I have a strong mom, and I feel blessed for it. Of course, there were times growing up when I wished she wouldn’t have been that way, but looking back, her strength as a parent has shaped me into the person that I am today. She always told us, “It’s a lot of hard work to be a good parent.” I didn’t know exactly what she meant until I had children of my own, but she’s right — being a good parent requires a lot of strength. She taught me many life lessons, and here are some of them.
Below are 12 things that only people with a strong mom would understand:
1. Doing things for other people isn’t always the best thing.
If we needed more ketchup at dinner, it didn’t even dawn on my sisters or me to ask my mom to get it for us. She would have looked at us like we had three heads and said, “Are your feet broken?” She made me realize that the world does not revolve around me. I don’t expect people to serve me. Instead, she taught me to take personal responsibility for my life.
2. Strong people can admit when they are wrong.
My mom taught me that when you are so busy defending yourself and trying to prove that you are right, you don’t really do yourself any good. You can learn a lot from other people if you just listen. Of course, as teenagers, we don’t want to admit that we can actually learn from our parents. But not only do we learn from them, we can learn from everyone. You just have to set your ego aside long enough to make that happen.
3. We are all unique, special, and have our own life purpose.
Strong moms will acknowledge and teach you to love your uniqueness. Not everyone is born to be a supermodel. Or rocket scientist. Or a millionaire. Or even a mom. But everyone does have something unique and special to offer the world. A strong mom will not only make you realize that, she will help you figure out what your strengths are — even if you can’t. Then she encourages you to be the best you that you can be.
4. It’s okay to say no.
A lot of us are “people pleasers,” but a strong mom will tell you it’s okay to say no. You don’t have to say yes to things you don’t want to do! Being a “people-pleaser” doesn’t always make you happy . If you don’t really want to be the president of the PTO or run that marathon with your sister, don’t do it. I’m sure someone else will. Your sister will understand. Stay true to yourself as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else if you say no.
5. It’s important to love yourself.
Your mom was the first person who loved you. A strong mom also shows you how much you are loved, and that you are worthy of love — especially self-love. It’s not egotistical to love yourself. In fact, it’s downright smart. The more you love yourself, the more love you can give to others.
6. It’s not selfish to put yourself first sometimes.
If you do nothing but give, and give, and give to other people, then your “tank” becomes empty. Eventually, your tank will run dry and you will not have anything left to give. A strong mom knows this and teaches us to take time out for ourselves to re-charge. Take that bath and sip your wine. Get that massage. Retreat to your room and read a good book. Have a girls’ night out. Whatever it takes to re-charge, go do it.
7. You are so much more than your body.
We live in a world that overvalues youth and beauty. The measure of a great person is not the number on the scale or of facial wrinkles. Strong moms know this and teach their children that they need to love their inner selves just as much, if not more, than their outer selves.
8. It’s okay to walk away.
A strong mom knows that if a situation or a relationship isn’t serving your best interest (or the best interest of others), it’s okay to let it go. There is no reason to hold on to a “so-so” romantic relationship, job, friendship, etc. “just because.” Your life experiences should help you and other people learn and grow. But if it’s having the opposite effect, then it’s okay to walk away.
9. Never, ever, let yourself be disrespected.
As Dr. Phil always says, “You teach people how to treat you.” Strong moms teach their children to respect their parents, themselves, and everyone else in the world. Part of respecting yourself not letting anyone else disrespect you, to only tolerate kind behavior from others. If you find yourself in bad situation, then re-read #8 in this article.
10. Read people’s actions because that is how you see someone’s true self.
I had to learn this one the hard way. I’m sure my mom taught me this, but since her words and actions always matched, I just assumed everyone else’s did too. Instead of taking people’s words to heart, look at what they do. As the old saying goes… actions can speak louder than words.
11. Keep your word.
Following #10, a strong mom teaches her children “If you say it … then do it.” Or, don’t say it. In other words, follow through with your actions. Your words are meaningless unless you back them up with your actions. Because after a while, no one will believe you if you don’t.
12. A parent’s job is to shape children into the best human beings possible.
I remember my mom always saying, “I don’t care if you like me. It’s not my job to be your best friend. It’s my job to be your mother.” That always stuck with me. And I think too many parents these days don’t say “no” to their children because they want their kids to like them. Strong moms know that if you do that, then your child will turn out to be a brat. The time to be friends with your children is when they are adults. And strong moms know that.
I am thankful I have a strong mom and I hope I am teaching my children how to be good parents some day, too. They will continue to bless the world for generations to come.