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9 Lessons my Mother Taught Me

Mom’s are like superheroes. Growing up, we watch our moms juggle all these different balls, not letting a single one drop. They make it seem so effortless. I mean wife, mom, sister, daughter, chef, maid, chauffeur, homework checker, sounding board and so much more. They teach us how to be strong, independent, kind and to respect others. But most of all they show us what loving someone unconditionally really looks like.

I am truly lucky and blessed to call this lady “Momma”. She has been there for every high and low point in my life and she is the reason I am who I am. And I think my siblings would agree, there is no one that would ever come close to her.

With Mother’s Day on Sunday, I thought I would post the lessons my mom has taught me over the years.

Financial lessons:
At the age of 25, my mom had saved enough for a down-payment to purchase her first piece of land and built a house, which eventually she turned into a home. This is the house we grew up in and my parents still live there today. She is the reason I understand the value of money and believe that a person should always work hard for what they want and they shouldn’t plan their life around marrying an old rich guy. She also taught me that you should:

  • Always have an emergency fund. Shit happens and you don’t want to go into debt by putting everything on a credit card. Although I love swiping my card for the points (I know it is a no-no but I pay it off in full every month.)
  • Have an account no one knows about and save something for you. You never know what the future holds (divorce or a spouse could go through a mid-life crisis) and you may need the money to start over.
  • Only loan money to family members if you never want to get it back. Even if you get it in writing, chances are you won’t see that money again. Some family members will screw you over if they are given the opportunity to do so.

Life lessons:
My mom is a firm believer in the power of positivity and kindness. A smile, saying thank you, or giving up your seat doesn’t cost anything.

  • Always do something nice for someone else. Whether it is helping a family during a hard time or buying a new bag for one of the churchgoers, my mom is always doing something nice for someone else. Now that I am older and have a full-time job, I like to do random acts of kindness. Even if it is just buying coffee for the stranger behind me.
  • Show respect and kindness to everyone. You never know their circumstances and you just don’t know the difference your kindness will make in their day.
  • As long as your intentions are pure, that is all that matters. I remember one summer we were on vacation in Florida and going to dinner and saw this family sitting outside in the pouring rain with a sign. My mom gave them $100. When we sat at the table I asked “how do you know when someone is really in need?” and her response was “My heart is in the right place and my intentions are pure, so if they are lying then they have to deal with their conscience and consequences.”

At the end of the day, being a decent person will cost you nothing.

Family lessons:
When it comes to family, my mom is probably the most selfless woman I know. She spends most of her time doing for others and never really does something for herself. This made me realize that as a wife and mom you should:

  • Always do something for you! Moms tend to give 100%  of themselves to everyone and everything. And my Mom is no different. But spending a half hour to an hour day doing something you enjoy allows you to unwind from your day and relax.
  • Your children do not come first – Your marriage does. Now before you jump on my Momma – She has never said this. This is a takeaway lesson I have learned from watching. When you are married you must continue to date, be playful/flirt with each other and always make sure you say thank you. After being married for over 30 years, manners make the difference. (A lot of people will say this is easier said than done)
  • Pick and choose your battles. Everything doesn’t have to be an all-out argument. You may win the argument but ultimately you damage your relationship with that family member. Leaving you wondering was it really worth it. Growing up, she used to roll her eyes at me when I would argue and she wanted me to stop. She still does it today if she thinks I am going to far.

Moms were created to nurture, guide and love us and deserve more than one day to be celebrated. And after 29 years of calling her Momma, there are no amount of words or lessons learned that could describe how much she means to me and my siblings.