My mom and me. I’m about one year old, which would make her the age I am today.
As Mother’s Day inched closer I was thinking of all the different gifts I was going to include in my “Mother’s Day Gift Guide” post. From perfumes to candles, jewelry, etc. But in the end – I decided to get a little more personal today by sharing with you all the little gifts my mom has given ME over the years.
From her tiny tid-bits to her words of wisdom, my mom (or as my sister and I affectionately call her- “Momma Momma”) has always offered up helpful advice, and a lot of it has stuck with me. I know I’ll pass down some of these to my children as well. So, from the sentimental to the silly, here are the things my momma taught me…
You can be whatever you want to be, but you have to work at it
This is something every mother should tell their child every single day. I grew up with my parents telling me to go after my dreams and encouraging me to take risks. Even when it meant moving across the country, my mom always supported me. But I knew that if I wanted to achieve my goals I would have to work hard.
You’ll have to work twice as hard to prove yourself simply because you’re a woman
She waited to teach me this lesson until I got out of college and started my first job. I’m not going to go on some feminist rant, but it is no doubt harder for women in the work-world. If you don’t talk enough you’re seen as weak. Talk too much and you’re not a lady. When I was reporting at my first job people were more inclined to send me emails commenting about how my hair looked frizzy or that my lipstick shade wasn’t right rather than what I was actually saying. I even had a man tell me at a gas station that I looked much “puffier” on air than in person. It stings at first. Then, it drives you. I don’t want to be part of the boys’ club. I want my own table sitting with all the other women out there who work twice as hard for what they want. By the way, mom would be at the head of that table.
Touring Uruguay – just being a #BossLady
Never go to a party empty handed
Whether it’s a desert, a dip or wine… you should always bring something. If they’re inviting you over, it’s just good etiquette.
My Bridal Shower. She knows how to host a party!
You should know at least five good dishes
I’m not a chef, nor do I claim to be. When I got married I knew how to make spaghetti and that’s about it. (But it was damn good spaghetti!) My momma is from the south where not cooking is not an option. She gave me five good recipes that my husband loves. I try to make new meals as well… but the five are always in rotation.
I don’t care if you fall in love with someone who’s white, black or purple polka-dotted, as long as he’s a good man that treats you right.
I told you my mom was from the south. She’s specifically from Selma, Alabama. She was young when Martin Luther King Jr. led the historical march, but she was there. She didn’t take on the attitude of her location, but instead had an open mind. She told me this piece of advice when I was about 8 years old and I never forgot it. Love is the greatest gift of all, and skin color should have nothing to do with how you feel about someone.
The day of my wedding. I would’ve still married my husband even if he was purple polka-dotted.
Not as sentimental – but still a pretty funny piece of advice. I got this lesson while picking my nose as a child. (Oh – don’t act like you didn’t do it!) Of course you’re not supposed to eat your boogers, so she told me to just “flick ’em”. After seeing me flick my boogers everywhere while at the grocery store, she revised this saying by telling me to take a tissue and clean out my nose in private. She had to again revise her statement after finding my collection of dirty Kleenex’s in the crack of my bed. I never knew I was supposed to throw the tissues in the trash. Lesson learned.
Christmastime a few years back. I wasn’t flicking boogers anymore by this point.
You should always have a nice black dress in your closet
One you can wear to church, a funeral or on a date. A good dress is worth spending the money on.
Pearls go with everything
Another southern sentiment. I rarely wear pearls, but when I do I always think of my mom.
Miss Central Alabama Fair – most assuredly wearing pearls.
Speak your mind, but you don’t always have to say EVERYTHING you’re thinking
Some opinions are better left in your head, and talking about politics or religion at the dinner table can make things awkward.
Dress for the job you want
I started one of my jobs working part-time as an associate producer, but really wanted to report. I got up everyday to do my hair and makeup and wear TV appropriate clothing. One day the reporter was out, and I got my chance. Things fell into place shortly after that. Had I not been dressing for the job I wanted I never would’ve had that opportunity.
You have to learn to love yourself before you can love anyone else
This one is courtesy of my sister. If you don’t love yourself, then how could you possibly show love for another person? Our partners are a reflection of us. We want to know they are drawn to the same things we are so that they can understand us, and we can understand them.
One of my favorite pictures of her. Makeup-free and happy as can be.
Fish doesn’t keep
I went against this rule once. That was a bad day.
Don’t stare at the sun
Another piece of advice I ignored when I was around five years old. I did it out of pure rebellion. Neither one of my parents had to wear glasses. I do. Coincidence? I think not. Don’t stare at the sun.
On the back porch having some wine. I’m staring at the sun…again.
Always have faith and put it in God’s hands
This is by far my favorite. Life is scary and most of the time confusing. However, we don’t need to be anxious if we just put it in God’s hands and do the best we can do. Everything will work out in the end. My mom still tells me this all the time and lives by what she says. She’s been battling ovarian cancer for more than five years now. One doctor even called her an enigma because her body is able to withstand some of the toughest of treatments. Throughout her battle she continues to work as a real-estate agent and is a top performer. She works out when she can, but it’s not so much to keep her figure anymore as it is to keep her strength up so she can continue to fight. The reason she’s able to do all of this is because of her relationship with God. She’s a woman of faith who’s tough as nails with a gentle heart. She’s a real-life superhero and someone I truly admire.
So thank you Mom for all of these little life lessons you’ve given me (and continue to give me). Happy Mother’s Day to all of you remarkable moms out there!
What life lessons has your mom taught you? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below. 🙂