In my formative years, I am sad to admit that I was the most critical of my mother.
We suffered from what experts would identify as ‘mutual incomprehensibility’, and I believe at times we still do; however, as I grow more and more into womanhood and our bond has been strengthened by experience, I have had the amazing opportunity to gain a true sense of my mother and have come to admire her in many ways ( though she probably doesn’t believe me). For whatever reason, I once found solace in reducing all my problems as some fault of my mother’s inability to prepare me for adulthood. Instead of seeking advice and wisdom, I rebelled! Looking back, I now realize she only wanted to protect me, to help me, but as a teen that felt like control and restraint. So, in the name of self expression or perhaps teen angst, I enjoyed playing games of opposite with her. If she told me to slow down i sped up , if she told me to wait, i would rush thru, Sometimes I was right and things worked out well, but overall i hit my ass, a lot! As I have gotten a bit older with a few more years of experience I don’t regret blazing my own trail. After all, in life there will be failure—but I do wish I had let up on my Mom a bit. Had not criticized her so much, and accepted her effort as earnest and well intended. Granted she was no June Cleaver, but June Cleaver could not have prepared me for life the way my Mom has. Here are a few of the best lessons she has given me to date:
1.Know thy Worth:
My mom is a HUSTLER.Sometimes I feel like my mom can string gold, she has such a flair for making money. In reality one cannot string gold, instead she works hard and she makes sure that she is paid accordingly. My mother is not the girl that goes into the interview and is just grateful to be considered. No, she goes in the room knowing that she is an asset and that the relationship is mutually beneficial. No-one tells her how much she will get paid, she negotiates her pay. This skill is one that I try to remember in all aspects of my life. Your value is not defined by anyone but you and everything is negotiable.
2. Treat Yo Self
Life is tough, responsibilities are real… day in and day out it never ends, and very few get an exception. So how do you not go crazy from the pressure? Teat yourself! My mom is a firm believer that one should be able to enjoy the finer luxuries in life. Enjoy a fine meal or a pair of jeans that cost a bit more than you like… It doesn’t make you irresponsible, its just your way of appreciating your own effort. Lets be honest, no-one is ever going to appreciate you and thank you for all the extra hours you worked, or for studying until the wee hours of the morning, so thank yourself!
3. Nobody Can Be You I remember some boy I liked decided he liked another girl better (fucking boys.. am I right?), I was so sad. I found the girl and analyzed her photos and couldn’t deny the fact that she was pretty, which strangely made me sadder. Oh! How I wanted her to be a troll with a hump and a crooked nose and if possible maybe a little hairy. But she was not, and though I don’t remember which boy I was crying over ,or what the girl looked like—I do remember what my mom said to me. “ She can be prettier, she can be smarter, she might even be funny… but she is not you and can not be you!” You are beautiful and amazing because of who you are, and though some people may not like you or like someone else better, they can never replace you.
4. Stand Up for Yourself
Charlene don’t take no shit! and neither does her children. Now I’m sure she probably wishes we would, especially when she is the one giving us shit; but I’m also pretty confident she can at least appreciate the fact that she raised some strong willed young women. I am not afraid to speak my mind. I will not shy away from the difficult conversation. I will not accept anything less than I deserve. This has sometimes caused me problems, or slowed me down, but it was worth it, in standing up for myself I learned to respect myself and my ideas.
5.It’s Never to late to Change My mom knows she isn’t perfect, and she doesn’t make excuses—she makes changes. As a child, I had the great fortune of watching my mother grow, mature and embrace the constant change that life brings our way.By watching her pursue life this way, she has taught me never to fear the future.I admire her for this, she is always looking for opportunities to better herself, whether it be physically , financially, spiritually or mentally.She never says ‘its to late’ or ‘if i had known sooner’ , there is never a better time than the present time when it comes to setting goals and reaching milestones. And if for some reason, it doesn’t go her way, she just tries again.
Stop reading this, and go call your Mom!Well wait–Before you go, tell me the best lesson your Mom ever taught you, and then share this post with your Mom. Hey, you never know; she might buy you a NEW pair of shoes!!