10 things I learned from my mom

1. Always send a thank you

We were taught from a young age to promptly get thank you’s in the mail after our birthday and Christmas, or any other time we received gifts. I love our modern ways of communicating – email, Facebook, text, etc., but there is just something about getting a handwritten thank you note in the mail. It might seem old school but I always feel appreciated and honored when a little note comes addressed just to lil’ old me. And I think it’s an important manner to pass on to my children so we are instilling the same habit in our kiddos.

Target has some cute options to help kids with thank you’s. I have seen some with stickers they can use to decorate and some with fill in the blanks for kids that can write. Or, look online for a free printable kids thank you template.

2. Love your babies, but love your husband more.

You probably read this and thought, “what”? I’ll explain.

While I was pregnant with my first, I remember my mom telling me to be mindful about still paying attention to my husband after the baby was born. How very 1950’s of her right? I may have done an eye roll at the time but after my son was born, I knew what she meant. The love you have for your child is so perfect – they love you no matter what, everything they do is adorable, and for the first few years you’re focused on meeting their every demand. At the end of the day in my exhausted state it was easy for me to forget to greet my husband when he got home or prioritize those much-needed date nights. I believe that the best thing you can do for your kids is keep your marriage strong – strong but not perfect. And I’m not saying I have been great at this one, but I’m working on it.

3. Take care of your skin

She has told me this all of my life. I am adamant about wearing sunscreen and slather on a massive amount of face cream every night. I can’t go to sleep without washing my face. I don’t know if this will prevent me much from getting wrinkles but at least I won’t have a leather face. Try my coconut oil body scrub, it’s delish.

4. Never say never…or always

Because “no one never does something or always does something”. Those are fighting words.

We were taught not to use never or always when arguing, because it’s simply not true. I liken it to the difference in calling someone a liar, or saying that they lied to you. Never and always sound like character flaws, instead of isolated offenses. This is a big one, one we should be sure to teach our kids.

5. Entertain simply.

We’ve talked about this recently. My mom and I share the love of entertaining, but it’s easy to get caught up in making things fancy and trying to have everything perfect. If our real goal is making and building quality relationships, we should skip the goal of perfection and keep it simple. Make a big pot of chili and invite the neighbors over (she just did this). Throw in some pizzas and or do a potluck for movie night. It takes the pressure off of everyone.

And, whatever you do, do not clean your house from top to bottom before a playdate. It’s just not necessary. Everyone knows you have kids.

6. Cut the butter.

I am not suggesting that butter is a bad thing. I believe in butter, real butter, not that fake margarine stuff. But, my mom usually cuts some or half of the butter out of recipes and they still turn out wonderfully. So, cut some of the butter out of your next recipe and you probably won’t even notice the difference. Except in your thighs.

7. Never stop learning.

Read, read and read some more. Watch the history channel. Try something new. Uneducated doesn’t always mean you didn’t go to school.

8. Cooking dinner is always better with some Frank Sinatra on.

Enough said. You simply cannot be in a bad mood with Frank around.

9. Pray. Pray. And then pray some more.

I’m working on biting my tongue more. Instead of offering up advice, she would often tell me should would pray about my problem for me. Sometimes I thought it was annoying, because I wanted to do the over-analytical thing that I am so good at. But there is wisdom in listening and praying for your friends and loved ones, and keeping your mouth shut. Again, I’m working on it.

10. Be a woman of action.

Sometimes it’s ok to be the squeaky wheel. If you don’t call about that obscenely high medical bill, you may never find out it was billed wrong. Or that you can get a discount if you pay in one sum. If we don’t question things, they may never change.

What would you add to the list?

::giggle giggle snort::