“All I am I owe to my mother” ~George Washington
Motherhood is a profession worthy of a 7-figure celebration. In fact, Motherhood is the highest paying job on the market.
What other position pays in the currency of so profound and deep a love as a Mothers’ love? What job pays in eternal currency with blessings that never lose value? What career offers the fringe benefits of a son’s or daughter’s gratitude, accruing generational interest indefinitely?
10 Lessons Learned from Motherhood
1. Mothers teach unconditional love
Moms around the world love their children no matter how rotten and shriveled we turn out. No matter how many times the bed is left unmade and the laundry not put away and the toilet seat not only left up, but peed on, or how many times we forget to call on Mothers Day, our Moms love us unconditionally.
And so we are better able to love because we felt her love first. Her love is the map for ours.
2. Mothers teach the meaning of devotion
Mothers are a devoted species. They fiercely protect their kids from bad guys, danger, germs and each other. Mothers’ hearts are filled with their little ones and their little ones’ giant concerns. We learn at a young age not to mess with a mother’s child when she’s in striking distance.
Whether 5 or 25 or 55, we are always welcomed back. We know she is in our corner, rooting for us, talking about us, praying for us.
3. Mothers teach patience
The amount of patience it takes to take a helpless drooling infant through the colicky nights, the wobbly first steps, the incessant challenges, the terrible twos and even-worse threes, the identity-confused tweens and cocky teens, well, it’s a wonder any of us make it to adulthood alive. Anyone else would be behind bars (or in Belleview for an extended “vacation”).
4. Mothers teach service
From poopy diapers to aching backs carrying crying babies screaming like banshies into the wee hours of the morning. Bandages. Wiped tears. Feeding first, eating last. Sleepless nights with feverish sons. Long talks with heart-broken daughters. Endless meals and endless dishes. Packed lunches. Love. Pride. Expressions of encouragement and confidence. Parks. Skates. Hair and nails. Baseball and soccer practice. Piano and dance lessons. Learning rules of games she never cared to know. Phone calls to say hi. Babysitting. Birthday parties. So many books read. So many hugs given. So much love extended.
5. Mothers teach commitment
There are not many salespeople on the planet who could take the number of noes and in-your-face rejections a Mother takes and not quit her job or curl up in bed in the fetal position. Mothers are committed for the long-haul over the highest mountains that challenge them and across the driest plains that suck their emotional reservoirs dry.
6. Mothers teach preparation
Remember when Mom chased us down to wear our jackets because she was cold? Chapstick, homework, clean room, brush your teeth and don’t forget to floss, clean behind your ears, wash your hands before dinner!
Without Moms reminding us to take all the things we otherwise would have left behind on our way to school, or 6th grade camp or our first job, got us educated and kept us employed!
7. Mothers teach honesty
Moms accept no excuses and hear no justifications. She demands that we exercise the courage to be true to our word. She reminds us that our word is our bond and that trust and respect is the fruit that honesty bears. When we try to shade the truth, she calls us out and makes us accountable to our promises and commitments. She loves us enough to tick us off so that we grow into decent men and women.
8. Mothers teach us that feelings matter
How many skinned knees and bruised hearts has mommy put the Band-Aid of love and compassion on? Where dads will often tell their sons to suck it up and man-up, Moms go to the heart, wanting to know how we feel and where it hurts.
Dads may wipe the tears from our cheeks, but Moms are so much better at wiping tears from our hearts. We better know how to deal with tumultuous emotions because we had Moms who gave us the space necessary to understand them and deal with them as symptoms of larger inner storms she took the time to reveal to us.
9. Mothers teach us that we matter
Each act of love and kindness lays down another layer of warmth on our sometimes-shivering hearts. Every act of love is yet another witness testifying of our worth.
We mattered enough to be paid attention to, to be heard, to be respected, to be taught and lead and loved. A Mothers’ unconditional love is a powerful foundation on which to build an identity and a sense of self-worth. The very definition of motherhood should convey that idea.
10. Mothers teach that perfection is not a prerequisite for making a difference
The miracle of Motherhood is that Moms have done more to bless and guide and teach and change us at the core of who we are with the deepest love while insecure and imperfect.
They remind us that perfection is overrated, that it is unnecessary in motherhood, the most important profession on the planet, so is at east equally unnecessary in all other less important aspects of life.
We are thereby freed to do our best without self-condemnation when we inevitably fall short because we watched Mom get up each day, and for no money and few expressions of gratitude, love and bless and teach and guide and direct and redirect and redirect again as we, in all our rebellion, confusion and insecurity, clumsily stumble down life’s road, confident that even if the world rejects us, mocks and scorns us, ignores or even beats us, that we have the memory of a Mothers’ love that lifts and inspires us onward.
Thank You, Mom!
No other profession teaches all that. No other profession is so intimately down in the trenches of daily life with those they serve. No other job requires so much for so long for so little apparent reward.
But, in truth, the rewards are infinite because the job carries over into grandchildren and beyond. The work is relentless, but the rewards for their children and for society at large are immeasurable.
For that, we thank you, Mom!
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What has your mother taught you? Please share in the comments below…
Dedicated to two of the greatest moms to have graced the planet.
One gave birth to me and the other to my children.