The lovefest for moms that shows up for moms each Mother’s Day others day is a wondrous thing. Among the “my mom is the best” and “I wouldn’t be the person I am without her” messages there is there a certain authenticity missing? Yes, we have this day to take a special time out to honor our mothers and that is appreciated. But is the vapid public “you are the best mom” enough? What if you took a moment to think it over and truly share with your mom the impact she has had?
This inspiration comes on the heels of a gift from my son on this mother’s day. He created a book in his second grade class where he answered prompts about what he loves about me as his mom. I was inspired by his insightfulness. One of my favorites was where he shared that if he could buy me anything, he would buy me a workshop. He knows my penchant to create and he sees the monthly struggle to maintain my studio, he wants one I don’t have to worry about. That’s paying attention.
For a moment I wondered where he got this thoughtfulness, then I realized, it is from me. This is the kind of attention I pay to people, and he is learning it. So where did I learn it?
I learned from my mom.
This inspired me to think of the other things I learned from her and I came up with 5 big ones.
- Work hard.
My mom was my first boss in the professional environment. She managed the grocery store I started out as a trash hauler and stocker with in our small town. I wasn’t cut any slack for being the manager’s kid, in fact, I think she expected more. My mom worked hard and simply expected me, and everyone else to pull their weight. I learned my first lessons on work ethic from my mom.
- There is no wrong spiritual perspective.
I grew up in a very spiritually open environment. My parents allowed me to attend any church I wanted to as I grew up. As I attended vacation bible schools with friends I was exposed to lots of different opinions. In my home we discussed these experiences and spoke more in the metaphysical realm with crystals and rocks, guides and a more direct route to the universal creation spirit. My mom taught me that God is everywhere, not somewhere.
- There are idiots among us.
It may sound harsh, but it is true. I learned that it was okay to not like everyone. I learned that not everyone makes good choices in their life and that I don’t have to tolerate those who don’t in my life. There are idiots out there doing dumb stuff, I don’t have to be one of them; watching others be ridiculous is lesson enough. She taught me to be smarter than may be asked for in any situation, rise above it and be the person I can be and find my own way.
- Your kids come first, and it’s okay to resent that once in a while.
We didn’t have a lot growing up. We just didn’t. My dad was a construction worker in a small town with weather that could sometimes wreak havoc on a work schedule. When mom worked, it was often for lower paying jobs that asked for a lot from her. With three of us wanting food, clothes and activities both my parents did go without. At the time I didn’t get it. I didn’t get what they gave up to keep ballet shoes on my feet, cheer bloomers on my butt, skate boards and soccer cleats on my brothers and more. I do remember times of my mother despairing about not being able to do or have something she wanted. And that was okay. It was okay to be honest about that. Because even though she didn’t always like it, she put us first and she didn’t lie to herself about not always liking it.
- Be who you are.
My mom has always just been who she is. In the face of push back from her family, societal expectations, even her own self judgement, she always comes back to being who she is. This hasn’t always been a happy road for her. But she is. She knows at the end of every day that she is just who she is and she can feel good about that.
Each of these things that are true about my mom are things I have carried as lessons for me. I have adapted and learned and these things have shaped me in the mom and person I am today. Being a mom isn’t like the movies or the magazines or the ideas we have about being a mom. It certainly isn’t like the picturesque portrayal of motherhood we want to show on social media at times. Being a real mom is about being real, the good and the bad and my mom has shown me what a real mom is and does.
So because I am crappy at actually saying these things to her, I am writing them and hoping they will inspire you to share your truth with your mom in whatever way feels best for you. Write your mom a letter, a message, an email or give her a call or visit. The cool thing about most moms, is no matter what you do, she’ll love you for it as much as she always has.
Jennifer Murphy lives in passionate pursuit of the Art of Living Dangerously through her work as life coach, artist, writer and single mother. Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru