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Three Things My Mother Taught Me


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? 



13 thoughts on “Three Things My Mother Taught Me

  1. 1. don’t use a metal knife in a metal pan
    2. don’t hold grudges against people, it just makes you sick and lonely
    3. people don’t like to be informed of how stupid they are.

    1. All practical words of wisdom, Cindy! Thanks so much for sharing them here!

  2. Never, ever,pin your bra strap should it come apart,you could be in an accident and someone would see that! If you should work with people who swear or talk bad does not mean you have to talk that way,swearing just shows your ignorance for better words. Just be happy, there is alot to be thankful for. I really miss her words of wisdom ,she was such a quiet , gentle person,sadly enough I never took an interest in her amazing sewing skills.

    1. Those are all words of wisdom, Jayne. I know I would have liked your mom, too.
      Thanks so much for sharing these lessons here!

    2. Love the bra strap lesson!

  3. My mom taught me (and still does:)) to always trust The Lord and put Him first in my life. I learned how to make rivals for my chicken corn soup and to think first and talk second!

    1. You are so fortunate to be able to continue to learn from your mom, Bonnie. Those lessons she’s taught you are indispensable, especially trusting the Lord! Thanks for sharing!

  4. my mom has a soft spot for the underdog.

    1. That is sweet, Chris, and that probably taught you to be compassionate, too.

  5. Lovely post Elaine! My mom taught me to find each person’s strengths and focus on them. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Genna. That is great advice from your mom, too. That’s a bit of advice that we all should follow.

  6. I would like to add that the most important thing Mom taught me was what it means to be a Christian. She prayed with me to accept Christ when I was very little so I’ve had many Godly experiences my whole life. I got to be a part of East Iowa Bible Camp every summer and even worked there one year. That was just one of many things to be thankful for in my life not that anyone’s life is perfect and pain free but I always knew my life had purpose even in the bad things and that the Lord had His hand on me at all times.

    1. What a blessing to have a mom who loved Jesus and taught you to know Him and love Him, too, Chris!

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