From Tracie: My Mom Taught Me About Mothering And Life

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

My Mom Taught Me About Mothering And Life

I can remember the times I really got in trouble when I was a kid. It didn't happen every day, I was generally a good kid, but there were a few times I fell short of my usual...perfection.

Like the time I jumped on my bed when I was five.

High. Higher. Highest.

Jumping high enough to touch the ceiling.

I only stopped jumping when I heard my mom call down the hallway, "Are you jumping on your bed?"

I answered, "No. No. Of course not. I know I'm not allowed to do that, because I might fly off the bed and bust my head open."

She walked into the room, asking, "Are you SURE you weren't jumping on your bed?"

I reaffirmed my no.

And then she sat on my bed, and said, "I can see your mirror from the hallway, and I saw you jumping on the bed. You are in serious trouble. You are in trouble because you jumped on the bed when you knew that was against the rules, but you are in serious trouble because you lied to me."

My mom didn't scream, or freak out, or hit me, but her quiet words were powerful.

"Tell me the truth, no matter what might happen. You will always be in more trouble because of the lie."

I quickly understood that lying would always make a situation worse.

But there is another moment that I think about a lot. Especially once I became a mother.

When I was seven years old, there was a day when I tested all the limits. My mom and I were out shopping and running errands, and I did just about every thing I knew I was not supposed to do in the store. And in the car. And in the next store. And when we had to stop by her office for a few minutes. And in the car on the way home.

It was a nightmare of a day.

When we finally arrived home, and stood in the living room, I knew I had pushed her too far.

She was angry. So very angry.

I had not listened or obeyed her all day, and she was at her breaking point.

So, naturally, I responded as any little seven year-old hooligan would, and smarted off to her. Standing my ground, and yelling.

It was at this moment that things could have gotten really bad. News story at five kind of bad. But it didn't. Because the next words out of her mouth were spoken very quietly and firmly, "You need to go to your room until I calm down."

"What?" I was a little confused.

But she only took a deep breath, and said, "We are going to deal with everything that happened today; but right now I am very angry, and you need to go to your room until I calm down."

I did exactly that. Quietly and quickly.

And it was a long wait in my seven year-old world. Probably an hour at least.

I don't remember what my eventual punishment was, but I know I deserved every bit of it. The punishment wasn't what stayed with me, but those simple words from my mom were a lesson I've never forgotten.

"Go to your room until I calm down."

I always think of that moment when I hit my own breaking point.

I think of how much strength it took for my mom to not hand down a punishment in a moment of anger, but to calm down first.

That is the kind of mom, the kind of person, I want to be.

Just like my mom.

What lessons did you learn from how your mom mothered you?

*Linking up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out.


  1. I learned the love of reading from my mother, and I believe it is something I am passing down to my children. :)-Ashley

    1. That is a beautiful thing to learn. My mother doesn't really LOVE to read for fun...but she did teach me how to read, and always made sure I had access to lots of books. Which enabled my love of reading that I have passed down to my daughter.

  2. I tell my kids all the time that lying to me will get them in more trouble than whatever it is they did wrong. As for the words, "Go to your room until I calm down." Those few words hold so much weight and so much wisdom.

    1. SO much weight and wisdom.

      And I brought it up to her recently, and she didn't even remember it. But it made SUCH an impression on me, that it really is a moment I think about a lot.

  3. My mom, just like me and just like everyone of us is flawed. I love her with all her imperfections and I hope my kids return that favor.
    My mom taught me the value of prayer.

    1. Absolutely. I am glad that we can have people in our lives who love us even with our flaws. That is a blessing.

      The value of prayer is a very important lesson.

  4. First of all, we have the same mom. Second of all, this story eerily haunts me.


  5. That's a great lesson and I think I may have to use that, it's easier to deal with things, even an awful day when everyone is calm.

    1. The calmness is key.

      I have to remind myself of that a lot, especially when my anxiety is going out the roof or it has been a tough day.

  6. So many...and every day it seems I'm realizing more just how much her lessons shaped me. I'm not a mom, though--I'm a stepmom, which isn't the same as being a full-time mom! But even as a stepmom, I can see what my mom went through and I have no idea how she made it!

    1. Being a step-mom is still a huge thing. And it puts you in the position to mold young minds and teach lessons, everyday, even with the smallest of actions.

  7. Tracie, this is lovely, and so wonderful of you to write about your mum. So glad I found your post on the SITS facebook post! Thanks for sharing! Felicia

  8. What a memorable lesson! And an incredibly smart lady. I will have to remember that line!

  9. Both of you deserve recognition on this. Not only did your mom show wisdom, but obviously you are trying to apply it for good too. In fact, your moms words are kind of making their way into my brain.

    I just learned something today, thank you.