A tribute to my mom!

Today is a very special day … my mom’s birthday!  Happy Birthday Mom – love you!

If you know my mom, you’d know that birthdays are a big deal to her … she’s what you’d call a birthday ‘slut’.  Pretty sure I’ve inherited this trait from her!  Every year I look for something special to do and each year it seems to get harder.  Give her a framed picture of my kids — seems a little self-indulgent.  Gift Certificate — she’s got a huge stack of them in her purse she never gets around to using.  Kitchen gadget — not really a fun gift.

So this year, I’m dedicating this blog post to my mom.

Mom, this post is a message from my heart and it’s all for you! xoxo

*****

I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching these days.  Trying to find my place in my new stay at home  mom world.  Looking for where I get my sense of self-worth.  Where do I get my inspiration from?  How do I get through these days without loosing myself?  It’s made me took for new heroes in life.

When working at Kohl’s, my boss had an invested interest in helping me develop my soft skills.  She asked me to pick someone from the department I admired.  “Who do you want to be more like?”  She wanted me to pick a role model that I could picture and strive to be more like.  And most of all, she said she was committed to help me be more like that person.

I immediately picked the manager who always kept her cool under pressure and never seemed to have a bad day or get caught in uncomfortable situations.  The manager who could say no without sounding like she wasn’t a team player.  While that role model can apply to my new life, it doesn’t quite fit anymore.

I’ve been looking at other moms and women whose main job in life is being a mom.  Looking at them to see how they carry themselves.  What are their priorities?  How do they release their stress?  What fun new ideas are they doing with their kids?

I want to be the mom that loves her kids unconditionally but also has the strength to discipline (fairly).  I want to find things to teach my kids in everything.  I want to be able to juggle all the “balls” in my life with ease (motherhood, blogging, friends, designing, chores, etc).  I know I don’t want to be one of those moms that is always super happy — it’s not real!  Mom’s have bad days, but you can do it with a smile.  I want to stay true to myself — the blunt, says it like it is, sometimes has diarrhea of the mouth, but always has the best of intentions woman that I am — whether I like it or not.

When thinking about who I am – defining myself to myself — I realized “I am who I am, because of my mom.”  She has been my life long role model, even before I knew what a role model was.  She showed me how to be a “lady”, how to do the laundry.  She inspired me to be an artist with her “find anything in the house to glue to paper for a picture” projects (which usually consisted of cotton balls, uncooked pasta & toothpicks).  She taught me how to turn applesauce into something amazing with a little cinnamon sugar and a cherry on top.

I have fond “mom memories”.  You know the things you make fun of someone for, but know that one day when they are gone, you are really going to miss?  Here are a few:

  • Mom ALWAYS has tissue in her pockets.  You can find them in her bath rob, winter coat,  jeans — anything with pockets!
  • She not only knew how to french braid, but she knew how to do an inside out french braid!  — now my boys may not learn that from me, but maybe grand daughters will be in my future some day?
  • She doesn’t make just plain old smiley faces, she makes cloud faces!
  • While growing up, tucking in your shirt was a must.  AND if you were wearing a skirt, you got the tuck around where she jammed her arm to tuck in your shirt while turning you in a circle.  Hard to explain, but I KNOW Mom and Rae know what I’m talking about!!
  • Toaster strudel is a pallet in which the icing was mom’s paint.

Everyone has qualities in which they are proud of.  I strive to be a giving person and I take great joy in doing things for others.  This is a quality I both like in myself and learned from my mom.  Mom was a super volunteer while growing up.  Also giving more time

Mom was a softy when it came to punishments.  I remember quite a few punishments that I was able to get out of.  While it’s an obvious example of my stubbornness, I think it also taught me a lot about forgiveness and how to let things go.  Even though I can be so angry with someone, I can usually find a way to get it all go and start fresh.  Umm Doug would also argue that I show the same forgiveness with Jaden.  I really hate giving punishments.   I’m no good at it.

There were several times while growing up I felt like Mom was expecting me to read her mind.  I remember feeling “why can’t she just tell me what she wants!  I’ll be glad to help if she only asked.”  But that taught me empathy and how to anticipate what others need.  It challenged me to read someone’s expressions without them having to verbalize what they were feeling.  Where isn’t this helpful in life?  work, friends, social events, etc.

I hope I’ve made it clear in this post on how much I love my mom and what a wonderful person I think she is.  Like every mom, she can drive me nuts, but honestly … I need that every once in a while.  She bails me out when I need help, she listens when I need to rant.  I really hope that one day my kids will love me as much as I love my mom.

Happy Birthday YaYa!

Love, Mel

 

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