Hope y’all had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend. I shared this quote instead of a photo yesterday because I spent some time thinking and journaling about how everyone has different emotions on this holiday and I wanted every mother to feel acknowledged.
Regardless of which holiday we’re celebrating, there’s usually a variety of moods and feelings surrounding the occasion. Take Valentine’s Day for example. It might be amazing if you’re in a loving relationship, or you might despise it, or it might sting a little bit when you see all of your friends receiving flowers from their father’s or significant others, but not you. The same goes for many on Mother’s Day due to estranged relationships or heartache.
With this post, in no way do I wish to add to the hurt that some of you have experienced with Mother’s Day. I know not everyone is on good terms with a parent. I know that some of you reading this just lost a child. I know that some of you long for a mother you can be closer to. I hope you know that whatever pain or hurt or deep longing you’ve been experiencing can be taken to Jesus. He is always there to redeem and restore us.
Before anyone says how “perfect” of a mother-daughter relationship we have, I’m going to stop and let you know that is far from the truth. We fight like sisters, but I have a lot to be grateful for.
Here are 7 lessons I learned from my mama-
- Always tell the truth.
Since I was a little girl she would say, “I don’t care how bad it is, always tell me the truth. Telling the truth will get you in a lot less than trouble than lying and getting caught later.” She was so right.
- Cheer for the underdog.
Perhaps she never taught me this, but her life speaks it. She’s proven that our destiny is truly in our own hands. She overcame poverty, sexual abuse, and beat the odds for a high school drop-out. She now holds a Master’s degree, counseling kids at a low-income high school in our town. She’s made me believe in the people society deems unworthy. You make me so proud, ma.
- You have a full time job worrying about yourself.
Nothing annoyed me more than when my mom used to barge in on a conversation that she would overhear between my friends and I. However, she did it out of love; tough love. She would stop the gossip and say, “Amanda, you have a full time job worrying about yourself.” This has stuck with me for years. Because of her, I really try to focus on how I can do better and keep other people’s names out of my mouth unless it’s positive. Do I fail? Yes. Am I at least conscious of it more than ever before? Yes. Oh, I now say this phrase at least 10 times to my own students on a daily basis.
- Be independent.
It’s ironic to me how some of these progressive feminists have hated on my marriage posts and opinions surrounding the topic of marriage because when I read their comments I think, “I used to be that girl.” I thought that by submitting to your husband, you were codependent and weak. Oh how that could not be any further from the truth. You see, my mom taught me to be extremely independent. She didn’t do anything for me; she taught me how to do things for myself. The woman has been without a husband for over eight years now, remodeled and completed all of the bathroom plumbing on her own, and never asks for anyone to go anywhere with her or loan her money. She has shown me how to be a strong, capable, intelligent woman; one who doesn’t need a man to take care of her. However, even as Miss Independent, she would agree that there’s nothing more harmful than pushing your husband away in the name of independence. Amen?!
- Work hard and don’t expect rewards.
To some people, my mom was too tough on me. I guess it depends on what type of background you come from. I am so glad my mom enforced strict rules in high school about paying for your own gas, clothes, food, etc. You see, just because she could give me a little bit of cash doesn’t mean she did. Everything was earned. Even then, if I completed my chores, there wasn’t always a reward. She taught me to find satisfaction in simply getting the job done. Don’t be mistaken, she also knew how to spoil me and treat me to nice things, too. 🙂 One of my favorite things is to be complimented on my work ethic.
- Rise early and seize the day.
As a kid she drove me bonkers coming into my room and squealing, “wakey, wakey, eggs and bac-y” at 8 AM on a Saturday morning, but ironically I find myself becoming more and more like her the older I get. She never let me sleep the day away or watch TV for hours on end. My screen time was always limited. Lazy wasn’t tolerated. She would say, “It’s never too late to turn it around.” if I got off to a bad start that day. She never wanted a day to go by where I hadn’t learning something new or worked towards a goal. I am so thankful she taught me to have good time management because it’s enabled me to be so productive and achieve my dreams! Time management is one of the best things you can teach your children.
- Be the bigger person, always.
When it comes to haters, enemies, or people who drag my name through the mud, my mom has reminded me to love through my actions and say less. I used to waste time and energy trying to defend myself or change people’s opinions of me, but now I listen to my mama and keep working hard every day with no concern for their approval or lack of. Prove ’em wrong by doing your thing and praying for them in the meantime.
There you have it! What have you learned from your mother? Or maybe you need to make amends with her…remember, it’s never too late to turn it around. 😉
(1) My mom and I.
(2) My sister-in-laws, Naomi and Rose, with Momma Carp and myself.
(3) E with my mom.
(4) My sweet, baby nephew Maddox in my arms.