A Few Lessons from my Mom

by - 3:27:00 PM

In light of Sunday being Mother's Day, I've been thinking a whole lot about my mom. The older I get, I realize just how many lessons I have taken from my mom. It is not uncommon for me to say, or do, something that results in my husband remarking, "Well, hello Andrea." I couldn't be prouder.

I think it's appropriate to share three of the lessons my mom has taught me.

1) Be frugal.

 If I'm going to make this post as honest as possible, frugality needs to be at the tip top of the list. My mother is the queen of frugal. Never have I, ever, seen less than 150 boxes of cold cereal in her storage room (because they were such a good deal!). She's famous for her shopping trips that would result in 300 boxes at a time. In high school, I would hear my friend's moms announce that they were making a grocery run. I didn't understand why. Why didn't they have barbecue sauce and ketchup bottles by the dozen on hand? My mom never "ran to the store" for something because there had been a sale on that item at one point and she had bought enough to last until the apocalypse.

She is proud of her deals, and tells of them often. D. is convinced she makes some of them up, as we can never seem to find the same "treasures" she does.

She makes something from nothing. Both in cooking and in household decor and goods, my mom is thrifty. Mom is always working on a project, searching KSL for deals, and taking another man's trash, and creating treasure.

2) Learn to say no when there is too much being asked of you. 

I'm a stress case, in case you don't know me personally; it's a well know fact. I've really internalized this lesson since being married. As a single college student, I enjoyed being spread thin. I loved that people wanted me to be places. I would worry myself sick trying to please everyone - and I was OK with it.

When I got married I felt the pressure of having two families to please. I wanted to be everywhere for everyone. I wanted everyone to have equal amounts of time shared with us. Obviously I was pregnant soon after we got married; so, on top of trying to please everyone, I was exhausted. I don't know how many times my mom said to me, "Do what you can." "Take care of yourself." "It's OK to say no." or "If it's too much, don't." As you can imagine, this anxiety only heightened after Lady was born. But, thanks to my wise mother, I am slowly learning to say, "That's too much for me." or "I'm not comfortable with that." or "That is not what is best for my family." And I'm very slowly learning to be OK with it.

3) Be OK with you. Now. 

I never had such a problem "comparing" myself to others before we were married. I was loud, obnoxious, and sassy. I didn't care so much what others thought. But, now I find myself looking at other moms, thinking things like, "How is she so skinny?" or "If only I could have their house." I'm happy and content with my life currently. I wouldn't change anything, not really. But, every once in awhile those thoughts make their way into my head, and all of a sudden my worth is being compared to other's.

Mom and I have had many talks about this very thing. She calmly reminds me that I, too, and good. I'm worth something. And she reminds me to be happy where I am now. Someday, she says, I'll look back and miss these day. What a smartie, right? And I always come out thinking, "Why would I want to be anyone but me?" With five children, my mother lived in a two bedroom trailer for 5.5 years. She tells me she wished so many times for different circumstances, but now, she wouldn't trade those times for anything.

So, Mom, this Mother's Day (and all those to come): I honor you. You've taught me all I know, and yet, I still have infinite amounts to learn from you. You took on so many odds, and came out on top. I knew I valued you, but I didn't realize just how much until I became a mother myself. Words cannot say how much you mean to me. Thanks for being my mom, and now one of my greatest friends.

Here's to the best mother on the planet.

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