Happy Friday, y’all!
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d love on my mom for a bit. This month’s theme at She’s Taylored is Gratitude and it would be impossible to get through this month without recognizing my mom.
Summarizing nearly 25 years of affection is tough – with a woman like my mom there’s so much to say. If you know my mom, you already know that she’s one HECK of a woman – strong, loyal, determined, and sassssssssssy. She’s a southern diva who broke out of her small world in Little Rock, Arkansas and set off for something big. She married an (awesome!) foreign guy and moved across the world. She raised two babies in a foreign place, learned the language + customs, and thrived.
Uh oh – this is when I start to get weepy apparently.
I credit so much of who I am to her and who she raised me to be. I’ve watched her and learned from her for so many years and am so happy to share some of her wisdom with you today.
Find your people + take care of them
This is one of the most valuable things my mom taught us. She is so big on finding community – the right kind of community. Growing up, she made sure that my sister and I wouldn’t be boy crazy. She always encouraged us to find good girlfriends because they were the ones who were going to last. Goodness she was so right. She also pushed the classic phrase, “You have to be a good friend to have good friends.” Even from a young age she wanted us to cultivate strong, loyal friendships with girls who would have our backs. She made sure we took care of them, too. She was a mama to all of my friends and was always so loving and protective of us. Our home was always open for game nights, pool parties, and Lawdddd the amount of slumber parties I had. She was even the mom who would take us to (respectfully) fork boys’ yards. Her lessons on friendship are the reason why she and I are such good friends now. The process from becoming a super dependant child to a fully functional married woman is really weird, but so rewarding when you come out of it with your mom as your bestie.
Learn how to say no
My mom is still getting on to me about this one. I’m a natural-born people pleaser and really really hate saying no to people. I spread myself really thin across a lot of things and in this process I mix up my priorities. Anytime my mom saw this kind of behavior she would force me to say no – most of the time it was saying no to some event or spending the night at someone’s house. She would sometimes let me learn the hard way and allow me to burn myself out, but still require me to do chores/responsibilities. I’m so glad she taught me to say no graciously, too, with no guilt attached. No one can do it all and sometimes you just have to say no, make a bowl of popcorn, and watch Pride & Prejudice. Amen, anyone?
There’s never a bad time for dancing
My mom is THE dancing queen. If there is music or a beat of any kind – she’s dancing. Weddings, school dances, football games, COMMERCIALS – she’s dancing. It’s sort of her thing and I think it’s the coolest. She is so much stinkin fun. She’s also a BIG supporter of laughing loud and often. Her laugh is booming – something I inherited along with all of her mannerisms. My mom is legit cooler than me – like very relevant and can have a cool, normal conversation with anyone at any age. This was much to the annoyance of my sister and I when it was time to leave church or the grocery store even. Through any season – tough or easy – she finds joy and she finds a reason to dance.
Crying again oops.
Do something about it or don’t complain
This one makes me laugh because my mom was a savage sometimes. I 100% mean that in a good way, too. 100%. She was so awesome about the way she disciplined us. She was/is our biggest fans – always supportive, encouraging, and present. At the same time, she was hard on us when we needed it. If we felt sick or got hurt and complained about it, but weren’t willing to take medicine or get good sleep – we weren’t allowed to complain about it. If we were mad at a friend or hurt someone’s feelings, but weren’t willing to reach out and make amends or apologize – we weren’t allowed to complain about it. If we weren’t mastering a certain skill in sports or with art or music (Grace – not me on that part lolz) – we weren’t allowed to complain about it until we tried our best first. We were to act first + try our best and then we were allowed to complain. It made us strong and learn how to be independent. I’m so so thankful for this.
God’s timing is absolutely perfect
Nothing happens by accident and everything has a greater purpose. I can’t tell you how many times my mom would say this to us growing up. Every time we were impatient about something with sports or with friends or school we would hear this. The past 5 ish years has been one of the most challenging times for my mom. Her mother, my Nana, was in poor health and came to live near my parents in 2012. My mom eventually became her main caretaker and served in this role until my Nana passed in February of this year. My mom gave up her social life, her job, and a lot of her time to be with her mom. Throughout this season, she constantly reminded herself with the same advice she had always given us – God’s timing is perfect, life happens in seasons, and everything happens for a reason. Because of her strength of character and closeness to the Lord, her faith grew and God was so faithful to her. She’s an inspiration and I’m so proud.
Mama – you are an incredible woman, mother, and friend. I’m bursting with gratitude for you today. You are loved by so many because you love so well. I’ve learned so much from you and am so grateful to walk through life with you. You inspire me everyday. Thank you and I LOVE YOU!
I hope, if anything, this makes you want to hug your mama and tell her thank you. I know I’ll be doing a lot of that this weekend.
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day + weekend! See you Monday!
– Caitlin –