Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

What we learned from our mothers:

What is the number one thing you learned from the first person in your life?
By Motherpedia
Date: May 10 2015
Tags: mother's day,
Editor Rating:

Chances are there's something you do regularly or which characterises you that you learned from your mum.

And since Mother's Day is about celebrating the women who gave us so much, we tapped into some of Motherpedia’s regulars to share the meaningful practices or values they inherited from their mothers.

Feel free to share yours with us too in our comments section.

Beverly Goldsmith

My mother’s favourite rule comes from a Walt Disney film – Bambi. Many times she’d remind me: “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all”. It’s been a lesson worth learning – one that’s helped me to foster such qualities as grace, kindness, and respect in my thoughts and actions towards others, and, stopped me “gossiping”. The effect?  Positive, happy relationships at home and work.

Bobbi Chegwyn

It was the morning of July 10, 1987. I was 16-years-old and had left home in a hurry to make the bus to school.  As I waited next to a well dress, well-groomed north shore business woman, I noticed a car approaching with my mother behind the wheel in dressing gown and hair rollers. She wound down the window, held my lunch bag out for me, her head held high and proudly stated to the woman staring at her: “There is no greater love than a mother for her child!” My mother left us the next day, by way of a sudden stroke.  Her words never have.

Bonita Mersiades

My mum helped me learn many things – the one I remember most clearly is about courage when I was being bullied at school. I was new; I was a ‘wog’; my name was almost impossible to pronounce; my packed lunches were not vegemite and cheese but salami, tomato, olives and capsicum; I looked a little different. I did not want to go. She allowed me one day off but I had to look up references about moral courage and talk with her about them that evening. A panoply of courage – and particularly the lesson of Daniel in the lion’s den - has been with me ever since.  

Caroline McMahon

The three things that my mother taught me that I am grateful for.

1. Patience. As a mother now myself, I realise how hard it is to remain patient with children. I don't ever remember my Mum losing her temper with us, an incredible skill that I try hard to practice everyday.

2. Kindness. I have never heard my mother say a bad word about anyone. She looks for the good in everyone. People are much nicer when you look for the good in them.

3. To be myself. She has never expected me to be anything other than myself. The best self I can be. I still strive to be the best person that I can, for me.

Kate McQuestin

My mother taught me the power of inner-strength, resilience and the quality of being loyal. I don’t know anyone as strong as my mother. She has always given her life and everyone around her 110%. When she’s been knocked over by life events, she’s always got back up and been even stronger than she was before. She's also taught me that when your family faces adversity, you need to find a way to navigate through it for the sake of those around you, if not yourself. And to always remain loyal to those you love in the face of trouble and adversity. I treasure these lessons.

Kerryn Boogaard

My mum’s cooking and food prep always focused on real food and the basics of healthy eating – exactly what I preach now as a passionate dietitian. My mum also always taught me to finish what I started - a value that still carry with me in all aspects of my life.  

Kirsten Anthony

I’m still learning from my mum, but I think the biggest things are that she has taught me to be confident and kind.

Kylie Johnston

Above all, I think my mother has taught me resilience. If you get knocked down, get back up again. Nothing will keep her down and fortunately I have that ability too. The other thing is the capacity to do things without fuss. I’ve been working since I was 15-years-old through school and university. I now do all the ‘mum’ things like lunches, parties, canteen duty, sewing, gourmet dinners (if I do say so myself), taking kids to sport and ballet, getting my own exercise, working, being a good wife, studying etcetera – and it just gets done. Mum was exactly the same and I learned it from her.

Sue Brown

My father did the ‘mothering’ in my family. It was why I was interested in reading Beverly’s article a few days ago here about celebrating the gift of mothering. My dad was the one who taught us to treat people with respect and dignity; he taught us to walk away when provoked; he encouraged us to do whatever we wanted to do. He was my mum, my dad, my mentor and my friend. What I learned about bringing up children, I learned from my work or my mother-in-law who was also set a good example to her children. 

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liz says: 2015 05 10

Thanks for sharing these. They are all lovely. Like Sue, my dad was the ‘mother’ in my family, in my case because my mother was a reluctant mum. He nurtured us and taught us to love. However, she did teach me a useful ability in terms of business and that is how to be totally objective and consider things on their merits and with no hint of emotion. That is a good thing in business, not so good always in the parent-child relationship.

susan johnson says: 2015 05 10

My mother was such a wonderful woman that all my friends commented. She was kind, thoughtful, sensible and very intelligent and she would do anything for her family. My sister and I were blessed by her.

I was shopping with my mother in David Jones in Sydney on the day of the evening she became ill and we lost her ten days after. It was nearly Christmas and we were laughing and talking as we queued to buy Christmas cards.

As we reached the counter the very busy shop assistant said in a harassed fashion, “it is nice to hear people laughing today” and my mother said proudly, “Oh, I always laugh with this one!” I have held on to that forever and, also, a book she had just given me for my birthday - the autobiography of Ginger Rogers which introduced me to Christian Science, another blessing.

Sharon says: 2015 05 12

My mother was British—a war bride who married my GI dad. She taught me to hum and sing all day long. I still sing all her little ditties (that she no doubt learned from her mum). I bake all her specialties: lemon curd tarts, homemade mincemeat pies, Xmas pudding. I make jam all summer because that’s what she did. I sew because she did. I love the Bible because she did. She’s still my shining example of a jolly, loving, funny woman. Miss you, mum.

Linda says: 2015 05 12

My mom taught me to love the Bible and to value people for the qualities they expressed not by their wealth or social status or “fame”.
As a young adult I was chatting with an established businessman in the small town where I grew up. He started name-dropping and could see that I wasn’t impressed and asked why I’d not known these people. I replied that I knew of them but not that I was supposed to be impressed with their wealth or standing. He was amazed. I realized that my mom spoke of many of these people from working with them in volunteer capacities but didn’t value the ones with money or position over the others. All were loved and appreciated.

Carey says: 2015 05 12

I’m late! but figure this lovely stream of thoughts is worth continuing smile My mum helped me understand that no matter where I was living, no matter what conditions arose, love is all that matters and would pull me through. Though all that’s a “no-brainer”, it’s her example that comes to mind almost every time, to strengthen and cheer me on.  We get to hug once a year and technology today (as opposed to 30 years ago!) is a gift.

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