It’s Mother’s Day! Today we celebrate the women who mean the most to us, from our biological mothers, to our adopted mothers, to the aunts, grandmothers, godmothers, and even our best-friend’s moms and mother-in-laws, who have impacted our lives in so many ways.
So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I would like to take a moment to share some lessons others have learned from their moms and other important female figures in their lives, as well as to share some things I learned from my own mom.
*Disclaimer: There may be some feels ahead.
Jacob B., SJ
- If you are on a long car trip and see a road with a weird name, take it and see where it goes.
- There is no point in making chocolate chip cookies and giving the mixing bowl to someone to lick if there are not some chocolate chips left in it.
- The kitchen sink is a perfectly logical place to wash waist-length hair when you don’t have a shower in the house.
- The joy of having a guest is more important than the angst of having an untidy house.
- It is OK if your child eats a bug.
“My mom taught me to be strong through the storm. She also taught me the joy of laughter. And how to cheat playing dominoes… [which] she learned from her mom.”
“I learned to pray ‘through the moment’ from my mom.”
- Be true to your beliefs, no matter how unpopular they are. Unless they’re illegal, then don’t do them!
- How to actually clean a house and everything that goes along with it–dishes, clothes, ironing, bathrooms, etc.
- Keeping your head up in hard times and not letting it affect your relationships in a negative way; taking it out on other people, being a complainer, etc. Put your big girl panties on but don’t be afraid to cry or ask for help from those closest to you.
- Being a good Catholic woman. Even if I don’t practice it often enough, I strive to be as devoted as her.
- Being a great mom that is not her child’s best-friend by giving them everything their heart’s desire, but by teaching them love, honesty, patience, kindness, acceptance, hard-work, sacrifice, generosity, and tough love.
“My mom taught me love, prayer obedience, and service to others.”
“My mom taught me patience and how to love unconditionally.”
“I learned how to cook from my mom!”
“My mom taught me to find joy even when something went wrong, to love even when a person seemed unlovable, to honor and respect your husband and to honor the vow made to each other. Plus, she had made me realize you are never too old to learn something new. She taught me to “dance” every opportunity I could, and I DO!!”
“My mom taught me how to live simply, laugh often, and how to “whip up” a party for 50 with next to nothing in the refrigerator. When I was older and would come to her with friend drama she told me, ‘when people tell you who they are… listen.’ I ❤ that.”
“I learned how to garden, cook, love being a mom to my own kiddos, put God first.”
“From my mom:
- Never stop at sketchy looking places on a road trip no matter how bad you have to pee.
- Never leave the house looking anything than half your best because you never know who you will meet.
- Stop and pick the flowers (even in the outfield during a little league game)
- You can never take too many pictures. Always document the things that could become the best memories.
- A strand of pearls and red lipstick goes with just about everything.
From my grandma:
- Never be late to anything.
- Always believe in the best of people.
- A sale is always a good reason to shop.
- Don’t forget to travel
- Love your husband and children and grandchildren forever unconditionally.”
“My mom taught me to be true to myself, to develop a social conscience and to practice justice. She also taught me love generously and unconditionally. She tried to teach me how to be graceful and gracious. Still working on that. Oh, and last but not least she taught me to always wear lipstick!”
“My mom taught me all the basic stuff like how to sew and cook and clean, but she also taught me to stand firm in my beliefs, even when the rest of the world stands against me.”
And a few lessons that my mom taught me:
- Strength does not mean you have no moments of weakness, it means you’re able to pick yourself up off the ground, dust the dirt from your butt, and tread on.
- PICK YOUR BATTLES! This bit of wisdom originally applied to my children, but I have carried it into my everyday life–well, at least when I have to leave the house and deal with society.
- Just because someone is different, doesn’t make them less deserving of love, respect, and compassion; I learned this over the years after we learned that my little brother had a condition called Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. (Side note: they gave him til the age of 5 to live… he’s now 23!)
- Menus and budgets. My mom’s a legal secretary, but she should be a professional organizer.
- To give and not count the cost: my mom isn’t Catholic, but she truly embodies this teaching of St. Ignatius of Loyola. It took me until I was an adult to finally see just how deep her compassion runs, because I was too busy looking at all the things she wouldn’t give me or let me have as a teenager. (Sorry, mom!)
To all the moms out there, and to all the women who share their mothering spirit even with children who are not their own, thank you for all that you do, have done, and will continue to do.
Thank you to all the moms who watch down on their children from heaven, who still continue to work on their behalf. Truly, a mother’s work is never done!
Thank you to the moms who have children in heaven.
Thank you to the moms struggling to conceive, but who haven’t given up hope (and to the fathers and extended family).
Thank you to all single fathers out there, pulling double duty to provide for their child(ren) emotionally, financially, and spiritually.
You may be exhausted, but you’re doing great. Keep going. Keep fighting the good fight.