I became a mother 1,334 days ago. It started out as an ordinary day and become an extraordinary one, as my life as I knew it changed forever. Becoming a mother myself has made me appreciate my own mother in ways I never truly did. So in honour of Mother’s Day this month and as part of the #TogetherWeMother series, I wanted to share five invaluable life lessons I’ve learned from my own mother.
[ 1 ] Be generous
My mom is very giving. She gives her time, her money, her possessions. When it comes to her family, she very much follows the “what’s mine is yours” rule. She watches my kids one day a week while I work even though she is still working pretty much full-time. She takes some of her vacation to take care of our kids so that my husband and I can take care ourselves. She is always ready to help my sisters and I in whatever it is we need, day or night. And that generosity extends to everyone in her life that she cares deeply about. She truly believes that what you put out to the universe you get back and I think that’s a very admirable quality to have.
[ 2 ] Your own happiness is important
Along with being a very generous person, she still makes sure to focus on her own happiness as well. You can’t give yourself completely and still have enough left over to work on yourself. You can’t depend on other people for your own happiness. If you depend on someone else to make you happy, what happens when that person is gone? The one guaranteed constant in your life is you, so you need to make yourself happy first. Being a young parent, especially, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in your kids and sweep your own needs under a rug. But taking that all-important time to make sure you’re doing things that make you happy, means you’ll be a better parent, wife, and friend.
[ 3 ] You’re never too old to do something new
My mom constantly wants to know, to learn, to be more. She was always taking courses when I grew up because of that desire to learn and open more opportunities for herself. She regularly tries new things and never thinks to herself, oh, maybe I’m too old for that. There is something so admirable about not letting yourself settle for what you currently know, for your current limitations. It’s never too late to achieve your dreams!
[ 4 ] Education is a good foundation
If there’s one thing my mom never let us get away with, it was slacking in school. From an early age she drilled into us the important of education and that it was non-negotiable that we each get a university degree and from a good institution. I often resented her for this unrelenting push but now, having gone through university, I’m so grateful for her never giving up on us getting a good education. Even though I’m not using my degree directly these days (I have a bachelors in computer science and a masters in computer gaming), the lessons I learned because of my education have been invaluable.
[ 5 ] The importance of saying “I love you”
When we were growing, my mom would tell us she loves us each and every day, multiple times a day. When we left for school, before we hung up the phone, when we went to bed. As human beings, we are so quick to put up walls to protect ourselves from rejection and pain, to talk ourselves out of one of our most important and instinctual human urges – to love and be loved. Whether towards a child, a partner, a parent, a sibling, or a friend, there truly is no such thing as saying “I love you” too much. It means you’re willing to place someone’s needs ahead of your own. You are telling them that they are good enough without needing to be perfect. And there’s no better feeling in the world.
This post was written for a writing series I’m part of called, Together We Mother. Be sure to check out the creative women in the #TogetherWeMother Series by visiting their blogs below: