I’ve been blessed to have many examples of wonderful mothers in my life. Not only my mom, but my grandmothers, godmother, aunts, mother-in-law, cousins and close friends, with their strength, love and support, have all shown me what it means to be a mom and a strong woman. As my husband and I talk about starting a family, I’m so thankful for these women…for these role models.
I’m sure most feel this way, but really, my mom is truly one-of-a-kind. There is absolutely no one like her. My entire life she has been my go-to for anything and everything. When I’m having a bad day, my anxieties kick in, or in a moment of crisis, it’s practically a reflex to dial her number. (We have a rule though, I have to preface the conversation with, “Mom, I’m okay, but…”) She always knows how to talk me through it, guide me, and when needed, call me out on my crazy. Since I live far away from my parents, these calls happen more often than I’d like to admit. There’s certainly a learning curve to living independently as an adult, but knowing my mom is just a phone call away gives me comfort. Although we both agree living closer, or better yet, in the same state, is our ultimate goal.
Growing up, and even now, I believe there isn’t anything my mom can’t do. And, if there’s something she’s not sure how to do, she always figures it out. She’s smart, resourceful and brave. I mean, the woman put together an 8-drawer dresser from Ikea BY HERSELF in like 4 hours flat. If you’ve ever bought anything from Ikea, you understand the magnitude of this.
My mom is one talented lady. She’s a photographer, musician, and a fantastic baker. She’s creative, artistic, and loves learning. She’s giving of her time. In my opinion, sometimes too giving. I’ve always known her to put others first—especially my sister and me. One thing I admire the most about my mom is she never stops dreaming. She continues to set new goals or come up with unique ideas and then thinks up new, creative ways to achieve them.
If you’re lucky, you follow my mom on Twitter or you’re her Facebook friend. And, if you are, you’ve heard about one of her many sagas while living in NYC—battling parking tickets, riding the subway, hunting for parking spots during street cleaning, and braving the bitter cold during winter. She tells great stories, but truth be told (and I think she’ll agree) she’s terrible at remembering names or specifics, so it’s usually an adventure when she gets started. It’s part of her charm. Nonetheless, our routine phone calls tend to be one of the best parts of my day. Even though I’m now 30, we still text each other “goodnight” every night.
In addition to her stories, she’s always armed with some piece of cautionary advice. She just can’t help herself. Most of our phone calls end with her offering a tiny reminder to wear sunscreen, not eat raw cookie dough, check my tire pressure, discreetly cover the keypad when entering my debit card pin, or even not talk to strangers. It’s usually something kind of obscure, but I know the sentiment is filled with love. My sister refers to it as, “Shit my mom says.” And lately, I’ve even noticed myself giving her similar warnings as I worry about her navigating the city on her own. I just hope she’s practicing what she preaches, and I’m sure she is. But really, Mom, don’t talk to strangers.
She has taught me to never settle, how to have faith in myself, stand up for what I believe in, and the importance of (safely) taking risks. Because of her, even when I doubt myself, I at least know she’ll always be in my corner, cheering me on. My mom was a huge influence in helping me find the courage to start this blog. She constantly reminded me that I could do it. She even threatened to “kick my butt” if I didn’t…so, I took her seriously. Thanks, Mom.
I worry I’ll never be able to properly articulate just how much she means to me. That I’ll never be able to thank her enough for all the love and the lessons. I like to think she knows though.
Now, a little bit about my mom in her own words…
Name 5 things you love: My family first! Spending girl time with my 2 daughters or my 4 sisters. The heat of the summer, especially at the beach. Pizza and food in general. Road trips.
How about 5 things you dislike: My hair. Jazz. Paying full price for anything. Cruelty in people. Discussing politics. (Side note: I would also like to add ordering food in drive-thrus, loud or classical music in stores, and automated phone menus when calling any sort of customer service number.)
What is better about the world today than when you were growing up? Mandatory use of seatbelts in cars
Who is your greatest influence and why? My dad because he was always present and taught me a lot about life by example rather than through lectures
If you could go back to any year of your life and relive it, what year would you pick? 1978, the wonderful year I dated your father, before we married the following year.
In what ways do you think we’re alike? We look somewhat similar, we can get emotional at the movies, we like to write, we are creative, we both love the show Fixer Upper, and we are serious foodies.
And, different? You like to plan, I live in the moment. You love dresses, I love jeans. You’re patient, I’m impatient, you’re nicer than I am, you’re a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.
If you could ask anyone in the world one question right now, who & what would you ask? I would ask the powers that be at Monsanto why they’re screwing up our food supply.
What’s something you wish you had known when you first became a mom? Don’t postpone having the family you want because you’re waiting for the right time financially, or when you think your job will permit it.
What’s one piece of parenting advice you want to pass on to me? Don’t use the television or computer games to keep your children occupied. Instead, engage them with activities that teach them hands-on skills they can take into adulthood.
What’s the hardest thing about being a mom? Wondering if you’ve made all the right choices in your children’s lives, while those choices are yours to make.
The most rewarding? Besides hearing them laugh, knowing from day one how connected you’ll be to your children and experiencing the deeper connection you’ll have with their father, as a result of their births…too mushy? (Kind of, but that’s ok.)
What is something you’re looking forward to? Living closer to my girls and of course, grandchildren!
I asked a few people closest to my mom to describe her in 3 words…
My Dad: Funny, Smart, Amazing
My Sister: Scatter-brained, Entertaining, Loving
My Mom’s Mom: Loving, Smart, Artistic
Her Eldest Sibling: Pie-making, Camera-toting, Road Tripper
And Youngest Sibling: Creative, Direct, Thoughtful
Her Close Friend: Spontaneous, Foodie, Determined
Son-in-law: Kind, Creative, Supportive
Happy Mother’s Day! See you next Friday. xx, Devon