I wanted to write this entry on Mothers Day, but I was spending time with my mom and Rosebud. My mom came over for the afternoon and made me a floral arrangement for my door. Rosebud and I took her out to dinner. I’ve been thinking about all the lessons my mom has taught me and the things she has done for me over the years. Here are just a few of them.
1. She taught me to be strong. She raised my brothers and I as a single mother. She always worked full-time, made home cooked meals, spent time with us while taking care of her parents. Now that I am a single mom who works while raising a child and doing my best to create a loving home for her, I appreciate what my mom did even more. Sometimes she seemed stressed and impatient back then and now I’m the one who gets stressed and impatient. Now I understand why. When you’re running late for work, when you just want to get dinner on the table or when you just want a quiet moment to yourself. When you live for your kids hugs and laughter, but at the same time you live for a brief period of time when you can relax.
2. She was my biggest advocate. At school when teachers couldn’t or wouldn’t teach me. When the school’s administration would argue about paying for adaptive technology. When some people thought I’d be better educated if I were sent to a school out of state. She spoke out. She got them to give me what I needed and she knew and believed I’d be better off living at home with my family. I’d be a completely different person today if she hadn’t advocated for me in this way. She hasn’t been the best at speaking up for herself and often let people treat her poorly, but she’s a mama bear when it comes to getting her children what they need. So she has taught me two things. First to advocate for my own children and second, to advocate for myself and not let others walk all over me. That has been the case for a long time and I am doing the best to break that cycle for myself, but most of all for Rosebud.
3. She reminds me everyday to be kind. I’ll admit I’m pretty jaded and don’t have much faith in most people. I would do anything for those close to my heart, but it takes me a long time to build trust. My mom on the other hand, believes the best in everyone. She’s always the first to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, a second chance or a helping hand. I usually get annoyed with her over this because she’s kind to people over and over again, but then she is disappointed when they don’t treat her with kindness in return. I can appreciate her kindness and generosity and feel it has made a huge impact on the way I am raising Rosebud. I focus a lot on empathy, doing things for others, being polite etc. Sometimes a little kindness goes a long way and in today’s society we could definitely use a little more kindness.
4. She instilled the love of gift giving. Gift giving has always been important to me. when I read the book of the five love languages, I discovered that my love language is gifts. This stems from my childhood. My mom has always been a gift giver. She goes all out on Christmas and often buys little gifts just because. That’s how I learned to show my love and appreciation. Now I’m the one going all out on holidays and buying gifts just because. If I see something that someone in my life would love, I have to get it for them. It means a lot to me to make them smile and for me a gift is usually tied to a memory. So even if I no longer have contact with a person but think of them fondly, I still have their gift and the memory.
5. She’s given me a strong work ethic. I believe that in order to get anywhere, you need to work hard. My mom has always been a worker and has devoted so much time and energy to her jobs over the years. I think there is an amazing sense of pride and accomplishment when you can look at the things you have and know that you got them because you worked for them. You made them happen! I’ve gotten the jobs I’ve had because I worked hard to prove myself. Often times without pay in the beginning. I’m able to maintain my home, care for my pets and provide for Rosebud because I work hard. I am also working hard to change my career path and better myself. These things take time and dedication. I don’t believe in sitting around and waiting for things to come to me. You have to put out the effort and make your own opportunities. While I have a strong work ethic like my mom’s, I’ve come to realize the importance of creating a work life balance. It’s very important to me that I spend as much time as possible with Rosebud. She’ll only be little once and this time is so precious.
In reality, all of parenting is a balancing act. If you work, you have to balance between work and family. If you stay at home, you have to balance between your kids and seeing yourself as a whole being instead of just someone’s mom. Then when it comes to your own parents, you have to take the lessons they taught you and apply them in your own parenting. Sometimes that means leaving some of those lessons behind. Maybe there’s something you want to do better. Maybe there’s something you wish your parents had done that you are now doing with your own children. These things can bring up complicated feelings and can be difficult to sort out.
I want to end this entry by thanking my mom for being there for me all these years. Thank you for supporting me even when we didn’t agree. Thank you for caring for Rosebud. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for loving me even when I’m not easy to be around. Thank you for all the little things you do day after day that make my life just a little easier. They are very much appreciated.
My mom would never want a picture of herself on here so I will share another floral arrangement she made for me. She loves to make these and I like how it is her way of being creative. She doesn’t bring out her creative side too often.