by Heather Williams
Responsibility can be a wonderful thing. It gives you inner discipline, self-pride, and a sense of accomplishment.
When I was 16 years old, no one could have convinced me that there are invaluable things you can learn from your mother. I also don’t think anyone could have convinced me she was right about mostly everything I thought she was wrong about! As a 28 year old woman, I can now say that the things my mother taught me have not only made me a better woman, but overall, a better person. My mother grew up in a terrible environment, nothing like the one I grew up in thanks to her. She carries a remarkable gracefulness about her and one of the most gentle spirits I’ve ever known despite all the tragedy she went through as a child, and even later as an adult. Whether you have a good relationship with your mom or not, there are still things you can learn from your mother. My mom actually learned how to be the great mother she is, because she didn’t have a good mother herself, and wanted to be different for her children. Check out these great things you can learn from your mother. I promise, one day, you’ll be grateful, even if you hate to admit it! To those of you without a mom, these things can still apply to a woman who has made a dramatic influence in your life that serves as a role model for you.
Whether your mom taught you to say “Grace” at the dinner table, or she simply exemplifies the art of gracefulness, one of the best things you can learn from your mother is how to be graceful. Gracefulness is having a humble spirit, being thankful, being polite and being forgiving to others. If your mother doesn’t exemplify grace, then learn to be graceful anyway. All graceful women are beautiful from the inside out, well-liked, and will succeed in life no matter what they do. Grace will carry you where money, material items and the perfect weight never will.
I have always hated the word responsibility because it brings on a negative connotation I associate with chores, yet now more so than ever, I appreciate that my mother taught me responsibility. She taught me to clean up after myself, take care of my home and take pride in following rules, being tidy, and doing the right thing. She also taught me the importance of being responsible with my finances, even though it took me almost my entire life to learn, so don’t make the same mistake I did! Responsibility can be a wonderful thing. It gives you inner discipline, self-pride, and a sense of accomplishment. Take responsibility with pride, girls, not with dread!
3. HOW TO DRESS
Now, hear me out. I don’t dress like my mother, and I used to hate the way she dressed. Now, however, I appreciate two key things about how my mom taught me to dress. Number one is that she taught me to match. No wearing crazy color schemes or a mismatching handbag. Number two is to always leave the house looking put-together. That means no going to the grocery store in your pajamas or wearing sloppy clothes out of laziness. I may not have always liked what my mom wore, but she always matched and always looked put-together.
4. MONEY DOESN’T BUY HAPPINESS
I grew up in a small home and though I never hurt for anything, I also never lived a life of luxury. I had my first job at 15, paid cash for my first car, and bought all my own clothes at age 16 and all my own groceries starting at age 18. This isn’t to say my mom has never helped me when I needed her, because she has, but she also taught me that being rich, having the best of everything, and trying to live up to the standards of other people would never make me happy. I quickly learned that brand name clothing didn’t fit into my budget or make me a better person. I also learned the thrill of buying all my own things and feeling like an independent woman.
5. LEARN TO COOK
This is perhaps one of the best things I learned from my mother. Rarely as a child did I ever have to eat a meal that wasn’t cooked at home, unless it was for a dinner celebration out at a restaurant or something similar. My mom was wonderful about making me lunch, and cooking me dinner. When I was 18, I decided to pick up the skill of cooking, and am so grateful I learned the importance of this through my mother. It later inspired me to start my own blog about healthy cooking and I have her to thank for inspiring me to enter the kitchen in the first place. Pick up a cookbook if you don’t have a mom who likes to cook. Start cooking for someone you know to practice your cooking skills on. It can be as easy as you want it to be, but you’ll be so glad you learned how to do it! Cooking is a great way to save money, eat healthier, and to nurture yourself and others around you.
6. CHOOSE A GOOD MAN
My mother has always taught me the right characteristics to look for in a man and none of them included rich, powerful, or that they had to look like a movie star. She taught me look for someone who is emotionally strong, financially responsible, gentle, spiritual and most important, loving. She also taught me to look for someone with manners. I used to wonder why she never approved of the guys I dated in high school, and now I know why. None of them had qualities that would make for a good mate, nor did they respect me at all. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. You deserve to be treated like a lady, as long as you act like one of course.
7. HAVE FAITH
One of the best things you can learn from your mother, whether she is the perfect mom or not, is to have faith. Have faith that life will bring you joy when you greet the world with joy. Have a hopeful spirit even in the midst of darkness. Have faith that you are in control of your destiny. My mom taught me all of these things, but she also learned them herself by having a mother who never taught her these things. My mom had to have faith that even though her mother wasn’t perfect, she could be different and still have hope for a better future for herself.
The word “mother” brings up a host of different feelings for each of us. No matter what your relationship is with your mom, I wanted to share with you some things that you can learn and that I’ve learned, which I will carry with me for the rest of my life. What have you learned from your mother?
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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.