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MamaVoices: What We Learned From Our Mama

To celebrate Mother’s Day the TodaysMama staff shares the little life lessons that we learned from the women who helped make us who we are today – our Mamas.

Things my Mama taught me…

  • The difference between being kind and being a pushover.
  • “The Mama Bear Rule”, go with the flow…unless someone messes with your cub.
  • That you can be wildly successful in business AND as a parent.
  • That every situation has a silver lining.
  • Don’t let people push your buttons.
  • To cherish the people that make you laugh out loud.
  • Be nice – you never know who could be your next boss.
  • That taking the high road is easier to live with in the long run.
  • Quality beats quantity every time…friends…time…booze…baked goods…
  • That having the latest trendy gadget isn’t necessary…unless you can play music on it. (I swear that woman had a CD player a full decade before it became a mainstream piece of stereo equipment.)
  • If I wanted to be taken seriously in business, “don’t offer to take notes or get the coffee”.
  • How to vacation properly: sleep late, eat good food, wander around and put your feet up.
  • That the people that aggravate us the most are the most deserving of our patience.

-Erin O.

When asked what I inherited and learned from my mother, my large hips and “saddlebags” immediately come to mind. Swimsuit season is right around the corner, so it’s “top of mind awareness” right now! Of course, I can’t really blame my mom for these, since she inherited them from her mom (and so on and so on, etc.)

I guess I inherited or learned all those sayings that I swore I’d NEVER say when I became a mother. Toss that idea out the window, because they’re out of my mouth before I even realize that I’ve said a “momisim”. The “Were you born in a barn?” and “Turn out the lights, for heaven’s sake” sayings are part of my vocabulary (even though I’m not sure why heaven would be so concerned about having the lights turned off!)

But seriously, as much as we say we won’t become our mothers, we do. And it’s a good thing. Where else would I have learned to take a meal to someone who’s just gotten home from the hospital, drive my son to every baseball, soccer, and swim event and volunteer for many community organizations?

My mom was a working mom when it wasn’t that common. So in addition to working full time, she made sure I was at piano and swim lessons and then scrubbed the kitchen floor on her hands and knees at midnight to get it all done. What an example of tireless effort on her part. I never truly appreciated her until becoming a mom myself.

KUDOS to all our moms…they weren’t perfect, but they were great examples for all of us! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

-Kimeri O.


The greatest things I inherited from my mom were her lessons on life. As any parenting specialist will tell you, children learn the most from what you do, not what you say. From personal experience, I know this is true. Here are just a few things I learned from Mom:

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again: My mother never let me give up. Whether I was trying out for a role in the school play or learning how to do a back-hand-spring, my mom was there telling me to keep going. When I burned my first meal in the crock pot, she made me try again. When I got frustrated with breastfeeding, she urged me not to quit. Because of this persistence, I HAVE succeeded at many things– mostly, thanks to Mom.

Learn the basics: Mom made sure I was going to survive without her there. She wouldn’t have let me leave the house for college without teaching me how to do my own wash, mend my pants, keep my medicine cabinet stocked and balance my checkbook. Before I got married, she made sure I knew how to make gravy, bake meatloaf, iron dress shirts, use a sewing machine, scrub the oven and change the sheets. And most of all, she wouldn’t have allowed me to bring my baby home from the hospital without making sure I knew how to check for a fever, warm up a bottle, clean behind their ears and wrap them up warmly. In every step of life, she made sure I knew the basics.

Learn from your mistakes: I had my share of being the problem child. I still laugh when I remember how I’d do something so bad that Mom needed to go get “The Wooden Spoon”. The dreaded Wooden Spoon was mostly a threat, but upon occasion it would find itself whacking my backside. Even if I escaped its smack, I was learning a lesson… not to peel the putty off Dad’s latest project, not to talk back, not to tease my brother, and above all– not to disrespect Mom.

I guess I’m like everyone else; I think I have the best mother in the world. But I have good cause to think this way… The tangible and intangible lessons she taught are a priceless inheritance. They are forever instilled within me only to be sown as new seeds in my own family.

-Rebecca D.


Always follow the recipe.

Unlike most of America, dinner was served at our house every night of the week. A proper meal, complete with main dish, side vegetables or fruit, salad and dessert. My mom worked a few nights a week at a local pharmacy, but still found the time to have dinner ready for us even though she wasn’t there. My mother is an excellent cook, and she passed some of that on to me, but I have a lot to learn.

Like, for instance, follow the recipe. My mom never said those exact words to me but they were implied every time she gave me cooking advice. When I read a recipe I am always formulating a newfangled way to make it easier, faster and yummier. Forget that the recipe has been perfected by a real chef, I’m a homemaker flying by the seat of my pants. Surely I can do it better. It never works out, even as I write this I know I’ll do it again. Apparently I still have some growing up to do.

The “follow the recipe” advice can easily be applied to life.

Even though we are younger and have less experience than our parents we seem to think we know more. Yes, something may have been done one way for years but surely there’s a better and quicker way. Generally not the case, sometimes it’s just easier to do it the way you’ve been taught.

I have found this especially helpful in parenting. In an age where we mistakenly fall into worshipping our children and focusing our entire lives around them it’s good to draw on the parenting advice from our parents. They’ve done it before; they know what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes there’s no need to start from scratch when the recipe is right there for you.

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