With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, us moms at the Reno Moms Blog decided we’d like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to our own mothers. So get comfortable and enjoy the submissions from our contributors.
How has your own mother influenced the way you approach motherhood?
Jenny: My mom is a teacher and truly loves children. She brought a lot of fun and creativity to my childhood. She’s almost 60 and she always takes the time to get down on the floor with my son, answer questions and play. I watch her and I’m envious of her energy and creativity. So that has to be one of the biggest things I’ve taken from her – keep motherhood fun! (Pictured to the right is Jenny’s mom with her son.)
Aramelle: I don’t have a relationship with my mom, but I find that our history still touches nearly every aspect of my journey through motherhood. The greatest thing that my childhood taught me was to focus on being present in every moment that I share with Runt. There are so many ways in which I strive to give my boy the kind of childhood that I remember yearning for as a kid, but the single most important thing to me is that when he looks back on his memories, they always include me…that I was always there, cheering him on, letting him know with each second we share just how much he is loved.
Fayth: My mom has an incredible knack for making me feel special. The way she listens – really listens; the way she notices all of the new things I’ve done around the house; the way she compliments me on my hair, how I dress, the particular shade of eye makeup I chose that day; the way she’s eager to hear about my life – the good and the bad; the way she never tires of hearing stories of her grandchildren. She makes me feel valued and important to her and that I’m a joy in her life. THAT. That is what I try to do with my own children. I want to be a good listener, I want to notice the things they do to make themselves unique, I want to be there for them and for them to always know I care and I *want* to hear what they have to say. It isn’t always easy with our crazy busy days, and it’s not something I can do every hour of every day, but I strive to be like my own mom in making each of my children feel special
Meagan: My mom is the strongest woman I know and she has been the most influential person in my life. Because of my mother, I want to be a strong female presence in Sophie and Sadie’s lives and have profound and life long impacts on them. My mother has a brightness about her and the most contagious laugh. She approaches things with such grace and is the best listener I have ever known. She is my best friend, but she has always been a parent first. She’s set a great standard for motherhood that I can follow.
Jamie: As a single mother, my mom was tireless in her efforts to make a better life for us. We spent a lot of years very poor, living with my grandparents to make ends meet. Thing is, we might never have known just how poor we were. We always had the things we needed and we always had love and time. My mom was a mom who played and made crafts with us. She always tried to make holidays special and personal. When she went back to college in her 30’s to become a nurse we were there with her. She let us help her study to have more time with us, though I doubt it was the most productive studying. We learned CPR and first aid with her, we learned about how our bodies worked… She was a mom on a mission. We spent our summers outside hiking, camping, and swimming. When you ask me how she’s influenced my mothering I would say from her I learned to be be flexible and to go out and do things anyway, that your kids will love you for showing them how to be dedicated and work hard, and that it’s important to play inside, outside, and upside down.
Gemma: I watched you, and I saw the kind of woman you were, even if I could not put into words the opinions that were being tattooed to my heart. You embodied the strength that comes from seeing life at its highest and lowest moments — a life that you did not allow to break you. I tried to break you sometimes, and maybe once or twice I did, but you were resilient. You were strong and self-assured. I saw it. I remembered.
You worked hard and you had passion for what you chose to do with your life. You did not settle, you were always improving. You lived as if your best was never enough, because you had drive. You worked 50 hour weeks and went to school and did that whole supermom thing. You never had to tell me who you were, did you? You showed me. I rolled my eyes at you, but you showed me. (Gemma did a tribute to her mother on her blog a few years ago. Read the entire post here.)
Jessica L.: My mom stayed home with me and my sister until I was at least 8-10 years old. I LOVED having my mom to run home to after school. It was so important to me that my mom was one of the first people I got to talk to every day after school, or that she was always readily available to get me when I needed to go home. Her being home with me was a value of hers, and that is now a huge value/priority for me. Over the years, I saw her run an in-home daycare, sharing our home with other children, or waking up in the middle of the night to do a paper route to make extra money so that she COULD be home with us. I guess the overall lesson that this taught me was that WHATEVER my priorities may be, I CAN find a way to make that happen. In my own life, being home with my kids while they are young is something that I SO desire. Before we even had kids I knew I wanted to be home with them. It is so hard at times to make it work, but we find ways to do it because it’s a value/priority to me.
Shelle: I lost my mom when I was 22, I miss her everyday. There is so much I would have liked to share with her: celebrating Sonia Sotomayor being the first Puerto Rican Supreme Court Justice, introducing her to my husband and watching her with her grandchildren, my nephews. While I don’t have children of my own, my mother taught me that motherhood was about listening, learning and laughing. She taught me to know when to be quiet enough to hear people’s emotions, as well as their words. She was constantly learning or trying something new, from that unfortunate perm to her amazing cheesecake. But, most of all, she taught me to laugh and to love laughing. Thank you for those lessons Mom and Happy Mother’s Day.
Jessica S.: I’d second most of what has been said here, but something I’m coming to really value is the enthusiastic support of my life choices. In my teens and 20s, I probably changed my mind about what college to attend and what career to pursue a thousand times. And my mom would always offer loving encouragement and confidence that I would succeed…no matter what it was. She has never questioned my fortitude or my likelihood of success, and never once pushed me to take a safe route or worry about money or stability. She enthusiastically welcomed my choice of husband, and never once applied pressure to start having babies, despite my age. Her utter faith in me, her willingness to give me a cheering section and to catch me if I fell has made me willing to take risks, and has given me a bigger, richer life. I only hope to do the same for my own daughter… I can see now the desire to want to step in and shield her from any pain, but I hope to offer her wings, instead, like my mom did.
Jessica G.: My mom was a 1st and 2nd grade teacher, so she is very young at heart. She has a free spirit and the ability to really understand kids. She makes things educational and fun at the same time. She is much more light hearted than me and I really try to keep that in mind with my kids. My mom has a masters in early childhood and worked on her PhD (she did not finish it though), so I am constantly asking her questions and getting input. Now that my son will be in kindergarten I rely on her experience even more. Perhaps more than anything, I admire her ability to be patient. Since my brother is autistic, she is probably the most patient person I know. If I’m half the mom she was to my brother and me, I’ll have succeeded.
Thanks to all of the contributors that took the time to honor their moms! If you want to read a more in depth tribute, check out Bethany’s post From Daughter to Friend.
We’d love to hear from you as well — how has YOUR mother influenced your approach to motherhood?