Saturday, May 8, 2010

Things I have learned from my Mom

You know, once you become a mother ...well, you look at your own mother in a whole new light.

You realize how hard her job was. You realize why she was frustrated sometimes. You realize why she cried for joy when you succeeded at something. You realize how many times she bit her tongue, and bit it hard. You realize how she knew that you had stolen a cookie from the jar. You realize why she pushed you to do your best. You realize that she sacrificed a whole heck of a lot for you - of her time, her money, her resources, her interests, her sleep ... Mostly you just realize how incredibly much she must love you, because you look at your own kids and can't imagine loving someone so completely when they've done absolutely nothing to earn it. Okay, now I need to go get some tissues because thinking these thoughts makes me feel a bit weepy...

This Mother's Day, I thought I would write out a list of some of the great things I have learned from my Mom, Jeanne Riniker. She was and is a great Mommy! And she is now a great Mom-mom to my kids and loves them to pieces. Some of these are just for fun ... but some are more on a serious note.

"Things I've learned ..."

* Doing household chores "builds character". This is why I am the lovely person I am today - ha! Wow, is my character built!

* Incentives (aka 'bribes') are an effective motivational tool. My mom paid me a penny a page to read Gone with the Wind ... 1000 pages down, $10 in my pocket ... and the experience of reading a great novel.

* My Mom taught me to love books and reading (as referenced in the previous item...). If you could see the number of books she owns ... I think she bought the kindle so that Dad would not have to build yet more shelves to hold all the books. There are only so many places you can put shelves in a house! Anyway - to this day, I LOVE to read .. whenever I can find the time to do so!

* Singing is great fun! And also a great way to embarrass your kids. Only now I get to be the one doing the embarrassing!

* My Mom taught me to cook ... I even cooked meals for an entire week one summer when I was a young teenager! (I think Chad is especially glad that my Mom taught me to cook ...) She also taught me the importance of taking the time to have dinner together as a family.

* Sometimes a hug says more than words could ever say.

* If you see something you want to try ... GO FOR IT! Well, as long as it doesn't involve drugs, alcohol, sex or bungee jumping. :)

* It is important to be loyal and committed. Whether to a spouse, or a friend, or a team, or to practicing piano ... :)

* My Mom taught me how to do things for myself. This is great because once you teach your kids to do stuff ... you don't have to do it for them anymore! But seriously, growing up I had friends who were too afraid to go away to college, too afraid to live on their own, too afraid to try out for things, basically too afraid that they "couldn't" do things. And a big part of it was that they were so dependent on their parents for everything. I think that since my Mom taught me to be independent in the things I was ready to be independent in, I felt more confident in my ability to take care of myself. (Although maybe she was sorry she taught me to be so independent when I moved 10 hours away to go to college, moved to Chicago to go to grad school, stayed in Chicago on my own during my 20's .... but hey, I eventually came back home now, didn't I?)

* My Mom always told me to marry my best friend. Glad I listened to that one!

* My Mom is the one who answered all my questions about Jesus and helped me to accept Christ as a little girl. And I hope I can do the same with my kids!

* Being a mother is about sacrifice. Sometimes the sacrifice is hard .. but so worth it. How many things did my mom NOT buy or do for herself so that we could have a good education, music lessons, extra clothing? How much time did she spend taking me to the mall, or sewing my clothes, or reading me books, when she would have rather been doing something else? I don't know, but I am starting to understand that now.

I am especially thankful for my Mom this Mother's Day. This past year has included a new baby and an unexpected hospitalization of Chloe, and my Mom came and took care of my older 2 children in each of those situations. I know many people just expect that their parents should do this ... but I don't. I know it is a lot of work to take care of kids 24/7. I find it hard and I am not ... well I won't mention my mom's age, but she is older than I am, and her child rearing years are behind her. :) (She also had to sleep in my basement on the pull-out couch which is not the most deluxe of accommodations ...) My Mom happily came to care for them, and I never worried about them for a second. I know they are in good hands when my Mom (or my dad or my in-laws) is here.

Thank you so much Mom for all you have done, now do, and will continue to do for me. Thank you for loving me when I was less than lovable. Thank you for raising me well and for all the zillion other things you have taught me that are not on this list. And thank you for being a good example of what a mother should be!

I love you!


nateandkatesmom said...

Don't doubt that you are every bit the great Mom that your Mom is! Happy Mothers Day Amy!

Allison said...

What a lovely tribute to your Mom! She is indeed a great lady~

Jeanne said...

Aw shucks! Thank you for the kind words. I didn't remember the .10 per page for reading Gone With the Wind.It was such a great book and I didn't want you to miss out on a real treat. You are such a great Mom to your children - far better than I was. Thanks for being such a great daughter, wife, mother and friend. I love you so much.


The Raudenbush Family said...

What a good post--celebrates both your mom and your own motherhood. :) Hope you enjoyed your Chinese lunch! :)

patricia said...

That was really beautiful Amy! I'm taking notes. :)