As you probably know, Mother’s Day is two days away. And if you didn’t know that, you’ve got less than 48 hours to find your mom a gift.
While I think we should always appreciate our mothers, I love the idea of having a day just for them.
Sean and I will be spending the weekend in Saginaw with his family, but I still wanted to show my mom a little love this weekend. So I give you: Lessons I’ve learned from my mom. (If you want to see my Father’s Day version, check it out here.)
Note: my brother and sister helped me with this list.
Never Pass Up on a Photo Opportunity
I cannot tell you how many photos my mom took of us when we were little. And we hated it. We would always make fun of her yelling “OOH PHOTO OPP PHOTO OPP.” But you know what? I’m so thankful that she did that. We have so many photos to look back on and laugh at.
It’s well-known that many things we think we remember are actually just memories from photos. My family went to Jamestown when I was really little, and the “memories” I have are actually just the photos my mom took. If she hadn’t taken those, I wouldn’t “remember” any of it.
But I’ll never forget that Cara refused to let me churn the butter. She apologized for it in April, though, so we’re good.
Here are some photos she took during our family trip to Ireland:
Don’t Be Afraid to Laugh at Yourself
I love my mom’s laugh. It’s so genuine and infectious. Whenever she makes a fool of herself, she isn’t afraid to laugh.
Here we are at my aunt’s wedding reception. We’re entertaining ourselves by putting spoons on our faces.
She’s a blast.
Make Sure People Feel Remembered and Important
My mom is so good at making people feel important. She’s always putting others first. I’ve still got a long ways to go, but I’m hoping to be as selfless as her one day.
One awesome example is a tablecloth we had. It was just a white tablecloth, but she had anyone who came to visit sign it. Then she embroidered their signature so we would always remember who visited us. How cool is that?!
You Don’t Have to Work for a Nonprofit to Help People
There’s one thing my mom told me that I’ll never forget. We were talking about how I wanted to work for Invisible Children (back when it was still a thing), and she said:
I’ve got three children and they all want to be like their dad. They all want to save the world. Why can’t any of them want to be like me and work for a living? Then you can donate your money.
I just thought it spoke volumes. You don’t have to work for next-to-nothing to help people. In fact, that might actually make matters worse. Someone has to help pay the bills, don’t they?
Spoiling Your Child ≠ Loving Your Child Well
We did not have a bad childhood by any means. We were relatively well-off, but my parents refused to spoil us. (They left that to the godparents.)
We were only allowed to have birthday parties once every three years. We still celebrated our birthdays, but the two years in between parties were just family gatherings. It doesn’t mean she loved us any less than parents who let their children have birthday parties every year. She loved us just as much, if not more, than those parents.
We also had to purchase our own first car. She helped teach us how to save over the years so we would be able to afford it, but it came out of our own savings accounts. She taught us patience, independence, and how to care for our own things.
Don’t Quit Unless You Have a Good Reason
We were not allowed to quit sports without a good reason. My brother Dan, for example, didn’t really like track, but he made a commitment to play the season. He had to stick with it.
Similarly, she has been a rockstar with her exercising. She wasn’t been happy with her weight, so she starting exercising regularly and eating healthier. And it has been so good for her.
She walked at least 10,000 steps every single day in 2014. Every. Day. That includes the days she spent 10 hours in the car driving to or from North Carolina. She would get home at 10 p.m. and take the dog for a walk to get her 10,000 steps in. What a champion.
I’m pretty sure my mom is the best. What makes your mom great?