Mom3Mother’s Day is this weekend. It’s always a bittersweet holiday for me. My Mom passed away 16 years ago and I miss her dearly. I feel  fortunate that I’m a mom, however, and I love spending the day with my husband and our two lovely daughters.

I was blessed to have an in incredible mom and as I look at the parenting skills that she personified, I’d like to share them with you. Please share your thoughts on qualities you admire in other moms or that you try to emulate below.

Unconditional love – I was not a perfect kid, but I never for one second worried that my mom didn’t love me. I knew that I meant more to her than anything.  Sometimes, I knew that I had disappointed her, but I never doubted her love. Sadly, a recent study found that some kids today feel that their parent’s love is conditional upon what they do, how well they do in school and how successful they are in sports and activities. We need to return to unconditional love.

She let me take risks – When I was in middle school, my mom would drop off my best friend, Sandi, and me at the Minnesota state fair every day it was open.  Sandi and I LOVED the fair and would spend hours going on rides and peeking in at all the exhibits.  My mom was protective, but not OVERprotective as many of us are today.  I would have never let our kids spend hours at the fair alone in middle school. But why not? The risk of abduction is minimal. In 159 years, the MN State Fair has not had a child abduction reported.  I admit, I’ve been overprotective. I’ve tried to lighten up more.

Held me accountable.  If my curfew was 11 p.m. my mom would be sitting up in her blue rocking chair waiting for me to get home. If I was late, there would be a consequence.

Followed her instincts – My mom used to tell me she had eyes in the back of her head and I believed her. I couldn’t get anything past her! She followed her instincts and she called me to task if she even suspected that I may be headed for trouble. Following your gut is a valuable GPS for parents. Don’t discount it!

Spent time with me. My mom loved going shopping, playing cards, and visiting with me. If there was cleaning to do, she’d drop everything to hang out with me. We always got the chores done, but spending time together was always the priority.

Pursued interests of her own. My mom and dad loved bowling and every Fri. night they bowled in an adult league.  I liked having baby-sitters and would give my cousin, Dennis, a run for his money when he watched me. As a parent now, I admire that my parents set aside time for their own interests and each other so I knew I wasn’t the complete center of their universe. My parents were great role models teaching me that parents have needs, too.

Put me to work. My parents owned a hardware store when I was growing up. Starting in first grade, I had to help out at my parents’ business dusting shelves, (I still hate dusting to this day!) putting up merchandise, and helping customers. I had chores at home, too. Research shows that kids who have chores growing up will be more successful in life. I guess my mom knew that, too.

We didn’t have a choice about who would parent us. We do, however, have a choice about the mom we will be for our kids. Please share your thoughts on qualities you admire in other moms or qualities that you try to emulate below.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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