Lessons From the Mothers that Came Before Me: Journey To Motherhood

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Who you are as a mother can be a product of the mothers that came before you. What you do with the lessons you gather in life depends on how well you were listening.

 

This post actually took more than six years to write; my emotions got the best of me. I never knew the deep reflection I would have thinking about those mothers that came before me, especially every Mother’s Day. I’m a big believer that we are here standing on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before us. To know myself is to know those who’ve shaped me genetically and emotionally—so for me, those formative moments of becoming a mother were no different.a wooden sculpture of a mother holding a baby, meant to symbolize the mothers that came before

My mother and my two grandmothers (lovingly my Grandma and Grammie) are just that. Like the fabric of a rich quilt, their words, personalities, and the mothering personas they embodied are woven into me.

Becoming a mother myself showed the rawness of who they were as individuals, figuratively drawing back the cover of these three iconic figures in my life. Each so different, yet mothers I aspire to be.

Pregnant with my now 5-year-old, I knew I was on the dawn of a new experience. I was filled with thoughts about what it would mean and feel like to become a mother.  It’s amazing how the components or resources I thought I needed were already there. They were given from them, and their impact will be ever-lasting. So for this Mother’s Day, I look to honor those women giving them their celebrations as strong, independent, and amazing mothers and the lessons they have taught me.

Give experiences, not things.A pregnant woman standing on the shore, holding her swelling stomach as she gazes into the distance, contemplating the mothers that came before her

My grandmother Mary, although a quiet personality she was poignant, a true matriarch. Her house on Henry Lane was a focal point and gathering place for my family. When you were there, you were home. Living on a farm, she was my “country grandma.” I was wild and carefree there, running around with all my boy cousins. In the mind of a child, I was always so impressed by her toughness, but a gentle spirit that made sure I knew I mattered. She taught me about being crafty, resourceful, but most of all how to make and give individual time to all your children. Whether we would pile into the car and go “uptown” or head outside, she would save time in the day to get to know about each of us.

  • Love your children in masses, but understand the need for 1:1 time.

  • Know that children crave attention and love from us, not things.

  • Understand each child’s uniqueness and celebrate it. No child is the same, nor should they be. 

  • It’s okay to get your hands dirty. 

Live Life to The Fullest.

My Grammie, also known as Wylie, was funny, witty, and if described by anyone who knew her, she could light up a room with her personality. Beautifully cunning, incredibly intelligent, giving, and deeply driven with an entrepreneurial spirit. She was a “mother of all,” giving influential advice and immense love to children young and old. She was also steadfast in her faith. Knowing her was to love her. There was never anything that if she put her mind to it, she couldn’t accomplish.

  • Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. 

  • Find a passion and support it wholeheartedly. Voice your cause to others.

  • Be yourself, and no one else. The sooner you find that out, the quicker the path to happiness.

  • Know tomorrow will always come. “To everything, there is a season.

 

a clay pot with pink flowers set against a stone wallSpeak positively to your children.

There is no better way to describe my own mother but as having a calm sweet exterior with a fiery interior. She’s the true definition of a ‘mama bear,’ strong, resilient, compassionate, and, most importantly, my first and foremost advocate. She believed in our abilities and always believed in us. My closest confidant, she has a way of showing me love and support, but also highlighting the ways in which we all as humans could do better by others. A beautifully bold and positive spirit, she’s been the prototype for the mother I wanted to become. Her transparency as a mother is something to be envied. She respected my forming opinions, never squashed my need for independence, and honestly, doesn’t get enough of the celebration she truly deserves.

  • Continuously be evolving and don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. You’re never too old or too late.

  • Admit your wrongs. Don’t delay an authentic apology, especially to your children.

  • Build up and impress positivity into your child at home, as the world will truly show them differently. 

  • Always put your best foot forward. “Life is not a dress rehearsal.”

  • Rest. Enjoy the things that make you happy for you, not just as a mom. A mother’s attitude sets the tone for the entire house.

 

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