My teenage years were pretty hard. Transitioning to being an adult was also complicated. I don’t always tell my mom how much I love her or how much I learn from her. In spite of that, I appreciate her the love and sacrifice that she has unwaveringly poured into my life.
Mom gave up her ludicrous job in the city to stay home and raise me and my siblings. It meant she had more time to spend in hands-on training for life. The other day I reminded her that she had been to one to instill the habit of having a daily devotional. It started with listening to devotions on my little tape recorder. Then, I graduated to reading through the Bible. Each version increased in the difficulty of reading. Mommy didn’t even remember this! And it’s a key part of my life.
Here are four other important things I learn from her.
To say “No”
My mom is the queen of saying no.
“We won’t be available to come Friday night. That’s family time.”
“I am sorry we already have a lot on our plate.”
She was ferocious about setting boundaries. It was unnecessary to overextend. If you were juggling too many things, none of them would be done properly. For her family came first. If family relations couldn’t be fostered, another responsibility needed to be dropped. The little people pleaser in me hated this so much.
Overextending oneself is a lot like getting into debt. You are spending time and resources you simply do not have. If you have to sacrifice sleeping or eating or spending time loved ones you are probably doing something wrong. I am still not perfect at this, but I am learning to say no before I have too many things on my plate.
To conserve energy
My mom is not about the life of overextending. Nope.
I remember the time I ran my self completely thin as a Pathfinder leader. I had a vision for my club. My leaders stepped aside and let me do everything by myself. After six months, she removed me from leadership. I don’t even remember how she did that. I was frustrated but relieved. I am pretty tenacious and determined to finish what I start. Likely, I would have carried out that operation to my demise.
Over the years, my mom has instilled in me the idea that I should balance my plate. It shouldn’t be so full that I can’t do anything properly. Time is money and it should also be managed well. However, my mom will tell you that I tend to up into things headfirst without stopping to think about the consequences.
To choose healthy
My mom was always on top of me to exercise, eat well, and take care of myself.
I have two great character flaws getting lost in my own thoughts when I should be present and missing little details when I am stressed. I remember my igniting my mom’s anger while attempting to cook. It was a recipe that required items to blended. I had just added the ingredients to the blender without properly assembling the apparatus. Now all the precious ingredients were slipping out and onto the counter. I silently vowed to myself that from now on I would stick to doing dishes.
However, my mom was determined that I learn to cook. She eventually just left alone in the kitchen and I happily started cooking. In fact, I enjoy cooking. She taught me to use plant-based and natural ingredients. She taught me how to take care of my natural hair. She influenced me to use clean skincare products. I am a little bit lacking in the exercise department, but I am working on that.
To not sell myself short
My mom will kill me if I settle.
I originally wanted to study theology, English, or education. However, my parents were adamant I learn a “skill.” To them a skill what something in healthcare or engineering. I ended up picking the thing that I absolutely did not want to do –nursing. After making this fateful decision, I tried to escape many times to be met with a resolute “no” from my parents. I graduated from nursing school and was looking at my options to “climb up the ladder.” It was at that moment that my mom made the most bizarre statement, “I feel like you are giving up on your dream.” I stopped looking at an FNP degree and started researching communication degrees. Now, I am in a communication program that I absolutely love.
My mom is the same when it comes to men, jobs, and pretty much everything else in life. She is pretty determined that I marry a man that adores me. She hates in when I have a job and drains out my lifeblood. I have learned not to settle until I am in a place where I feel like I am being taken care of and comfortable.
What did you learn from your Momma?