My grandmother, Mimi, made the BEST poundcake you've ever tasted. She would make it every time we visited her in Texas, which was once in the summer and over Christmas break. At her house, I was always allowed to eat her cake for breakfast. It seems like a small thing, but I always looked forward to that treat. And I think that's a pretty important lesson - Sometimes you need to let yourself eat cake for breakfast (whether literally or metaphorically). It's been 4 years since she's passed and every Christmas break since then, I make her pound cake (which never tastes the same) and eat cake for breakfast with my daughter every morning until it's gone.
I think the best mom skill my mom gave me was mental toughness. She had a hard life and definitely became a lady that knows how to suck it up and get through things. I’m not quite at her level of badass, but hopefully I’ll get there eventually!
The best piece of advice my mom gave and continues to give me is “Imperfection adds character.” Sometimes I get so wrapped up in making sure everything is perfect. But it doesn’t need to be! Perfect can be boring. Our mistakes and imperfections are what make us who we are ... unique and strong and beautiful - inside and out!
Sometimes when my mom isn’t around my husband tried to remind me of this advice too. Except his version of “imperfection adds character” is: “when you mess up, it makes it better.” Haha bless his heart.
I always wish my mom had shared with me some of her creativity, but as a divorced mom of three, she was more interested in our financial well-being - and we are all the better for it.
When I was in high school, she taught me how to make a budget and an amortization schedule (for our student loans) on an Excel. I'm sure I rolled my eyes a number of times, but to this day I still use those templates to keep track of my family's spending, project budgets, plan our investments, and monitor our debts (which is now down to just our mortgage!).
I know her greatest strength is not in her ability to organize a home or be on time. She is a creative visionary at heart. But she put that part of herself aside for the better part of our lives so that she could have a meaningful income and become a good example for us. After spending several years working in administrative/number-related jobs, she went back to school in her late forties and became a CPA at 50. She then went on to teach accounting at her local university before completing her career as Assistant to the University Controller.
With her singing voice, dancing flair, and ability to design her own cross-stitch patterns, not to mention her Meryl Streep nose, she probably could have made a promising career in the arts; however, in facing the practicalities of the world (for context, in contrast to my fantasy book-loving father), she taught the three of us to work first and play later, even when that wasn't what we always wanted to hear!
This July 4th, she will have been married to a wonderful, loving, and hardworking man for 30 years, and their hard work has definitely earned them the means to play. They'll be hopping on a boat in the next few weeks for some sun and fun - coming north from NC just in time to meet their new grandbaby (I'm due at the end of May).
My Mom's best advice was to always give 100% and do it right the first time! I'll never forget the time she made me redo an entire project because she said I rushed through it and didn't give it my best effort! Needless to say I never had to redo a project after that and I strive to always give everything 100%.
My mom (and dad) taught me that stability (& NOT crazy) is really the best thing you can offer your kids. I know we can't all be this lucky, but I feel fortunate that I had this.
I have two lessons, both are from my mother, which she always started with “my mother always told me” so my grandmother as well. 1) You can do just about anything for a year, so when the going gets tough, hang in there! 2) If you’ve tried your very best, no one can expect any better.
My momma always said, " If you don’t wanna get pregnant hold Advil between your knees."
My Mother's best advice was:
1. They won't want to sleep with you when they're 13 so stop worrying about it and enjoy.
2. I promise they won't get on the bus for their first day of school with a paci. Stop worrying about it. If they sleep, you sleep.
3. A new little doodad will absolutely make the shopping trip a little less stressful.
4. You all ate McDonalds and watched cartoons and guess what... you’re still around to talk about it.
5. Your house will be clean one day...stop worrying about it. (Stop worrying seems to be a trend.)
We were hugged, kissed and told LOVE YOU all the time. I think the best thing my mom taught me is that kids can never ever hear those two words enough.
Always remember who you are and where you came from.
My mom has taught me how important traditions can be. It means a lot to continue traditions, especially when you lose a parent. I love creating traditions with my kids.
My parents always shared everything with us. It did not matter if it was good, or bad, we always went through everything in life together as a family.
My mom always said, “this too shall pass” and my grandmother always said, “a lunch outside can cure anything.”