I believe that my mother is the most amazing person in this world. I am sure that there are several other people that feel the same about their parents, but I know those parents could never compare to her.
As I get older and our society gets more volatile, I find myself wondering what I will do to guide and teach my children. How will instill in them the same beliefs and morals that she instilled in me? Looking around, I see many women my age that barely finished high school, never went to college, had children, and are wondering what they will do each day to survive. I know it is possible to do it all – I see parents raising children, working, and attending school simultaneously – I also see how they feel guilty that they cannot spend more time with their families. I see the stress and difficulties they face each day. I know that am very lucky not to be in a similar situation. How did I make it? I find that my answer is through my mother’s honesty and openness.
I often grew weary of hearing her utter the phrase: “You need to do things the right way!” The right way – what is the big deal with the right way? She would answer everything – it is the key to your future. It is how and why you will graduate college. It is why you will obtain a job that you are passionate about. It is how you will find a husband and how you will marry for love, not convenience. It is how you will be ready to start a family (financially and mentally), not forced into being ready.
My mother’s story is one of a difficult life; one where she married young, had children early, and worked multiple jobs just to bring home enough to survive.
All parents want a better life for their children, but my mom wanted me to have it all. As a teenager, I would complain about strict rules – no dating until you are sixteen, be home by curfew, do well in school or else. I used to wonder what I did to deserve such torture.
Now I wonder if I will ever be as effective with my parenthood endeavors. However, I know that by way of her example, I can make my child equally aware of what hardships life can bring. They will know that I will love them no matter what choices they make, but they will also know how those choices will affect the course of their lives.
Many young women shudder at the thought of being compared to their mothers. I can only hope for one such compliment. She is my best friend, my confidant, my therapist, my human recipe box, and the wisest person I will ever know. Everything I am, I owe to her. I love her and I am proud to be her daughter.
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