10 Things My Mother Taught Me
Recently, I was asked to pick one lesson my mother taught me, and I found myself quiet for several minutes—how could I pick just one thing? My mother taught me nearly everything I know. If it wasn’t for her and the example she set, I honestly don’t know who I would be.
There’s no doubt that all of our mothers (or mother figures) have impacted and shaped who we are today—whether it was intentional or not, whether we knew it at the time or not and whether we valued it immediately or not.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing ten things my mama taught me.
To Be Independent
My mother was very adamant about being an independent woman. As a single parent, I know my mother wanted to instill this trait in me not only because she wanted me to grow up to rely on myself for financial stability but also because she wanted me to take responsibility in creating my own happiness.
Achieving Success Is Hard, But Not Impossible
My mother forewarned me about gender inequality. Being a woman would make things more challenging, but it didn’t mean getting what I wanted was impossible. As a woman, I would have to work harder, pay closer attention to detail, and be more persistent but I could still be anything I wanted to be.
To Work Hard
In the last fifteen years of my life, I’ve watched my mother get a promotion nearly every two years. It’s been a fun guessing game trying to keep up with her ever-changing job title. She is our family’s first-hand example of what shattering glass ceilings mean. She continues to demonstrate that endless hard work is the key to success.
Always Tell The Truth
You were pretty much done if you told a lie in my house. Nuff said!
Don’t Take Shit From Anyone
Standing up for myself is something my mother taught me to do at a very early age. My mother said things like “you never lay your hands on another person, but if someone hits you, you better hit them right back!”
You Can’t Change People
In my 20’s I called my mother crying over a breakup and after saying “I never liked that guy anyway,” she explained to me that while we all can grow and evolve, only those who want to change will. It was my first real understanding that trying to change a man was a waste of time and not at all my responsibility anyway.
To “Look It Up”
I can still hear my mother screaming back at me “look it up in the dictionary, Denise.” I can’t remember a time when my mother just gave me the spelling of a word. Or an answer to any question. Instead, she encouraged me to find the answers on my own. It’s no wonder I still spend the wee hours of the night down a rabbit hole researching everything under the sun.
Money Isn’t Everything
My mother never sugar coated things—money is needed to live, to eat, to survive and my mother loves beautiful things just like the next person. But success was never measured by a paycheck in my house. Money might get you nice things, but money isn’t everything. Family is everything! How you treat people is everything! How you give back is everything! “All the money in the world can’t buy you happiness, can’t buy you love, and can’t buy you peace.”
Mama Knows Best
I may not have realized this till I had my own baby girl, but the truth is mom really does know best. And she’s almost always right too!
To Be Myself
One of the greatest lessons my mother taught me was always to be myself. Following the crowd is easy. Taking the path that may be less traveled but resonates more with your heart is the way to go. Thanks to my mother I know that individuality is where it’s at.
I will forever be in awe that my mother had me at seventeen years old and was a single parent. I’ve always appreciated the sacrifices she made in her life to give me the very best she could. As a mother now, I truly understand the magnitude of her love.
“Thank you, Mommy! I love you, big a lot!”