Words to Mother By
Did your Mom use sayings, or phrases over and over in your childhood that you absolutely HATED. I mean, yell at her to stop, cover your ears, roll your eyes and stomp out of the room hated only to catch yourself using them now as a mother? Yeah, me too. Sucks, doesn't it? I mean, I spent most of my life chastising her for the emotional trauma of these sayings she would recite to us in the most sugary sweet voice she could muster ALL THE TIME. They are forever tattooed on my brain, and the reason I really should probably be in therapy right now. They are the voices in my head when I am tired, it's late, and I want to just go to bed without doing that last item on my to-do list. I mean, I did everything else, I'm EXHAUSTED beyond belief. Everyone else is already in bed resting. Surely it's not a big deal to let it go this time. Then I hear it. That voice, still sugar sweet, torturing my sleep deprived mind. I sigh, say a silent curse I would never repeat to her in person, and finish the job. I hate her for it, yet what a gift those sayings were.
You see, those phrases helped shape who I am as an adult, and I'm grateful for their lessons. While I didn't realize what a gift my Mother gave me at the time, she was right. (PLEASE do not ever tell her I said that, though. Let's keep it our little secret, okay?) They helped make me hard working, indepenent and responsible. They taught me that shortcuts will shortcut myself. They taught me to be self reliant. It's who I am, and I want that for my boys.
Though she always seemed to have one handy in her bag of tricks for any situation, there are 2 that really stand out. These 2 I use over and over and over again with my young boys. And, by the way, they hate them just as much as I did. It makes it kind of fun, actually. I now see what a sadistic satisfaction my Mom got back then when she'd say them. Since these are 2 lessons I think all kids need to learn, and all mothers need to impart, I'm going to share them with you now:
1. If it is to be, it is up to me. This one is huge for my oldest, who is always content to let me do for him. So we battle on this a lot, as Mom makes him do for himself, even if that makes me a big Meanie Head. Do not wait for someone else to take care of you. Do not depend on someone else to solve your problems. YOU have the power to do it. YOU have the responsibility of it. YOU are amazing, and do not need anyone else to take care of you. Sure, as a wife I've chosen to share my life and our responsibilities with my husband. We share the workload of household chores and parenting our two amazing boys. This makes life so much easier, and rewarding. But if anything changed our situation, please God let this never happen, and I had to do it alone, I could. It would be so hard, it would not be fun, but I could handle it if I had to. Knowing that about myself is a priceless gift. Every child should learn to have this confidence in themselves. It's so empowering, and will keep them from getting into toxic relationships because they think they "need" someone who is not good for them.
2. If you do a job halfway, you have to do it twice. Do it right the first time and once will suffice. This is my late night chore battle. Now, realistically, my house is not immaculate. I work full time outside the home, then try to cram the full time Mommy/wife job into precious few hours each evening, and two days on weekends. Things fall through the cracks. But when I start a task, I finish it. Whether I want to or not. It keeps you from quitting on yourself. It keeps you moving when your mind wants to procrastinate. And it helps you take pride in a job done, and done well. This not only helps in the household duties, but at work, school, with friends. If you just stick it out and finish, it will be completely done. If you stop halfway, you will have to return to it later. It's linging over your head. For the young boys sometimes I shorten it to "Do it right, or do it twice" out of necessity, but the full version imparts the best lesson, so I use it most.
Teach your kids these lessons, and they will go far. What lessons did you learn from your Mom that help you today? I'd love to hear if anyone else was tortured as a child, only to thank their tormentor today.
See? Motherhood really does make you mentally unbalanced!