Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and mothers-to-be out there! Sadly, I’m not spending today with my own mom but as she’s told me many times before, every day is Mother’s Day to her. While I don’t send my mom flower deliveries on the daily, we have a really close relationship and she’s not only my mom but she’s also my inspiration and my best friend. That means every single day, we talk to each other and keep each other updated so that it doesn’t feel like we live hours away from each other.
My mom is incredibly talented and wise in so many ways (I always brag about her being in the computer science field because I clearly did not inherit any of her talents in that department) and she’s taught me so many things in my 21 years so far that will be valuable to my own daughter one day. I already wrote this post (50 Things I’ll Teach My Daughter) a few months ago but if you’re not into lists like the list-maniac that I am, then here’s a shorter list of 5 important lessons my mother taught me:
1. Only you are in charge of your happiness. Every time I have a bad day, it’s almost guaranteed that my mom will be on the other end of the phone listening patiently as I vent my frustrations to her, to which she always gently reminds me that I’m the one who is allowing someone or something to bring down my mood. Sure, sometimes circumstances aren’t in your favor and it feels really crummy, but dwelling on whats happened and letting it eat you up doesn’t do anything but make you more miserable. P.S. Here’s where “treat yoself” comes in handy and you should do what never fails to cheer you up, like eat a donut or cupcake in bed while watching Netflix and simultaneously shopping online on your phone. Trust me, from personal experience, this one’s a no brainer.
2. Patience looks good on a person. I will admit, I’m not the most patient person, particularly in unpleasant situations. My mom has always taught me that being patient is important for so many reasons, but mostly because patience breeds kindness. The world is sometimes a sad, scary place due to things that are out of our control. However, if every person were more patient, all the time, the world would be a lot more peaceful and filled with a lot more happy people. Not that we’re trying to achieve world peace here, but as a person, you have control over your reactions to situations, so why not try to pump a little more kindness into the community around you?
3. Independence. Learn it. Live it. This is something that I am so passionate about now that I’m old enough to really understand what my mom meant all those times she told me, starting at a young age, that as a female, I can’t let society trick me into believing that I need a man to take care of me. As humans, we all need to be taken care of – whether it’s financially or emotionally. What my mom has always tried to teach me is that it’s important to gain the necessary skills and education to be able to take care of oneself, regardless if you’re planning on getting married or being in a partnership with someone. If life throws you a curveball, it makes a huge difference to be able to support yourself and have the resources to get you back on your feet. (Also, of course because my mom is a career woman, financial independence is something she has taught me since I was old enough to understand. Can’t help but give a shout out to my dad here as well..who else would have helped me start a retirement fund already?)
4. You’ve got to spend money to make money, but that doesn’t mean spend all your money. Maybe this has a little bit to do with #3 but this is actually something my mom was texting me about yesterday. She’s taught me the value of money and what is worth splurging on and what is worth saving on. For example: do spend money to treat yourself occasionally (because the little things make a difference) or treat others to something, like a thank you lunch. Don’t spend all your money just because you have it, i.e. spending your entire paycheck on a designer purse just because your parents are awesome enough to pay for your rent and tuition currently..always think of the future. Hence, retirement fund in my 20s. Money isn’t everything, but it can provide stability and opportunity. One of the most important things my mom has taught me.
5. Don’t watch sad movies. I thought I would end here on a lighter note, after giving you financial advice, as a 21 year old (so take it with a grain of salt). This is actually something my mom jokingly says whenever we’re picking movies to watch, but I realized recently that I actually never watch sad movies. I despise them. My mom told me a few times during our movie search that sometimes life can be sad or stressful enough, so why escape reality for 2 hours just to cry? I’m all for watching thrillers and murder mysteries but honestly, they don’t make me sad. I just stray from the “Walk to Remember” types of movies. (Disclaimer: both my mom and I are obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy and for that show, we will cry. Or maybe I’m the only crier. But I can’t quit this show, no matter how sad it can be.)
Whether you spend this day with your mother or not, I hope you take the time to wish her (don’t forget your aunts, grandmas, etc.) a happy day and why not thank them for the important pieces of wisdom they’ve shared with you over the years? I think they will really appreciate it and it’s nice to reflect on them :) Here’s to all the mother’s, thank you for all that you do and for having the hardest job there is.