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Every day, we hear or read advice from one mom to another. Personally, I find that the best advice comes from my own mother. She is the kind of mom that I am aiming to be. She is helpful, generous, loving, kind-hearted and our children (her grandchildren) think the world of her!
There are many lessons that she has taught me, but these pieces of advice are the ones that I hold the most dear.
1). Be a parent first & in the end, you will be their best friend.
My Mom is truly my best friend. Even at a young age, she talked to me about everything (even if it was a touchy subject or an embarrassing subject, at the time). She held me to high standards and she taught me right from wrong. I can remember gossiping about a girl in middle school and when my Mom overheard me on the phone, she said “I am so disappointed”. I remember the feeling of letting her down and I knew that I would think twice before gossiping again. I hope that my children think highly enough of me to not want to let me down, either, causing them to be the BEST that they can be.
2). Be smart with your money.
While my Dad studied finance, among other things, I still turn to my Mom for money-savings tips! If you think that I am a good saver, you should see my Mom. She & my Dad live debt free & mortgage free in a beautiful home on the lake. They saved for a long time and now they have several classic cars, a boat, a jet ski… and it is all because they saved when they were younger & made the right financial choices along the way.
They have always watched their money (similar to what SunTrust reminds use to do) They didn’t buy things that they couldn’t afford and they lived at or below their means, to be able to save.
My Mom only shops the sale racks, she buys things on clearance (even though they can afford more, she watches what they spend and I’m sure she always will). She doesn’t waste. Like I said, she is a generous person (see # 3) and I think that those things come full circle.
3). Be generous
My Mom is so giving. She gives her time, her money, her possessions- she really lives by the “what’s mine is yours” rule, especially with her family. She has been a SHINING example of what a volunteer looks like (Hospice House, Meals on Wheels, American Cancer Society, etc…) She is a nurse, so even her job is helping people.
4). Love your spouse.
My Mom & my Dad have been married for over 35 years. They get along really well- they laugh with each other, huge each other, share everything, spend time together, and treat each other with respect. When my husband & I got married, my Dad said “Remember that if it is important to one of you, it is important.” I see my parents living this every day. (As I share in my tips for a happy marriage)
5). Go to church
My Mom has always had us up on Sunday morning, going to church. It didn’t matter if we were tired, if it was cold outside, if there was something else to do, we went to church. It was important that we kept God first & foremost in our lives and we went to mass every week. Even now, we go to church every Sunday and if we have to miss, we will go to Saturday night mass to make up for missing Sunday morning. It is an important value to teach our children.
6). Always be there for your family
We always had dinner together when I was little. My husband and I do this today with our own children (Here is my post on what studies say about eating dinner together as family) It is important to eat together because you really “talk” (try not to eat in front of the TV so that you can use that time to just connect… here are 10 topics to get conversations started at the dinner table.)
We knew that our family came first when we were little. If we had something to do, our family was always involved. We went on family vacations, spent birthdays and holidays with our families, and we kept our family first.
7). Be happy to see them!
My Mom was always waiting for us when we came home. It is important to give your child your full attention when they see you after being away- let them know that you’ve missed them! Whether it be when you pick them up from preschool or daycare or if you are seeing them when they come home from school- give them your full attention.
I can remember her being happy when we came home- She always had a snack ready for us. (I can remember my brother having those little white powdered doughnuts & a glass of sprite every afternoon- which would shock those that know him now, because he is such a healthy eater!)
After school, my Mom would ask us about our days- while reminding us to put our backpacks, shoes & coats away. I try to do this with our kids, too- to be sure that they have my full attention when we are riding home from preschool or when our oldest son gets off of the bus. I see how quickly they “forget” what they did that day, if I can’t get it out of them right away.
8). Listen to your children:
I watched an episode on Oprah once, where Maya Angelou told Oprah that one time her son brought her a picture that he had made and when he showed it to her, she didn’t give him her full attention and just said something like “its nice”. He then took the picture, ripped it up and threw it away. When she asked him why, he said that it was because she didn’t like it. She vowed then & there to pay attention to everything that he showed her.
Her truly valued her opinion, as I know that our children are valuing ours. I always felt like I had my Mom’s full attention, and I still do. I know that if I am talking to her, she is listening. What a wonderful feeling to know that someone cares about you enough to really LISTEN.
9). SUPPORT their choices!
I can remember when I was in high school and on the homecoming court, my Mom gave me a card BEFORE the ceremony (before we had any idea if I was going to be Queen or not) that said “You will always be a queen in our eyes.” It has been almost 15 years and I can still see her handwriting on that card.
She and my Dad have always been our biggest fans. They have supported our dreams, no matter what they be, and have listened to us (even when I would go “on & on & on” about the same things over & over) and they helped us. They have encouraged us in our education, our marriages, our dreams, our jobs, our parenting ‘jobs’ & in our everyday lives.
I see them encouraging our children now and being their biggest fans. My Mom talks about all of her grandchildren with such pride and love. I pray that I continue this with our own children.
10). SMILE & enjoy your time here.
This lesson was from my Grandma, passed onto my Mom. My Grandma always said “Are we having fun?” She lived a relatively simple life: a little house, on the ocean, with family being the center of her life. She was the happiest woman that I had ever met. Her life is one that I strive to live… being happy with what you have. Make the most of your life. Surround yourself with those that love you. Live every minute to its fullest. As my Mom says, one day, when we are old, we will have plenty of time to rest and when that time comes, we will wish that we weren’t resting, so lets make the most of the moments that we have.
BONUS #11). TAKE CARE OF IT
I forgot this one, but always take care of what you have. Clean every day. Keep things that bring you joy and get rid of ones that make you feel cluttered or stressed (here are 10 things to throw away)
ps- Here is one more important lesson that I have learned, not only from my mom, but along the way… when our kids ask “Mommy, will you lay with me?”
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