What did you learn from you mother....

believerSeptember 30, 2008

I usually post on the step parent forum but I'm a biomom as well so I'm visiting here with this question. What do you remember learning from your mom, step mom or another important female in your life that has helped to make you a better mother?......I joined this site to learn, basically, how to do things in a better way. It seems too much of the time that there is arguing. I would like to hear something heartfelt and positive. Maybe you had a mom, like I did, that taught me what not to do. Regardless....it may have made you a better mom. Would you please share.....Dads are welcomed too....what did you learn from your mom that made you a better dad? Thank you.

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stephanie_in_ga

I just spent the weekend with my parents and many other relatives due to the death of my paternal grandfather. I actually spent a lot of time reflecing on this kind of question. I observed how my parents handled things, listened to the eulogy my uncle gave for his father. It all made me think about the influence of my parents and extended family on my values and habits today.

I was blessed with wonderful parents, so I learned a lot from both of them. Especially from my mother, though, I learned from these Momisms. Passing them down to my kids makes me a better parent, I think.

"Knowing where you come from helps to figure out where you are going." Listen to the old family stories, see the places, it helps you figure out who you are and why, and who you want to be. Spend time with your family, make them your best friends. Afterall, they will be your aunt, uncle, cousin, brother forever.

"You have to look past your own nose." Think about how your actions affect others. My kids know that one! And they use it often themselves.

"For every right there is a responsibility." The more rights you have, the more responsibilities you have. You don't get the rights unless you live up to the responsibilities. Just because you have the right to do something, doesn't make it the responsible thing to do.

She also used to tell us, metaphorically, "Your right to swing your arms ends where my nose begins."

"Give up your chair to anyone older than you, don't wait to be asked." People are shocked when my kids do this. But it would feel so wrong to not make them do it. Beyond being good manners, I think it instills a respect for elders and a selflessness that is automatic and transfers to other situations.

If there is one piece of cake and two kids, one kid cuts and the other picks first.

If kids are arguing too much, make them work together on something. Or make them sit and look at each other without talking or moving. Soon enough they are laughing.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. My mother once told my brother, me, and two cousins to stop shouting in the car or she would throw away the candy she just bought us. We kept shouting. She brought us home, into the kitchen, got out the candy (candy corn, I recall), opened the bag and made us watch her dump the entire contents into the trash can. Lesson learned for future parenting: be consistent, follow through. My kids were once fighting over a box of crackers in the car. I gave myself a flashback when, without a word, I pulled off the road, took the box, and in front of their window dumped the contents on the ground and handed them back the empty box, got back in a drove off in one very silent minivan. (One day my kids will quote my own Momism, "There are people in the world who need to fight over food, you are not them.")

You are a part of something bigger than yourself. Give back, volunteer. I remember my parents volunteering for many projects over the years growing up. They still do.

A house is a house, home is the people in it. We moved often, but I don't think it was a big deal to me b/c the family stayed the same.

One of the most important values she taught me was to not judge. In fact, after ovserving my extended family this weekend, I came to realize that acceptance of others is an important value on both sides of my family, maternal and paternal. Since kids learn what they live, I hope that continues for a long time. I hope my kids feel the same kind of unconditional acceptance that I have always felt in my family, and that they learn to pay it forward.

But the final Momism, "I was not put on this earth to entertain you!" I hear that come out of my mouth now, and now I get it! LOL. I also hear myself say "Go find something constructive to do." That what she would say if we looked bored.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 11:27PM
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mommybunny

I mainly learned from my mother not to be a selfish, self-absorbed, weak co-dependent and also to try my best to give a good marriage role model to my children.

My children are both grown now and I am glad that they didn't have to go through what I did whilst growing up. My relationship with my daughter is strained right now due to her lifestyle choices but my relationship with my son, who still lives at home, is excellent.

I have even been given the opportunity to raise my grandson and look forward to having a lifelong relationship with him also. He is only 8 months old but already showing signs of a strong personality and also is a bit on the silly side. I feel that the joy my grandson gives me and my husband more than makes up for any disappointments regarding my daughter.

Basically, because of my mother's bad mothering I've learned to communicate with my kids, give them guidance and boundaries, respect their independence and right to choose, and basically to have a give and take relationship. I don't expect my kids to take care of me when I am old or to serve me. That is not the purpose of having children. If I have a reasonably good relationship with my kids for the rest of my life then that is good enough for me.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 4:44AM
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