Feature Story, Motherhood

#FinalThoughts: My Mother’s Best Advice

My mom has always given me the best advice. One thing I know for sure is I can count on my mom to be there for me and listen when I need someone. Whenever something major happens in my life, the first person I think to tell is my mom. If I need help in making a major life decision, I call my mom and ask for her thoughts on the issue.

I was thinking of advice my mom has given me that has made a great impact on my life. There are so many wonderful words of wisdom she has shared with me. I honestly believe it is because of my mom’s great advice and her great love for me that I am who I am. I will forever be grateful for my mom.

 

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share a few things my mom has said to me that has stuck with me.

My mom at age 19.

Always trust your gut. I think this is something that sticks with me more now that I am a mother and I am older. I remember when I was younger, my mom used to say this to me all of the time. I didn’t quite understand what she meant. Once I started experiencing different life issues, like meeting someone new or trusting someone to care for my children, I started to understand the importance of trusting my gut.

 

 

Enjoy the simple things in life. When I was little, I loved making my mom pictures and other art objects. Every time I would give my creation to her, she would always display such genuine joy. It made me feel good knowing that a pretty drawing could make her so happy. As I got older, I noticed other “simple” things made my mom happy. Cooking a family dinner and eating together, watching a movie together at her house, going for a walk at the park, or just sitting outside on the patio and talking together.

Put your family first. My mom strongly believes in family. I know her strong sense of family has passed on to me because I, too, strongly believe in putting family first. I also love being a mother just like my mom. This is also why I love having a big family. My children are everything to me and I try hard every single day to be the best mom I can be for them.

 

Elijah and Michala with my mom in Tennessee (2012).

 

It’s fun to laugh at yourself sometimes. My mom is always cracking jokes with me. She texts me silly memes all of the time. In fact, she started using gifs and memes before I did! My mom isn’t afraid to laugh at herself if she makes a mistake or does something silly. It has taught me to have a sense of humor and laugh at myself, too. If you were to hang out with my mom, sister, and I, I promise you’d leave with your sides hurting from laughing so much. We love to laugh!

 

Choose a doctor who is caring and takes the time to listen to you. My mother is a retired nurse. She first started her nursing career when she was in the Army. After she got out of the Army, she continued to serve as a nurse for DoD. Growing up, I remember my mom was always very kind to patients and would go an extra mile to ensure they received quality care. This has always stayed with me and I am always adamant about having a doctor who genuinely cares and takes time to listen.

 

Buy quality products that will last. From a good pair of sneakers to buying quality toilet paper, I will never forget my mom’s advice to buy products that will last. It’s always worth it to spend a few extra dollars if it is a quality product. My mother isn’t high maintenance. She believes in making the most of your money and buying products of value. I think this is why I’m always buying groceries at Kroger because that’s where she grocery shopped when I was little. LOL!

My mom with Michala in Nashville, TN at a MLK, Jr. March event (2014).

When you’re feeling down, sometimes you have to make yourself get out of bed. It’s funny because I actually say this to my teens. I tell them sometimes we have hard days, but we still have to get up and take care of our responsibilities. Sometimes we have to just make ourselves get out of bed and do it! In the end, you feel proud of yourself for finding the strength to keep going.

 

Speak up for yourself. Even if you feel scared. You have to speak up for yourself and let people know they can’t walk all over you. If someone is treating you wrong, say something! Don’t let them get away with it. And speak up for your children, too. You can speak up for yourself in a very tactful way without getting ugly or instigating a fight. My mom taught me when you speak up for yourself you let people know you have a voice and you’re not afraid to use it. People will respect you more for speaking up and you’ll also respect yourself.

Mom holding Zephaniah when he was 2-weeks-old (September 2017).

 

If things aren’t going according to plan, think about all that you accomplished. When I was experiencing postpartum depression, my mom said if I just completed one load of laundry that was a great accomplishment. Having anxiety doesn’t help matters when things get overwhelming or they don’t go according to plan. I’m thankful for my mom’s gentle reminder to not be so hard on myself and to focus on my accomplishments and count them as victories.

 

Always bring a coat or light jacket with you until it’s summertime. When I was younger, I used to hate it when my mom would constantly remind me to wear my coat or bring my coat with me. Now that I’m a mom, I find myself telling my own children to “put on your coat” or “make sure you always bring your coat with you until it’s hot outside.” They get so mad at me, too! LOL! But mom was right! Even in the spring, you should still bring your jacket with you just in case. And now that we live in Michigan, I definitely understand the importance of wearing a coat and bringing a light jacket with me!

Thank you, Mom, for always being there for me and giving me the best advice! I love you very much!

 

What advice has your mom or mentor given you that has been meaningful to you?

 

All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra.

 

 

What are your thoughts?