Day 2 of my #Write31Days project is about the first woman I ever met: My Mother.
When I was born my mother was only 20 years old! By today’s standards that seems ridiculous because so many women wait to have kids, myself included. I was 29 when my first child was born and even still that seems young compared to when other women have babies these days. Think about yourself when you were 20 years old. I don’t know about you but I was working full-time, working another part-time job, going to college part-time, and planning a wedding. I can’t even imagine throwing a baby into the mix. When my mother was the age I am today she had a 15 year old! Glory be! I can’t fathom having a teenager right now.
I’m not just writing this post to compare me and mother because, quite frankly, there is no comparison. My mom worked full-time while my brother and I were growing up. She taught me life skills that were annoying at the time but I’m glad I learned them.
She taught me to sew by hand. At the time this was annoying to me because I am not a perfectionist and my mother is. I don’t necessarily follow directions and my mother does. However, because she taught me to sew by hand I can (in a pinch) repair a hem, sew a button on, and stitch up stuffed animals. I also know how to use a sewing machine and she did buy me one. Now, it’s in the garage but I do know how to read patterns, and sew things…because my mother was able to teach me.
Around the time I turned 12 or 13 years old my mother made me responsible for cooking dinner one night a week. Now, it could be macaroni and cheese and hotdogs or something else but I was responsible to tell her what I wanted to make and I had to make it. I’ll be honest, most of the time it was macaroni and cheese with ground beef mixed in. If I made that for my kids today they would complain all the way to bed about it. My mother never criticized my “cooking.” I learned to make grilled cheese sandwiches, follow a recipe, make fried bologna sandwiches, mashed potatoes, and I’m sure more things. As adults this may seem like a given that you just know how to cook. Well, it’s not. I’ve met so many precious college students that have no idea how to cook a meal. My mother taught me meal planning and cooking because she was able to instruct me.
When I was 16 years old I started working part-time at a local pizza restaurant in town. My parents did give me my first vehicle but they made me responsible to pay my dad a certain amount to go towards my insurance payment each month. I’m sure the money I paid them did not cover my entire insurance premium. But it did make me responsible to learn to pay bills…eventhough the amount was small. About this time my mom also told me I would be responsible for buying my own clothes. This is when I learned about TJ Maxx! My parents still bought my school supplies and some clothes but if I wanted a name brand I ended up at TJ Maxx. My mom made this decision because she was able to teach me responsibility.
I could go on and on about how awesome my mom (and dad) were to me growing me up. Since getting married and having children of my own my mother still teaches me lessons. My mom has seen a lot of stuff in her life and she has seen that God is sovereign through it all. When I was about 12 years old my grandpa died. He was my mom’s dad. That means she was 32 years old. I can’t imagine losing my dad now, let alone when I was 32 years old with two children of my own. I remember when I was about 16 or 17 my mom made the brave decision to leave a job she had for over a decade and took a drastic cut in pay to not sit in a cubicle all day. She started working at our church in various ministries and actually had an office with a window! She is still working there today.
I tell you these awesome things about my mother because she is able. As her oldest child I’ve seen her parenting skills from day one. I managed to do a lot of dumb things as a teenager but my mom never did anything that made me feel less than loved by her. Even today, at 35 years old, she sends me texts about once a week just reminding me that she’s praying for me. She’s always there to listen when I need to vent about my own job or when I just want to tell her something the kids did. I’ve seen the ups and downs of her life and witnessed her, whether she knew I was watching or not, lean on the Lord and let my dad take care of her. Even though she didn’t grow up in a Christian home God made my mom able at a little country church that another family took her to every Sunday.