10 Things My Mother Taught Me About Motherhood
Okay. Moms can drive us crazy sometimes. Right? Even those of us who are fortunate enough to describe our relationship with our mothers as “good” are still probably well-versed in the eye-roll and OH MO-O-OM exclamations. I’m the same way, really. But there’s no doubt that my mom immediately became my biggest cheerleader once I had my own children, and absolutely shaped me into the mother I am now. So today I’d like to thank her for a bunch of stuff that I’ve probably left unsaid for way, way too long…
1: She taught me to be kind to myself, to let go of my perfectionist nature when it came doing things the “right” way, according to “plan.” She taught me to finally find enough confidence in simply doing the best I can.
2: She taught me to always be open-minded about new or different ways of doing things, rather than clinging to whatever parenting approach I’d idealized before reality set in, by never once scoffing or arguing with me about the way “we used to do things.” Things always change, she said. You do your best to keep up.
3: And when things DID change, even in my early motherhood lifetime (BPA! DHA in prenatals! toy recalls! drop-side cribs!), or when I realized I’d made honest-to-God mistakes, she reminded me of thing number one, over and over.
4: She taught me that we all deserve to be judged on more than just our lowest moments. That a moment of lost temper or a regrettable word or action doesn’t negate everything else.
5: She taught me the importance of family dinners and holiday traditions.
6: She taught me to wrap an ice cube in a baby washcloth to sooth teething gums.
7: She taught me how to open the top little flaps on a juice box to create handles and prevent crazy squeezing-related disasters.
8: She taught me how to make cookies from scratch, and that they are always, always worth it.
9: She taught me that even though I remember her as a do-it-all-herself-style supermom when I was little, she asked for and received help when she needed it, and it’s okay for me to do that too.
10: She taught me that you are never, ever too old to hug your mom.
What did you learn from your mother? How has your relationship with her affected your parenting of your own children? How did it change once you had your children?
Published October 27, 2010. Last updated July 21, 2017.