“Mothers are endowed with a love that is unlike any other love on the face of the earth.” – Marjorie Pay Hinckley
In honor of Mother’s Day this upcoming Sunday, we asked a few women we admire to share some thoughts about, memories of, or advice from their mothers.
My mom is awesome. Most people say that about their moms, right? I’m serious about my mom, though. She’s a really cool lady. I could go on and on about all the things she’s taught me, but I think one of the most important is not to be afraid of who I am. She certainly isn’t. She’s funny, she’s quirky, she’s talented, she’s imaginative, and she never feels she needs to fit into a certain mold. She is who she is and she’s not going to apologize for it. She’s infinitely creative and that creativity bleeds into everything she says, everything she thinks, and everything she does. She’s strong both physically and mentally, which means she just gets things done. She never lets anything get in her way, so she’s one of those extremely capable people who can do anything. If she thinks it needs to be done, nothing stands in her way. She is the very definition of authentic. My mom has taught–and continues to teach–me many things, but the most important, the most valuable, is to know that I am who I am and that this is who I should be.
They say a mother’s words become a child’s inner voice and in my case that’s true. My mother had many sayings that I can recall and it’s funny how often I think of those now as an adult. I didn’t always understand what she meant when I heard these phrases as a child, but experience and time has helped me understand them. I’ll share one that is particularly relevant to me now. My mom has several creative talents. She’s a florist, a seamstress, a party planner, and she dabbled in several businesses as I was growing up. I would watch her create beautiful things and I would often ask her, “Who taught you how to do that?” and more often than not she would say to me, “La necessidad” or “the need.” In other words, “necessity is the mother of invention.” That has really stuck with me. I suppose she could have said so and so taught me this, or I took this class, but I think there was a powerful lesson behind that oft repeated phrase. Sometimes you have to find the will to learn something new for sake of providing for yourself and your family; I understand that now.
The best advice I ever received from my mother wasn’t something she said – it was what she did for me every day. Leading by example with unconditional love, sacrifice, and kindness. I may not have known then how impactful her actions would be for me, but as I became a wife and mother I am finding myself setting the same patterns with my own little family. I truly believe that actions speak louder than words and my own path as a mom will be better because of it.
My family keeps a running group text going. Most of it is utter ridiculousness like requests for extravagant hooded towels, arguments about March Madness brackets, Star Wars jokes, or plans to eat at our favorite food truck, but recently, my sister asked for advice when she had someone at a gathering being really disrespectful to her. My mom had a slew of great things to say, including “move on and focus on the important stuff” and a suggestion to “hit something hard at the gym” (my sister is an amateur MMA fighter). At the end of her thoughts, she said, “I need to stop this lecture. I’m over-momming again. Sorry everyone!” I responded by saying, “Be a mom!! The world would be a better place if you were everyone’s mom.” And I was serious. I love that although we are older and moms ourselves, our mom is still a source of infinite wisdom. With a hint of good humor.
My mom is the most selfless person I know. Growing up, when I would go to heat up something in the microwave, there was often a mug of cold water sitting there. That could only mean one thing; that my mom had heated up a mug of water to make hot chocolate but got pulled away from it to do something else; to serve someone else. This service typically included, but was not limited to, making sure all her daughters had lunches prepared for the day, which often included a kind note, driving us to play rehearsals, dance practice, voice lessons, doctors appointments, or church group activities. It could mean writing someone a thank you card, making dinner for someone in our neighborhood, or preparing lunch for the homeless person on the corner. This mug of cold water often meant she was cleaning my disaster of a room, walking the family dog, or even cleaning out the cages of the bunny or plethorah of hamsters. Although I do not live in the same house as my dear mother any more, I can’t help but expect to find a mug in the microwave every now and then. And when I don’t see it, it serves a reminder to me that I need to do some good for someone else. I owe the value I place on service and kindness to my mom and hope to carry on that legacy to my future children one day. Happy Mother’s Day, Mum. I love you. (And I sure owe you a lot of warmed up hot chocolate.)
What I admire most about my mom is something that may seem simple, but in reality was the most important thing in my childhood: she was simply always there. My mom was a stay-at-home mom when I was growing up. I have memories of us spending summers at the pool together, memories of her as my Girl Scout troop leader, memories of her volunteering at my school. I loved having my mom there. Her presence alone made me feel loved and important. And I know that those memories are special to her too. But I know it wasn’t always easy for her. She watched me run to my dad when he came home from work, she was there to witness some of my attitudes as pre-teen, and she was there when I came home from school too tired with life to talk to her. I took her presence for granted, and I never fully appreciated the fact that she sacrificed so much just to be there. Now I’m a young woman, a wife, and a future mother, and I’m thinking much more seriously about the path I want for my own life. And I finally realize what I think I always knew deep down: I want to be just like my mom. I want, simply, to be there with my children. She gave me a lot of memories and advice growing up, but those do not resonate with me as much as the culmination of years that she spent being with us, molding us, and walking through life with us. I am the woman I am today because my mom was always there at my side.
Mom, thank you for always being there, even when I didn’t know how much it meant to me.
My mom taught me to love a lot of the things that influence what I do now, including reading, painting, gardening and traveling. From a very young age she introduced me to writers like The Brontë Sisters, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Thomas Hardy. She was also always creating things. Whether it be a painting, a garden she was maintaining or a piece of old furniture that she was restoring, her hands were always busy. It was a language that made sense to me and I felt encouraged to start making or creating things of my own. And she always encouraged my ambitions! To this day she assumes that whatever project I put out into the world will be something worthwhile. It’s nice to have that support!