My Mom is hilarious. She has been 25 for the past 30 years, and she will rock a pair of cheetah stretch pants and zebra print top with no shame. I have learned many lessons along the way. Here are a few that made me the woman and mother that I am today.
1. If you're hungry, eat: With four kids running around the house, the mornings were hectic to say the least. My Mom worked so she wasn't cooking us breakfast each morning. If we were hungry we knew where the food was, and were required to get it on our own. I never went hungry. We had plenty of pop tarts, granola bars, and frozen waffles to consume. It might not have been a picturesque scene of the family eating breakfast together, but it was real life. My 9 year old is the one who helps get breakfast on the table at my house each morning. While I am getting the other two ready, he is more then capable of pushing the start button on the microwave for the pancakes.
2. Thrifty can be nifty: We didn't always have extra money for the things we wanted, but we always had what we needed. My Mom would take us back to school shopping at Goodwill. We would shop all day to find the bargains without breaking the bank. She still shops there on a weekly basis. She calls it “GW-Boutique.” I do my best to be thrifty with my kids so that they can understand the value of a hard earned dollar. I have no problem whipping out my coupon book at the store to save my dollars for a rainy day.
3. Style is in the eye of the beholder: My Mom has been know to wear some out of this world outfits. She is a fan of all types of animal print attire. I personally am not a fan of tiger stripes and animal fur, but it has taught me a very important lesson; be comfortable and be who you are. I do not fight with my kids when it comes to clothing. They can wear whatever they want as long as all of the private parts are covered. I may not like what they choose, but it's not my style to critique.
4. The Negotiating Ninja: My Mom was in sales for the majority of her career. She has the ability to sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves. It is a true skill. I was lucky enough to get the ninja skills. I believe that all things are negotiable. I never pay full price. There is always room to negotiate. I am positive my picture is on a dartboard in the break room at IKEA, but it doesn't hurt my feelings. I have a beautiful patio set that I did not pay full price for.
5. No Need To Hover: Parents have a tendency to hover these days. They sit on top of their children to make sure that they are doing exactly what they need to do every minute of the day. My mother never hovered. Many times, she had no idea where we were. We knew that we had to be home when the street lights turned on. We also knew what would happen if we were late. My kids know that I am there for whatever they need. I don't have to hover, they will be just fine.
At the end of the day, if everyone is clean, fed, and safely in bed it was a successful venture. We may not be the family you see on TV, shiny and well manicured, but we are happy. My mother taught me that hard work does in fact pay off, and if you want to do yard work in high heels, by all means go for it.