I have been a Mother for just over three years. I seek out advice from my friends daily on how to be a better Mother. (This mostly means being a better Mother through understanding my son.) My Mom pretty much flew by the seat of her pants. Her Mother, my Grandmother, was perhaps not the most forthcoming in HOW to parent. I imagine most Moms that grew up in the 50’s and early 60’s had a bit of a panic once they became Moms. 50’s era Mothering was something done behind closed doors and before company came.
When my Mom became a Mom in the 70’s I was a take-a-long child. This means that if my Mom was going somewhere I was headed that way too. We had adventures, grand adventures, embrace the world adventures.
The first fully hatched memory I have of my Mother takes place on a beach near Big Sur. I remember Mom telling me that I had the power to control the waves. We screamed, “go out!!” and the water rushed away from our toes. We screamed, “come back!” and wooosh returned the water. I know it is because of this amazing memory, which is really a memory of a feeling of magic, that inspired me to tell W as we approached the automatic doors at Target that he could make them open with magic.
“If you ask the doors to please open – see what happens!” We slowly walked towards the doors and W thrust out his arms and yelled, “PLEASE OPEN NOW!” The doors opened. He turned back to look at me with swirls of amazement dancing in his eyes, “I did it, Mama. I DID THAT!”
My Mother has taught me so many things that I find have lifted me up as I Mother my son. I didn’t realize she had been educating me until I found myself pulling from the well of my own childhood to find a solution to a hard moment with W. How many little things are in this well?
I decided to start a list of unexpected things that my Mom has taught me.
Unexpected Lessons Learned From My Mother
1. Have a special song. My Mom used to sing to me Paul Simon’s I love you like a rock.
2. Have a special/quirky affection. My Mom used to hug me and exclaim, “eeeeee ahhhh!” (W and I beep our noses.)
3. Make plans. My Mom does this with W now and it makes me so happy. She will start a Saturday morning with him plotting all the stuff they can do.
4. Leave the room. If a tantrum or shouty child moment is happening and you have no idea what to do – walk away to the next room. (Mom says that this was not always effective when I was a kid because I would just follow her and continue my tantrum.)
5. Loving a career is ok. When I was in the 2nd grade my Mom decided to put herself through law school. This meant that for three years and change I did not have 100% of my Mom’s energy. I have no memory of being upset about this. Instead I remember great weekends of movie marathons and getting to be in a parade. (long story) I learned an amazing work ethic from my Mom. In the morning when I drop W off at preschool he sometimes tells me that he is going to HIS job.
I’d love to know what your Mom has taught you – anything unexpected or out of the ordinary?
What are you planning to do for your Mom or Mom figure this weekend? W and are working on this super cute recordable book that Hallmark sent us to try out. (It is so perfect for single Moms that it actually made me a bit teary eyed.)