FYI: There are two posts up on the blog today. Because I didn’t get around to publishing ’em on Sunday, here are this week’s Recent Finds. :)
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Emily and I are back with our weekly motherhood series! Today, though, we’re diving into a topic that we think a lot of our readers can relate to: lessons learned from our own mothers. (Read Emily’s post here, btw!)
Of course, it goes without saying that mothers aren’t the only women who can play instrumental roles in the upbringing of a child. Whether it was your mom, grandmother, aunt, sister, friend (or a combo!) who raised you, we’re paying homage to these fabulous ladies today.
When Emily and I first came up with this post idea, I actually called my mother to discuss, and we had so much fun coming up with about half of the below list. The rest of it consists of my own takeaways; stuff my mother may not have explicitly told me, but instead imparted along the way.
Mom, to quote Taylor Swift, “I know you were on my side, even when I was wrong.” But thank you for giving me such a great foundation. (And for giving me your eyes. Yep, still quoting Tay-Tay.) I love you, and I hope to pass on so much of what you taught me to your granddaughter!
Okay. Without further ado…
Lessons Learned from @cathyinthecountry
Treat everyone with respect
It doesn’t matter what job or position in life a person has. Everyone should be treated kindly and like they’re the most important person in the world. You’ll come in contact with tons of different people on a daily basis. Treat each one how you’d like to be treated. Smile. Make conversation. Ask questions. Don’t judge a book by its cover, and practice acceptance and tolerance.
Avoid making irrevocable decisions when hungry, tired or cold
When you’re upset, eat a cookie, take a nap, or put on a sweater. When you get it together, then start to think about what to do to make things better. Everything seems worse than it really is when you’re hungry, tired or cold.
Be sweet, but stand up for yourself
No need to take life on with clenched fists. But don’t let others walk all over you, either. When sweetness doesn’t work, show people that you’re a force to be reckoned with.
Orange juice is a cure-all
Seriously: any time you’re sick, guzzle an entire gallon. I dare you to tell me that you don’t feel better in the morning.
The right boy should treat you like the princess you are
The boy who doesn’t treat you like this is not the right boy. (Love that Mitch treats me just like my dad treats my mom!)
A little dirt never hurt anyone
In fact, it might make your kids stronger. Obviously, bathe them and wipe them down when they need it. And prevent them from dying. But kids are kids. Let them experience the world; get a few cuts and scrapes; dirty their clothing. They shouldn’t live in bubbles.
If you forget something, you can always buy it when you get there
Plan accordingly, but remember that even the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. You do the best you can do. If you forget diapers, you can buy them anywhere. If you forget all your underwear, there are stores everywhere. For everything else, there’s Amazon. And Mastercard?
You can’t spend too much time with your children
They might feel differently at age 13, but sit outside their door and whisper “I love you” to them anyway. Kidding. But play on the floor with them. Go to the park with them. Read to them. Sit at the table with them while they do their homework. Watch movies with them. Just be with them. Whenever they’ll let you, without being annoying. ;)
Keep a calendar or create a Facebook account, and reach out on birthdays. It only takes a minute or two.
There is good in every person
We just don’t know every person’s story. Give people a break and the benefit of the doubt; you never know what they might be going through.
Just make the team
You don’t always need to be the best. Strive for greatness, but if you’ve given it your all and you’re not the best, that’s great, too. Strive for your personal best. Heck, if that means that you don’t actually make that team, that’s fine, too! Hello, intramurals.
Send thank you notes
Nothing says “thank you” like a handwritten note, complete with a stamp. “I’m so grateful that I looked up your address! Tried really hard to make my handwriting look nice for you! Dropped this off in the mailbox and everything!” Seems silly, but it shows the people you love that you care. Edit: We also think that texts with animation or emails with colored text and embedded photos do the job these days, too. ;)
The greatest satisfaction comes from giving and sharing. Just ask Elmo.
When someone offers to drive, hand over your keys
If you’re a City Girl and can’t drive, own it. Make the world a safer place and let someone else drive. Also, it turns out that GPS units do NOT have feelings. You can simply turn ’em off and they won’t be mad. Oh, and beware of trunks that open and close automatically. They’ll getcha.
Volunteer with your kids
It’ll show them first-hand just how lucky they are to have the life they have, and that there’s no greater gift than the gift of time and service. Giving back is so important.
Life is too short to wear painful shoes
So you best buy a few pairs so you can figure out which are comfy yet still cute. Your husband will understand.
When you get down on yourself, remember that everyone has stuff they wish they could improve about themselves–even the seemingly perfect people. No one is perfect. Recognize that there are some things you won’t be able to change. Work to improve the stuff you can, accept your “flaws,” and embrace your strengths.
Midnight snacks have the power to make you a morning person
Really: who can make it through the night without wanting a Devil Dog at 3 a.m.? We eat three meals throughout the day. We’re expected to make it through the night on nothing?!
A house doesn’t make a home
Yes, that’s a U2 quote. But it’s true. A house is just a house. It’s not a home unless the people you love are in it. Similarly, when family members grow up and physically move away from each other, maybe it’s that group text that’s “home.” Maybe it’s a family vacation or getting together over the holidays. Maybe it’s a phone call or a FaceTime. You don’t need to all be under the same roof in order to be a family! On an unrelated note, welcome those without solid family units into your home and life. Family is more than blood.
Hold fast to your morals
When everyone else is going along with the crowd, do what’s right. Don’t do it for a pat on the back; do it because you stand for goodness.