After reading lots of moving tributes to mothers yesterday on Facebook, I was thinking of my own mother and how grateful I am for all that she taught me. My mother was a wise woman who raised six children who love her and love each other. She’s gone now, but her life lessons live on.
I’d like to share just three of the many things I learned from my mother:
1. Housework isn’t all that important.
With six kids, Mom certainly did her share of housework, but it was not her top priority. Our home was clean enough to be safe and messy enough to be comfortable. I remember Mom telling me that the older she got, the less she cared about housework. I decided to adopt that philosophy before I got old, and I can now look back over my thirty-two years of married life and agree with Mom. Housework isn’t really all that important. My personal goal is to have a home that is reasonably clean and comfortable for all who enter, just like Mom’s house was.
2. Hobbies are a not a waste of time.
My mom enjoyed her hobbies, and as I was thinking about this, I realized that she and I share a lot of the same interests. My mom was the first seamstress I ever knew, and she taught me how to combine fabrics and prints in fun combinations. Her purpose was to save money and use up every scrap of fabric, but it was fun all the same.
Mom, like me, never liked to just sit down to watch TV. She always liked to keep her hands busy crocheting or working a jigsaw puzzle while she was enjoying a TV show. Mom loved to read, too, and mysteries were her favorite genre.
I, too, enjoy my hobbies: reading, sewing, crocheting, smocking, jigsaw puzzling, and scrapbooking. I know my mom was seldom bored and neither am I.
3. Don’t meddle in other people’s affairs without an invitation to do so.
Jack and I, along with two of my sibling and their families live within walking distance to Mom’s house. Mom never used her close proximity as a means to meddle in our lives or to offer unsolicited advice.
I make every effort to follow her example in this regard, though not always with success. Looking back, I wonder if it was difficult for Mom to watch me make some mistakes without jumping in to share her words of wisdom. She was wise enough to know that sometimes making a mistake is the best way to learn a lesson.
Mom’s way of staying connected to her adult children was a model for all of us. She maintained her relationship with us not by force but by friendship.
Yesterday on Mother’s Day, I thought of Mom, but not with sadness. I thought of her with a heart filled with love and gratitude for who she is and all she means to me.
What valuable lesson have you learned from your mother?