Dear Mom, Part 2

Motherhood is the great mesh in which all human relations are entangled, in which lurk our most elemental assumptions about love and power.” – Adrienne Rich

Today is my grandmother’s birthday and even though she’s been gone for 22 years, I still mark this day in celebration of a confident woman who led a purposeful life even with a limited education.  So it seems like a perfect opportunity to post the results of the contributions you all made about what we learned from mothers.

I have broken the contributions into sections but left them as they were written – because they are all written by talented writers who say it best in their own words. I’ve linked to each person’s blog to provide ready access to more of that amazing writing by each of these authors.

Skills/Practical Advice

There were many interesting skills and practical advice taught by mothers:

  • TamaraKulish: Even though I had a very tumultuous relationship with my mother, I’m still grateful for her example of a strong woman who taught her son and daughter how to take care of themselves. We both learned not only how to cook, clean, and do laundry, but we both learned how to use hand and power tools to make minor repairs around the house. We learned a strong work ethic and the value of completing tasks properly!
  • MSW Blog: My mom has taught me so many things, but the one that got me through my years of academia was,” Always keep an emergency $20 bill in your, wallet it will get you through more jams than you can imagine.” She was of course correct as I was able to replace stockings, late night snacks, cover taxi fare, study supplies etc.
  • Rebecca Cuningham: My mom taught me women can do anything and everything; play sports, wield a hammer for Habitat, teach math…
  • Swinged Cat: My mom taught me that Sauvignon blanc wines from the Marlborough region of New Zealand are far superior.

The last being from the always funny Mark Petruska might be tongue in cheek but I don’t know.

By Example

And there were a lot of suggestions of things taught by example:

  • Ashley Peterson: I’m grateful that my mom instilled a love a reading in me.
  • Jane Fritz: All that having been said, my mother (1917-1974) was a remarkable, strong woman. Although in a very strong and mutually supportive marriage in a different time, when many considered the man to be the provider, by example the importance for a woman to have a career of her own. She taught me by example the importance of lifelong learning, of being informed, and of having the confidence to use her voice. And, along with many other things, she gave me a lifelong love of music and books. I have missed her every day for nearly 50 years now.
  • Finding Grace: When I think about what my mom taught me, some of it was overt and purposeful, but some of it was through example… it was just part of who she was. My mom taught me to give compliments freely (she would always compliment people, even random strangers), she taught me that learning to love began with learning to love myself, she taught me to set boundaries with others, she taught me that family and connection is everything, she modeled for me how to be strong in the face of adversity, and she taught me a love of growing things (people, pets, flowers, etc.). My mom was good at meeting a person where they were. She was supportive and encouraging, without being overbearing. Oh, and she also taught us to own up to our mistakes head on. She was all about integrity.
  • Julia Preston: I was raised in the “Children are to be seen and not heard” era. While she did not easily fit into the warm and fuzzy category, my mother was an outstanding role model. Her love was expressed by example rather than hugs. We never knew until we were adults that she detested vegetables, which she faithfully ate every night of our youth to set a good example. She passed away at 101, by which time, hugs became a part of our daily lives. I miss her every day.

And of course, love…

And there was a strong theme of love to the contributions including:

  • DutchIl: my Mom taught me to follow my heart and my dreams and be me… 
  • Hart Inspiratons: My mom taught me many things, and did me many things for me (for which I am grateful), but her primary lesson was to love myself. I’ve been processing that one my whole life. 

For our children

And finally in the category of motherly advice to give to children, there was this wonderful contribution from MSW Blog:

  • MSW Blog: The advice I would pass on to my children is listen. truly listen to what a person is saying, as it will allow you to not only communicate more clearly but obtain a clearer picture of the whole person.

And for interesting and thought-provoking reading, which is what Jane Fritz always provides along with some humor, Jane wrote a wonderful post on her Robby Robin’s blog entitled Mother’s Day: appreciation but no glorification please!

The Hot Goddess published a great post about lessons both good and bad that she learned from her mom and as befitting her gifted and entertaining blog, it is well-worth reading.

(featured photo from Pexels)

29 thoughts on “Dear Mom, Part 2

  1. My mother taught me self-care was important. Went to an uncomfortable orthodontist appointment, okay let’s treat ourselves to a root beer float after at A&W. Needed a mental health day from school, okay she’d call me in sick as long as I promised I wasn’t trying to get out of a quiz or a test. Dental cleanings everything six months, not optional – she said she learned that from her mother.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What life-sustaining and fulfilling lessons from your mom! I suspect many mothers forget to teach self-care because sometimes parenting means they forget to do it by example. I love this comment from you about this incredibly important aspect of life!

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      1. Silly me—I forgot to say how much I appreciate your mention of me in your delightful post. I loved reading the responses from others. So many clever and creative mom moments to enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness, Wynne! How did I miss this, and what is the Universe trying to tell me? I posted about lessons from my mother today, after writing the post last week. I had no idea you’d posted this today until now. Thank you for your kindness in mentioning THG here. Thank you, also, for sharing your examples of great mothering in action as you raise your children. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a lovely compliment. Thanks, Natalie! I loved your blog post about mothering lessons learned and updated this one to point to it! Such a great read!

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  3. Thanks so much for including my words of mom appreciation in your post. I enjoyed reading all the entries! Look forward to browsing their sites. PS Our Cuningham is spelled differently than most 😉 -Rebecca

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My mother taught me to do my best, not take my failures too seriously, and how to make creamed chipped beef on toast without a recipe. Not sure which piece of advice I’ve used the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I LOVED reading this post, Wynne. I also thought that keeping each writer’s thoughts in their own words was a fantastic idea. As a qualitative researcher, this was a technique that I used while writing my dissertation study. I feel this technique protects the true intention and richness of the author’s feelings. Have a beautiful weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How fun to learn a little more about you, Grace! I can’t say that I came upon it with the rigor you probably did but it just didn’t seem right when I tried to summarize the comments. But you are spot on – this technique protects the intention and richness. Hope you have a lovely weekend too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. All wonderful lessons! So meaningful when seen all together! Thank you so very much for including me in this list! I’m honored!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are all wonderful reflections about mothers, who make life possible for all of us, literally, and love, lessons and life. A happy belated Mothers Day to all! 💕💐

    Liked by 1 person

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