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My First Mother’s Day: 5 Lessons I’m Passing Down From My Mom

Funny story, just before this time last year when Myles and I were “trying” (I put this in quotes because I had just come off the pill and we knew it could take some time for my body to regulate, so our thought was we’re not not trying – if it happens earlier than six months great) I was so certain I would be pregnant at Mother’s Day that I wanted to celebrate too with our moms. As you can see, the timing didn’t quite line up that way, ha.

Day in the park with this little squish.

Now, a year later, here we are: my first official momma’s day. When I look at Logan, yes my heart swells with this overwhelming sense of love, but I also think about my role as mom. And how much the person I am today has been shaped by my mom (and dad, too!).

There are so many lessons that I didn’t realize I had learned along the way, until put to the test. One being holding the title mom is one of the toughest, yet most rewarding jobs you’ll ever have. Your role involves so much more than just caretaker, you’re also homemaker, chauffeur, Mrs. Fix-it, chef — the list goes on.

While I knew how hard my mom worked to keep things running smoothly, I got a small taste of it after Myles and I graduated college and moved out to Los Angeles. I remember calling up my mom and apologizing for all those times growing up, when she had to ask my sisters and I to pick up X or help clean Y room and we grumbled about it. Keeping a one bedroom/one bath apartment clean, while working full time was exhausting. It made me think of my mother doing all that, but with an entire house and three kids!

Three generations.

In honor of Mother’s Day and the strong, loving woman I’ve been blessed to call mom, here is my list of five lessons she taught me that I hope to pass on to Logan (and my future babies):

1. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground and speak up for your rights. Growing up, if there was ever a wrong my sisters and I needed righted my mom would step in and give the party in question a telling-off like no other. She wasn’t rude, didn’t (usually) curse, but spoke with such authority and force that you knew she was not a person to be messed with. We learned from her how to fight our battles and more importantly, which ones were worth the fight.

2. You’re never too old to learn something new. My mom started taking college classes, while I was in college— writing essays and taking tests, debating with her professors. And now she’s teaching herself code and working on her very own website that she created all about paying it forward to the next generation (see here).

3. Have faith… in yourself and in God. You’ve got to trust your instincts, sure you’ll make mistakes, but that’s part of the learning process. And invite God into your life. We had a lot of close calls financially growing up. My dad worked long hours at two different jobs, yet we could never quite make ends meet. However, we always made it by and I think yes, that had to do with the hard work and sacrifices of my parents, but also our faith.

4. Bravery is most often in the every day acts of life. We moved to this country from Guyana when I was six, and Ritchlyn, my middle sister was four (Kirstin wasn’t born yet). My dad had come here two years before us, to work and save up. My dad visited when he was able, but my mom was essentially on her own with the two of us, and we did not make it easy. I would throw these awful tantrums (almost daily) because I missed my dad, yet my mom handled it all with such grace knowing the whole family would eventually be reunited. Then, when the time was right, she packed us up, left her parents and siblings, and moved us to a country we’d only heard great things about — all so we could have a better life.

5. Loving someone means giving them the wings to fly, even if it means they’ll be across the country. When my parents dropped me off at the airport for that one-way L.A. flight, I was a mess. Huge tears rolled down my face as I was saying goodbye. My mom just comforted me and said everything was going to be okay. It wasn’t until we had moved back a year later that I found out she cried the whole car ride home.

The job of a mom is hard and you’ll never fully know how deep the love and sacrifices made run — that is until you become a mom yourself. So Happy Mother’s Day momma, you set the best example for me and now I hope to do the same for Logan and any more babies we have.

By Ravelle, May 10, 2015
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