Things My Mother Taught Me

My wedding day August 1994

Make your bed each day. I used to resist this. I figured I’d just sleep in it again, so why make it? But as I’ve gotten older I’ve embraced this small daily chore. I feel it starts my day off orderly. It also makes my room look neat, which I appreciate.

Never hurt someone’s feelings on purpose. She drilled this into me. Although I believe in its basic principal, I also had to realize it set her up to be a door mat. My mother was always kind yet abused a lot by those she was kind to. I too will always be kind….until I’m not. If I’m not kind to you, you had it coming!

Work hard for what you want. Nobody could accuse my mother of being anything but hard working. She scrimped and saved daily and though we never had much I didn’t want for anything. Well, not anything that counted. She passed this work ethic onto all her children and grandchildren. We pride ourselves on a job well done thanks to her example.

Family is everything. Love them always, even if they don’t love you back. Mom was the perfect definition of all her titles. Daughter, Sister, Cousin, Aunt, MOM, Wife (for a bit), Grandmother, Great-Grandma and even Great-great-Grandma. She did not care if she saw you daily or once a decade. If you were family she adored you. It saddens me to say that many times she did not get the same in return. Thankfully I was gifted with this. I adore those family members I see often, rarely, and those I’ve not even met. Funny story: I recently had to explain my feelings to one of my nieces, who happens to be an Auntie herself. I said to her (as she snuggled her nephew) “You know how you feel about him and your other nephews and niece?” “Yeah…” “Well that’s how I feel about you and your sisters and brothers” Her light bulb went off! Until I explained it like that she didn’t grasp my love for her and her siblings. Love them all with all you have. Because tomorrow isn’t promised!

Love your children fiercely. Of course most mothers don’t even have to try at this one. Mom adored us kids. We didn’t always deserve it, but she did. I was blessed and cursed to be the youngest of my family. Blessed because I didn’t have to live through the troubled years, when the family struggled financially, ending in divorce. Cursed because I didn’t get enough time with her. Blessed because I feel I got some great years, cursed because my kids won’t know her as long, or as well, as her other grandchildren did. I can only hope that my children feel my love for them as I felt hers. Hope that I show it to them daily. Hope that I live up to that legacy. It is strong and it is true.

Do as I say, not as I do! Every parents mantra when I was growing up! I thought it horribly unfair then, but now I understand. There are certain words, actions and situations that are for grown ups only! No kids allowed! I’ve noticed with my own children that kids these days, have a hard time with this as they live in the technology age. They know more than we ever did. Therefore they use that against us. So, parents UNITE! Let’s bring back this mantra and add in a little “Because I said so!”

Spanking a child won’t get you anywhere. My siblings will tell you this is what is wrong with me. Not enough spankings! However, I am a swatter with my kids. Not to be confused with spanking! I don’t believe in a super soft raising method. But beating my kid for being a kid doesn’t happen either. Mom had this gift of making you feel punished just by looking at you. I do not possess this same gift. Usually I’m the raving lunatic who ends up bawling her head off out of frustration. I do try though.

She believed in time outs

You don’t need a man to be happy. Mom was always disappointed by the men in her life, until her sons came along. They made her very proud. But after her marriage and one bad relationship ended she never dated again. She relied on herself. It made me stronger as a mother and a woman. I rely on my husband and he makes me very happy. Yet, if he left me or this world I would take a feather from my mommas cap and rely on myself. Because that’s what Sanders women do.

People don’t need to know your business. She was painfully private. I found out things about her after she left us. I fail miserably at this. I’m an open book, keeping very little back. It may bite me later, I guess we will wait and see.

Help others when you can. She never had much. But if you came into our house you would have food, drink, a place to sleep if needed, a hug, an ear and a shoulder to cry on. I strive to be this way as well. Our home is a revolving door for friends and family alike. Paying for a ransom strangers coffee or helping someone at the store are just extras. Being kind honors my moms legacy.

Act like a lady. Epic fail here as a young woman. I thought this was totally ridiculous, now not so much. It didn’t mean wear hose with dresses or lift your pinkie when you drink tea. It meant have grace, speak to be heard, be polite, smile through the pain, don’t let them see you cry and be strong. I get it Momma. I hope I make you proud.

In memory of Corinne Sanders 1938-2015

If you were blessed by an amazing parent, blood or not, honor them with listening and learning from them. They have lived more than we have and those lessons are hard to come by once they’re gone.

Categories Family, weight lossTags , , , , ,

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