Things My Mother Taught Me

Things My Mother Taught Me


By Mitzi Bryant

As MotherÂ’s Day approaches, I look forward to the construction paper goodies my children will lovingly offer me, and like every year, I wonder if they will someday treasure me as much as I treasure my mother. As a single mom, I am blessed to have a mom who is also single. Together, we have learned the business of living alone, of growing independent, of learning about ourselves and of dealing with a world that is often unkind to single women. Of course, I learned from her my entire life, but this bonding experience has been a special one. Not only has it made us closer as mother and daughter, but also as women friends.

My mother has taught me so very many things, large and small, but the basics are as follows:

IÂ’ve learned that life is so much easier if I just be myself. This is living life openly and honestly, and saves time, energy, heartache, and misunderstanding in any situation, or in any relationship.

IÂ’ve learned that life IS what it IS, people are who they are, and any attempts to pretend otherwise (or any illusions I have about changing them) are just that pretensions and illusions.

IÂ’ve learned that martyrs do not make good mommies, and sometimes the best thing I can do for my children is to be good to me. In addition, any attempts by me to live my life through my children means itÂ’s time for me to get a life.

IÂ’ve learned that parents are human, too which helps me be more accepting of my own frailties and failings in dealing with my children. We all do the best we can as parents, and pray that love can overcome our humanity.

IÂ’ve learned that sparing someoneÂ’s feelings about small things is polite, but that with life-impacting situations, itÂ’s depriving them of essential information that they may need to make decisions about their life.

IÂ’ve learned that women can be strong and feminine; that itÂ’s our femininity that IS our strength. Essential characteristics that nurture, support, protect, and love are what make women unique.

IÂ’ve learned that a sense of humor is essential for survival, because to laugh at life and at myself allows me to maintain my perspective on life.

IÂ’ve learned that I have the answers that I need to live my life within me, if I just be still enough and look deep enough to understand.

I havenÂ’t always made the best decisions for my life, and like all of us, I make mistakes. When asked about a particular decision that I had made, she replied,

"She is 40 years old. Everything that I have to say about this decision is already in her head. She knows."

As usual, she was right. I did know.

I just love her for that.

About the Author

Mitzi Bryant is an accountant and freelance writer, when not being Single Mom to her three children: Will, Kate, and Anna. She writes poetry, parenting humor, and articles on the trials and joys of being a single parent. Mitzi and her little family live, love, work, and play in Alabama.

Article Copyright 2000 by Mitzi Bryant


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