Today was my Mom’s birthday. She passed away in 2012 due to breast cancer. My Mom was a light in my life that I miss so much. When I became a parent I started to realize how much my parents sacrificed of their own lives to make a good life for me and my sisters. This past weekend my family and I watched videos I made each year for my daughters’ birthdays. There were photos of my Mom in those videos of her interacting with her granddaughters. It was bittersweet. I am glad my daughters know of their Gigi, but I wish my Mom was still alive today. I was also thinking about how my Mom helped make me into the parent who I am today. Here are some lessons on parenting I learned from my Mom.
The First Shall Be Last And The Last Shall Be First
This was a famous line from The Bible. Growing up Catholic my Mom would recite this line to me and my sisters when we were fighting to see who played video games first or anything else that we were bickering about back in the day. As a kid hearing that made my eyes roll. I understood why she said it, but it was annoying to hear that unless I was the one able to go first. Now as a parent I have said that to my daughters who both proceed to do their own eye rolls. Yet besides the notion of taking turns it made me think about my view as a parent. My wife and I sacrifice things in our lives to make sure our kids are taken care of each day. So when I was a kid my wants came first. Now as a parent my wants and needs come last. With the love that I have for my kids I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Laugh With Your Kids
This one sounds like a no brainer, but there are some levels to this one. You can laugh from time to time with your kids, but if you are not invested in your kids it may be tough to find humor in things together. My Mom and I would laugh together when watching a TV show or things we experienced while food shopping together. She understood my sense of humor and I understood hers. There were times where we would laugh out loud from what the other one said. Now my kids and I do the same thing. I appreciate these times with my daughters. It is a great way to bond with your kids. Even as they get older they still tolerate and sometimes enjoy my dad jokes!
Pay It Forward
My Mom had one of the most caring hearts. She would look to help those in need. She talked to me about paying it forward. It didn’t have to be a monetary donation. You could help out someone by shoveling their driveway for free. It could be making a card for someone. She would tell me that if you had the opportunity to brighten up someone’s day to go and do it. My wife and I now use those words with our kids. I hope my daughters pass that on to their kids as well.
The Secret Ingredient To Delicious Pancakes
My Mom would let me help in the kitchen. I learned some great cooking tips from her as I started to cook my own meals as a kid. One meal that I think all kids make with their parents is pancakes. Every family has a secret ingredient that makes their pancakes unique. My wife’s dad told her to add seltzer into the mix. She does that from time to time. For me my Mom told me to add some vanilla flavoring into the mix. I still do that today when I make pancakes for my family. My daughters love it!