Passionate About Columbia SC
and the Moms Who Live Here

Words of Wisdom from the Mothers (and Grandmothers) in our Lives

It’s Mother’s Day! As the loved ones around us take time to let us know how much they appreciate “mama,” we couldn’t help but focus on the women in our lives who taught US how to be mothers ourselves . . . our very own moms, stepmothers, and grandmothers! So we’re sharing words of wisdom and advice these special women in our lives have passed down that helped shape us into the people, and mothers, we are today.

Remember to Take Care of You and HAVE FUN {Ashleigh}

You’ve read the books. You’ve scanned the articles. Lord knows you’ve spent many a late hour on the baby center message boards because when it comes to motherhood, there is an endless supply of opinions on a never ending list of topics. I know with my first pregnancy I was a sponge when it came to advice on everything baby related. As a first time mother, and newlywed, I quizzed everyone I knew on how to be the best wife and mom possible. It didn’t take me long to realize that I shouldn’t look much further than the mothers in my own family.

This Mother’s Day, as I anxiously await the arrival of my second child, I celebrate the sage wisdom received by the mothers in my life. I know their strength, humor, and love has shaped the mother and wife I have become. Here is just a sample of what they have taught me over the years:

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You don’t have to give up your career to be a great mom: my stepmother, Carolyne, is a force to be reckoned with. How she simultaneously runs a household — with a teenage son and tween daughter no less — while maintaining a high profile job in cable TV is awe inspiring. Carolyne juggles so many responsibilities and does so with grace and fierce determination. She he received boatloads of most deserved accolades in her field, but nothing comes close to the pride heard in her voice when talking about the achievements of my younger siblings.

You’re a better mom when you take care of yourself: My mother stressed to me the importance of taking time for myself. Whether it is a new haircut or pedicure or simply a solo trip to Target, time away from the home gives a mama some much needed “me time” as well as perspective. I always miss my people when I’m away for a quick trip and look forward to seeing them when I return.

My mom also shares the importance of making time for my marriage after a new baby is born. Always willing to babysit for a date night, mom encouraged my husband and I to get out and spend time with each other, nurturing not only our relationship with one another, but our families as a whole.

Be the fun mom. This might sound silly, but at times I think my friends growing up liked my mom more than they liked me. With her great sense humor and fantastic baking skills, our house was always were friends gathered. When I became a mom I reflected on this and realized that by having all of our friends at our house, my mom always knew what we’re up to and probably keeping us out of trouble.

Make sure your kids know you love them: One of the best things my mother ever gave to my sister and me was true unconditional love. We have never doubted for a minute her affection for us. She has always been our biggest cheerleader and no matter what path we chose/have chosen, she supports us one hundred percent. The same goes for her grandchildren.

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Take Care of Those Who Can’t Take Care of Themselves {Mary}

“My mother taught me to stand up for the vulnerable. She worked at the State Mental Hospital, and always was advocating for the merciful treatment of its patients. She showed us what it was to walk as a Christian, to treat everyone as brothers and sisters.”

My Grandmother ALSO volunteered a lot at the State Hospital too …  going in to the former wards and playing her guitar to the patients who were shocked and kept inside all day, often having nothing to do but stare at a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling all day.

These teachings made a big impact on my life, as I strive to be as compassionate to people as they were.

mary and her mom

Actions Speak Louder than Words {Katrina}

My mother taught me more through actions than words; both what I should do and what I shouldn’t. Watching her courage and strength develop through hardship and adversity was instrumental in showing me the woman I hoped I could become.

katrina and her mom

How to be Humble and Brilliant {Lori}

The best advice my mom ever gave: “Never believe you are better than anyone else. You never have to worry that anyone is better than you.”  She was not speaking of ability but just a general sense of things. As an adult, I realize she was teaching me about both humility and self-confidence all in one shot. Brilliant! Love you, Mom!

Caroline, Mom and I

Listen to Your Mother {Lindsey}

When I was little (and I have no idea when this actually occurred), my mom used to tell me, “Don’t wander off, they’ll never find the body.” Yes, I’m being serious. Needless to say I wasn’t the kid that wandered off in the store, or anywhere for that matter. I didn’t find out that this wasn’t a normal thing moms said to their kids until I was in college and repeated this sage wisdom to my fellow students studying abroad in Germany who wanted to split up one night in downtown Berlin. The shocked looks on their faces said it all, but we also didn’t split up that night (haha). Thanks again mom for ensuring my weirdness and also teaching me how to properly traumatize my children for life.

lindsey and mom

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others {Tiffany}

“There’s always going to be somebody smarter than you, prettier than you, [etc].” Sounds a little harsh writing it out, especially in today’s age where everyone receives a trophy for participating. My mom wasn’t saying this to hurt my feelings or damage my ego, she was preparing me for the fact that I wasn’t going to be the best at everything. Just because you try your hardest doesn’t mean you are going to always excel. And no matter how great your hair looks or how well your makeup is applied, that so-called prince charming you’ve been pining after may choose a different princess. And that’s okay. Just do your best, don’t compare yourself to others, and enjoy YOUR life the way you we meant to.

tiff and mom

How to Love and Live Your Life {Simone}

This week I saw a Facebook post about ideas for celebrating Mother’s Day … but it was for grandmothers. What a bone-crushing feeling that was. I don’t have a grandmother anymore.

It has been almost six years and not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought of her. What do you do with that kind of loss?

I’ve heard the old adage that time makes it better, but I’m almost certain that that’s not true. It numbs a little, or maybe not. Either way it’s still there. One way I go on, is remembering all the things I learned from her.

My grandmother Christine with my son Grayson in 2009 a few months before she died

My grandmother Christine with my son Grayson in 2009 a few months before she died

How to love and survive marriage. My ideal of love and marriage, came first and foremost from my grandmother. From her example I learned that when it comes to love and marriage, you better choose right. She married the right person, which is half the battle. I knew that is what I wanted to do too. Back then people stuck it out. Going into marriage, I knew I had to have a lot of fight in me because every day wouldn’t be easy, but every day would be worth it. And last but not least, honor your vows. There was a certain commitment that you make on that day and it’s one worth standing by.

Photograph Your Life. Whenever I would visit my grandmother, the first place I would go to is the cabinet in her dresser and look through her photo albums. She told me that when she was gone I could have her pictures. I now have 60 years or more of pictures of her life, and they mean the world to me. No matter how stupid or silly something may be, I take a photograph so I can look back and remember those times in my life. And hopefully one day my photographs will mean as much to my children (and grandchildren) as my grandmother’s photos mean to me.

Be of service. I grew up seeing my grandmother do a lot of service for her church and her community. She was caring for disabled children up until she was 84 and suffered something there was no coming back from. It didn’t make a difference that she wasn’t well off. The fact was there are always people who have it worse than you and you have an obligation to do more. I have not stepped up to do service in my community, but that is something I am making a commitment to do. Do for others.

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Happy Mother’s Day! What words of wisdom did your mother, stepmother, grandmother, or other important figure in your life teach you?

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