Things My Mother Didn’t Teach Me

Today is my mother’s birthday. In honor of her, I am sharing a post I wrote several years ago from an old blog with some modifications.

My mother taught me a lot of things. Because of her, I can make some delicious spaghetti sauce. I know how to put on makeup well. Like my mother, I am inquisitive and have the constant desire to know more. These are just a few of the things my mother taught me. 

Several years ago, I read a blog post by a woman who was reflecting on the wonderful lessons her mother didn’t teach her. It inspired me to think about the many lessons I learned without the help of my mother.

I’m thankful she didn’t teach me how to fail.
From a very young age, I was taught that no matter how times you fail at something, do it again until you’re successful. Tying my shoe, riding my bike, cooking, and parking a car are just a handful of examples in which I’ve failed countless times. Instead of giving up like I wanted to, she pushed me to do it again, sometimes in a gentle way, but more often than not in a “You WILL learn how to do this because you don’t have a choice!” way.

I’m thankful she didn’t teach me how to be a woman waiting for a man.
Throughout my life, I saw lots of moms who were so involved in their daughters’ dating lives. I hated that they were always pushing their daughter to find a boyfriend or cautioned them about how much they ate. It was as if they were already being prepped for finding a husband. My mother raised me to be independent and to have my own life. Even in my serious relationships, she encouraged me to focus on my education and go after my dreams. She had a wonderful relationship with my dad. They each had their own lives and interests outside their marriage, but the love between them was genuine, strong and fulfilling.

I’m thankful she didn’t teach me the easy way out.
As a lazy and spoiled teenager, I often wanted to “take the easy way out” with my homework. There were countless fights over this. I soon realized taking the easy way out didn’t really get you anywhere but lost. Part of the reason I have such a strong work ethic today is because I stopped taking the easy way and chose the one that required more work. And to be honest, the rewards are greater when you’ve worked so hard.

I’m thankful she didn’t teach me to stay at home.
I couldn’t wait to turn 18 so I could get out of my parents house and go to college. For the first month or so, I really loved it. I was on my own, I didn’t have a curfew-in short, I could do what I wanted to do. I loved it. And when I was older, I lived by myself for 2 years. It was AMAZING! I was happy being me, in my own space. I could move the furniture any way I wanted to. I didn’t have to worry about waking someone else up with my music. I could put the air down to 65! Living on my own was a very satisfying experience that I will always treasure and it’s because my mother gave me the wings to leave the nest and fly on my own.

I’m thankful she didn’t teach me everything.
There are so many things your parents can’t teach you. This is why you go to school, you live alone, you live with friends, you travel, you work, etc. Some of the best lessons in my life I learned on my own. I wouldn’t have had the freedom to make mistakes, to love, to get my heart broken, to know pain and to truly live if she had taught me everything. If she had, my life would have been so boring.

And my life is anything BUT boring thanks to you, Mom (and Dad). 

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