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Motivational Monday Mother's Day Special: The Best Lesson She Ever Taught Me.....

It's Mother's Day week! It's a great time to remind yourselves of what awesome moms you all are, and to pat yourselves on the back for all you've learned and accomplished since giving birth. It's also a time many of us look back and remember those amazing ladies in our lives: mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and show them gratitude for the positive effect they've had.

I've been lucky to have both an amazing mother and a wonderful mother-in-law who's been in my life for the past 15 years. Though their personalities are different, they both have a kindness, generosity and fun-loving spirit that I love seeing them share with my kids!

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My mom: It's hard to come up with only one lesson that my mom has taught me, but I think the most important one was to always practice empathy and kindness. You never really know what a person is going through, so you should always try to treat them with compassion and love, even when it seems like they don't deserve either. Not only does it make the other person feel better, but you feel better for having risen above.

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My mother-in-law: The best lesson my mother-in-law taught me is how to be understanding of other people's opinions without being a doormat. I'm very sensitive and emotional and a born people pleaser, while she is more stoic and practical. She's always done such a great job of respecting my feelings and opinions, even when I know she doesn't always get where I'm coming from. She's made me realize that you can be true to yourself while also being kind and understanding of people with different viewpoints.

Read On For More Lessons From Our Amazing Village of Moms:

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.

-Kristan Cole

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!

-Morgan Nishimoto

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.

-Allison Johnson

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).

-Elizabeth Schauer

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%.

-Megan Ford

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.

-Ariane Ennas

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.

-Kristin Weir

My momma always said, " If you don’t wanna get pregnant hold Advil between your knees."

-London Hobbs

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.

-Kate David

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.

-Jamie Oulton

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.

-Zara Borisova

My mom always said, “this too shall pass” and my grandmother always said, “a lunch outside can cure anything.”

-Allison Carver

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The greatest lesson my mom "taught" me was how to love. Sadly, my mom is no longer here with us. She passed away very unexpectedly in 2013 and, while she left such a void in my heart, she also filled it with the example she set on a daily basis throughout her life. My mom knew how to love and loved showing it! Just by being her, she taught me how to feel love and ho to truly express it through my words and through my actions. For that I will always be grateful. She was the best!

-Natalie Russell

Thanks so much to everyone who shared the amazing women in their lives with us! It's so cool to read about the people who contributed to you becoming the strong, smart, beautiful women you are today!

Happy Mother's Day, Mamas!

♥ Erin

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