I’m taking today to tell you about my mom. Why? One, because it’s her birthday, and two, because she’s taught and continues to teach me how to be the good mom I’d like to think I am so far.
Now, I’m not going to get completely sappy and tell you all I have the most perfect mother in the world (she’d like me to, though), but she’s pretty fantastic. From watching her and being her kid, I think I've learned what to do and what not to do as a mom.
Here’s a few:
- Make the sacrifices so your kids can have what you think is best. This is a biggie and one I truly appreciate. I can’t think back to anything my parents have done—from moving, to buying a certain car, to switching or staying at a job—that wasn’t in mine and my brother’s best interest. Though we may not have understood it at the time, I look back now at some big things, like moving back to Pittsburgh from Virginia Beach when I when I was 13, and see that they did it for us. (The move was so I’d have multiple colleges to pick from close to home.) They lived for us. I have no doubt. No major decision made since we were born was a selfish one.
- Act like your kid is DA BOMB! My mom thinks everything I do is awesome. “Mom, I go a new job.” “I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!” “Mom, I woke up with my alarm!” “OH! THAT’S WONDERFUL!” “Mom, I got a new dress!” “OOOO! What color!?” Over the top, yes, at times, but my mom is still the first person I want to call with good news. There were some things I did that my mom didn’t approve of, which she let me know of, too, but when I did well (I usually did), her reaction was always and still is the best.
- Set physical boundaries for your children on the street you live on and put the fear of God in them if they ever dare to cross that line while playing outside. Mom didn’t want to lose me. I appreciate that.
- Don’t talk badly about your spouse or your child’s other siblings. When my brother became a teenager and years beyond that, my mother would often refer to him as an S.O.B. (which was always pretty funny since she was calling herself a B. and not really insulting him). Mom also called my dad some names and wished several bad things upon him if he left dishes on the counter, didn’t cut the grass, forgot to take the garbage down on garbage night, etc. Not much of this was said seriously, just an in-the-heat-of-the-moment kind of thing, but still I wondered what she’d say about me when I wasn’t around.
- Don’t make stupid rules with no reason. My mom is a classic “Because I said so” mom. CLASSIC. And some of her and my dad’s rules were just, well, STUPID:
- At 14, I couldn’t call a boy. My best friend was a boy! I couldn’t call him!
- At 17, I wasn’t allowed to have more than one other person in the car I was driving.
- At 20, I wasn’t allowed to change my major from Psychology to Journalism. (I didn’t listen to that one, thank God.)
Because she said so! The end!
Of course there’s more. There’s also more good stuff than bad. No matter what I’ve never had any doubt that my mama loves me (I guess that makes this list "Six things my mom taught me about being a mom."). I hope Lincoln and any future kids feel that from me. It’s great. It’s constant. It’s encompassing. It’s awesome.
I think my mom know I love her, too. I LOVE YOU, MOM!
Erin Hill is a first-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.
Erin is a full-time technical writer and features freelance writer in her "spare time." She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest.