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