Mother’s Day: the holiday when writers, bloggers and pretty much everyone on social media share thankful, often generic, posts about their moms. It’s almost like the holiday is a competition among the children, no? A way to show off and declare their mom is better than others. Whoever says “I love you” the most wins. Ready, set, go? Kidding, but I will continue…
The reasons I love my mom are endless. Yes she’s caring, compassionate, responds to my incessant text messages and makes the best damn roast chicken, but it’s the little things she did while I was growing up that have made a lasting impact. I might not have loved her rules and quirks back then (who wants to be the last one in their class to get a cell phone?), yet I can look back now and see her intentions. Most of the time, at least.
This Mother’s Day I hope you acknowledge both the obvious (hello, giving birth!) and not so obvious things your mother or mother-figure has done for you. It might just make you want to cook and clean her house for a straight month, or at least for a day.
Little Things My Mom Did That Make A Lasting Impact
She made television a privilege
Television was never a given in our house. My sister and I had to earn our shows, especially during the summer, by doing chores, reading and playing outside. Even then we would get to watch maybe one or two shows, if we were lucky. As a result, my sister and I have hours and hours of (embarrassing) home videos of us pretending to be newscasters, celebrities, singers and dancers. We played with American Girl Dolls, ran around the backyard and did arts and crafts…all with my mom at our side. She was a good doll player, that’s for sure.
Not going to lie, my sister and I kind of backfired once we got older and now we have Netflix marathons together. Oh well, at least we know it’s “frowned upon.”
She celebrated the holidays…big and small
Our family celebrates half birthdays. HALF birthdays. Who does that? My mom.
She made Christmas morning the most special day, with elaborately decorated gifts (no matter what was inside) and special notes from Santa, which she had a friend’s friend write so we wouldn’t recognize the handwriting.
Valentine’s Day gifts at our breakfast seat, St. Patrick’s Day green eggs and ham, elaborate Tooth Fairy notes. She even made regular old Tuesday’s fun, and I hate Tuesday’s.
She strongly encouraged extra-curricular activities
I tried every club imaginable, mostly because my mom encouraged activities and hobbies. If I had it my way I would have sat on the couch after school and watched Lizzie McGuire while stuffing my face with all-natural, faux Cheetos (oh, she fed us healthy food, too). Instead, I dabbled in every sport and club imaginable. Gymnastics, dance, softball, tennis, basketball, track, Girl Scouts, art club, sewing camp (yes, I was cool). The list is endless and unimportant. What’s important is that she allowed me to find and develop interests, no matter how random or serious.
Both she and my dad were consistent supporters on the sidelines at my sports games (my dad on the field coaching) and I feel so lucky that they were/are involved in my life.
She made me wait until a certain age to get my ear’s pierced
13 was the magic number. I could get my ear’s pierced when I was 13 year’s old. Oh, and I could only get them pierced in the doctor’s office. Seriously, mom? Not cool. I somehow talked my way down to age 10, but the doctor’s office was non-negotiable. Most people I knew got their ear’s pierced as infants, yet for some reason I had to wait.
Believe it or not, my mom wasn’t a helicopter parent nor was she overly strict. This was just one of her rules that made sense later in life: at 13 (but really, 10) I was old enough to take care of the cleaning. Plus, who the heck want’s gross needles from Claire’s in their bodies? Her example showed me the importance of treating my body with care and caution, inside and out.
She made family dinners a priority
For as long as I can remember, our family has had dinner together almost every night. Four people sitting around a table, usually with a home cooked meal, talking about our days. I don’t know any differently. I understand this is a luxury that is not feasible for all families, but the simple act of sharing a meal contributed more to my childhood than I can express. You can read all the statistics and health benefits of family dinners, but none of that matters as much as the quality time we spent together. No matter who had a playdate or tons of homework, we all got together to share a meal at night. Still to this day it remains my favorite tradition, and one I will continue with my own family.