Life Lessons Being A Mom Teaches You

file0001307996139I started making a list of all the lessons being a mom can teach you. I included things like: patience, letting go, living in the moment, acceptance, and on and on. You know what I realized? I stink at most of the things I put on the list! Those of you that know me personally know I’m not the most patient of people. I practice patience, but often my Italian instincts kick in and patience flies out the door like I gave it a good shot.

What about learning to let go? Uh, no. Can we say “control freak?” I mean, really, what kind of mess am I going to be like when Son goes off to college in four years? Or how about when he drives? I can give you one better. He’s going on the 8th grade band trip to an amusement park. I’m not a chaperone. Honestly, the idea of him on all those rides without me reminding him to buckle in, keep his hands inside the ride, and not to talk to strangers makes me want to puke. I’m twitching just thinking about it. No, I don’t have the letting go thing down.

Do I know how to live in the moment? Not when I’m wishing they’d just go to bed. Bad Mommy.

Am I capable of acceptance? Well, maybe some things like how long Son wears his hair. (It’s starting to rival my length). But not others. Like dirty clothes all over the bathroom floor, thank you very much.

Does this mean that almost fourteen years into this journey of motherhood I’m screwing up royally? My kids will never forgive me and their therapist will be thanking me all the way to their vacation homes in Tahiti.

Maybe I shouldn’t be completely discouraged. Motherhood also teaches you about love. I had no idea that so much love for one little, creature born with no hair, no teeth and chicken legs could steal my breath or bring tears of joy to my eyes from just a look or a moment. Love like that can topple the biggest giant and that love floors me every time I lay eyes on either of my children. You’d think a mother loving her child would be a given, but it isn’t. I’ve seen what happens, up close, when a mother doesn’t love her child at all.

Now I ask, my faithful reader, what has being a parent taught you?



10 thoughts on “Life Lessons Being A Mom Teaches You

  1. One of the hardest things I’ve learned as a parent is that I can no longer lie to myself about certain traits I have. When you see something reflected back to you in a living breathing person, you have to own that the trait came from you.

  2. I would appreciate it if you made it clear to your readers that the “up close” mother you are referring to is NOT ME! As you know, you and your sister have always been THE most important people in my life, to this day. And as far as what motherhood taught me, it was not to be selfish and think only of yourself. If motherhood has not taught one to be unselfish, then than mother missed the boat. The true role of a mother is to give: her love, her time, her advice, her encouragement AND her discipline. If a mother can’t or won’t put her children before herself, then she should be raising something else. Maybe pigs, better they be brought to slaughter than her kids.

    1. In an effort to calm my Italian mother, the mother I was referrring to in my post is NOT her. Better? I’m sure everyone has noticed I have inherited the ability to speak my mind from my mother (as well as other wonderful attributes). And for that I am grateful. Thanks, Mom!

  3. Lol, you and your Italian mamma. Yes, I get the whole “we were yelling?” thing others outside the Italian faith stare at when we’re in the middle of an exchange. See? We let go without even knowing it.

    The most important lesson for me came in the form of a question from a friend. I was obsessing pretty regularly on how my boys would “turn out” if I didn’t insure whatever I thought I was supposed to control at my end. This friend asked, “what makes you think you have that much power?”

    That question set me off on an attitude changing journey. My job is to equip them with the ability to do for themselves and make sound decisions when this Italian mamma isn’t there to lead or guide directly.

    Wrote two series of blog posts on this very topic and now putting together a workshop to share my experiences to date.

    It’s a hard thing, this parenting gig. You’ll be okay. As an Italian, you have an awesome head start. 😉

  4. Joanna – I just can’t disagree with your friend more! You absolutely have that much power. EVERY mother does. A mother can make or break her child by the way she raises him or her. What we can’t control is “life”. Too often, life gets in the way and changes our course of action. However, with the proper nurturing, our children will have acquired the skills to handle those hurdles as they arise.
    I’m sure you’re doing a fine job of raising your sons. Although you can’t predict their future, you are giving them the tools they need to be successful in their adult life. In my opinion, there is nothing more powerful than that!

    1. You know, I have to agree with my Mom on this one too, Joanna. We enter adulthood prepared or not because of what our parents teach us. Once an adult, the rest is up to us. But if we’re given the proper tools then as adults we’ll be prepared to handle what life throws our way. And I know you’re doing a great job raising your boys.

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