This is the last picture of my mother, Mary Lou Huitink, and I together before I became a mother. I had achieved a huge personal and professional goal… my Masters Degree in Educational Administration. I was driven, setting my sights on my next goal and at the same time starting to think about starting a family of my own. Since that day 13 years ago I have had the privilege of becoming a mother of 2 wonderful children, Embug and Kritter. In that time I have realized some very important “lessons” my mother taught me but I did not fully realize until I became a parent myself.
There are many more lessons this but these particular ones rise to the top when reflecting on my mother’s “Mom-isms”:
1. Take the time to listen when your children share with you… when you listen with little things they will come to you about the big things.
2. Provide your children exposure to many creative pursuits, i.e. piano lessons, quilting, crafting, book clubs, baseball, soccer, gymnastics, etc. This exposure may determine their future occupation and/or avocation.
3. Encourage your children to try again when they fail, and when I mean encourage… strongly push them. In other words, when your children fall off the horse, make them get back on it.
4. Don’t give them everything they want. Make them earn it.
5. Lead your children by serving them and your spouse. Stress that they learn to serve one another and those around them.
6. Model that everyone is deserving of respect and kindness. Every job, role, person is of value. Value each person as God does… as His creation.
7. Let their dreams be their dreams. Don’t let the hopes and dreams you have or had become their responsibility. They are uniquely and wonderfully made for God’s purpose, not yours.
8. Teach, model and practice the art of worship. Talk about God’s mercy, kindness and unconditional love. Share your favorite hymn or praise song. Celebrate the stroke of his hand in the sunset, rainbow and beauty of a fresh snowfall with them.
9. Pray with them and for them.
10. Spend special time with them and only them. This provides time for them to share their dreams, for you to share specifically why they make you so proud of them, and, most of all, assure them how much you love them.
11. Laugh with them and teach them to laugh at themselves.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom. Thank you for the wisdom and lessons you have taught me that I have put into practice with my children.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the other mothers and grandmothers that may read this. Please feel free to post the lessons you have learned from your mother or other mentors that have helped you navigate the job of parenthood.
Honored to be a Mother of 2 wonderful kids and the daughter of an amazing woman,