Lessons from my mother
“Mom knows best.” Three words I grew up believing with all my heart.
Until I reached my teens.
Then, for some reason, I stopped believing in those words and began relying on my own instincts to make decisions. I entered my twenties, met my wonderful husband, married him and eventually had a son and daughter of my own.
One day I sat on my daughter’s bed, surveying a collage she had created on her bedroom wall. It consisted mostly of pictures of her and her friends, interspersed with magazine pictures of things she particularly liked. I gazed at it for a long time, not wanting to miss anything. That was when I saw it – a little slip of paper close to the edge, on which a simple sentence was written – “Mom knows best”.
That was several years ago. Today my daughter is approaching twenty, and the piece of paper no longer graces her wall. And I’m okay with that. Because those three words are written on the wall of my heart. I have learned that no matter how hard you try to convince yourself otherwise, Mom really does know best. And it took becoming a mother for me to realise this.
So many times I find myself beginning a sentence with “My mother taught me…”, something I remember promising never to do when I was in my teens. Only now can I see how much I have learned from my mom. Some are in the words she said; most I learned by the way she lives her life. They are simple, yet invaluable life lessons that I live by each day and have tried to instil in my children.
These are the ones that stand out the most:
- Always go to church on Sundays, especially when you are going through a difficult time. The sermon preached that Sunday morning might just be the one you need to hear.
- Take your babies to Sunday School and church. The sooner you instil in them the importance of church attendance, the greater the likelihood they will grow up to become faithful Christians.
- When life gets complicated, prioritise as follows: church, work/school, sport, fun, and everything will fall into place.
- A man who loves and respects his mother and is kind to animals will make a good husband.
- When visiting someone else’s home, always say “Thank you for having me” when you leave, no matter whether they have shown you hospitality for a few days or a few hours. It’s just good manners.
- When guests drop by for a visit at short notice, make sure your bathrooms and kitchen are clean, then the rest of your house will look spotless.
- Take care of orphans – not only babies and children who have been abandoned or neglected by their parents, but anyone, including adults, who is separated from their family for some reason.
- Never break a friend’s confidence, even if they don’t ask you not to tell anyone.
- Dress modestly, especially when you become a mother. You have an example to set.
- Never skip breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.
Thank you for everything you have taught me, Mom. Truly, you do know best.
Happy Mother’s Day.