Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lessons from Our Mothers

 I am going to make the huge assumption and say that most of us have learned at least one thing from our mothers/mother figures. Since we are all human and we learn in a wide variety of ways, I think it is semi safe to also assume that our mothers have taught us different things in different ways.

          After a very intriguing conversation with one of my good friends a few months ago I was inspired to put this blog post together!

          I asked some of my favorite bloggers to join me this Mother’s Day to share some of the most valuable lessons that they have learned from their mothers. I asked them two simple questions…

1. What are the most valuable lessons you have learned from your mother, from the things she has explicitly said to you?

2. What are the most valuable nonverbal lessons you have learned from your mother?

I hope you Enjoy!!!! Feel free to comment and share some lessons from your mother!

Tasha M. Brown (Me)
Most Valuable Verbal Lesson

I remember one day I really needed to get my nails done (ok, really wanted to). I was running out of time, or didn’t have enough money, or something like that. I was talking to my mother about my little (in my mind HUGE) dilemma and during my rant I said “You know what I’m just going to do my own nails from now on, I don’t know why I give those people my money anyway.” My mother looked at me and said “Tasha that is so rude. That is how those people make their money and take care of their families, don’t be like that”. Now usually when I tell this story I say the lesson that the learned was, it’s ok treat yourself to mani and a pedi despite the circumstance (great lesson, but not the most important one, clearly).

What my mother really taught me in that moment was a lesson about respect. She taught me to always Respect and Support (when you can) someone’s “hustle”. Her words/tone taught me to always respect a person’s contribution to society no matter what it might be.  From this I learned that it is always so important to be mindful of those that you come across on a daily basis, there is always a story behind everyone’s hustle so RESPECT and SUPPORT it when you can!

Most Valuable Nonverbal Lesson

I can NEVER and I mean NEVER remember a time in my life that my mother has not working on some big project, brainstorming a new awesome idea, and/or putting on a fabulous event/program. All while working a full time job , taking care of her family, and making sure she takes care of herself. When I was younger I was somewhat fascinated by her planner. Her Black planner that she got from Office Max, where she wrote down all her plans, goals, meetings, etc (she has upgraded to her iPhone!). I vividly remember the times she would let me be her “secretary” sometimes I would beg for the job , other times she would freely give me the opportunity. My job as her secretary was to listen to everything she said and then to write it down exactly the way she said in the right spot(not to big, as she would always remind me). One of the many things that I respect and love about my mother is her Ability to GET THINGS DONE!

Watching my mother of the years has taught me the importance of being organized and efficient when getting things done, she taught me that when God blesses you with a talent no matter what it is, you have no other choice but to turn it into your ministry. She showed me that when you are passionate about something and put in the work you can make some amazing things happen. Lastly, watching her taught me that you can be great at all that you do while still being a boss work , on top of it at  home, AND taking time to care of yourself! I owe a lot of  my understanding of the value of hard work and commitment to my mother!

I now have my own version her Black planner....mine is just a little more fun!

Sophia S. Vilceus

Most Valuable Verbal Lesson

While going through my awkward teenage phase when both my weight and self-esteem were fluctuating, I was insecure about my long and skinny legs. Before going to bed one night, I bursted into my mother’s room as she was sorting through bills and said, “Mom…I just hate my legs!”

She looked up at me and gently said, “Soso…at least you have legs.” That truly resonated with me even in my adulthood. My spirit of gratefulness began with her. She taught me to put aside insecurity and frequently remind myself of all that I have and everything that I am. Naturally as a woman, I continue to deal with silent insecurities; however I live by the mantra: “no negative self-talk...”

Also, my mother wrote letters and notes to me for every birthday, holiday, and accomplishment. I have years of inspiring words from her. It’s no coincidence that I grew up wanting to be a writer.

Most Valuable Nonverbal Lesson

Before God took my mother home after fighting Cancer, I spent my days by her side in the hospital. She was going through intense treatment and it was taking its toll. One day, the nurse came to inject her IV and we knew it was painful. My family and I did not know how to be comfortable with seeing her in this condition.

With tears in my aunt’s eyes, she asked my mom, “Jackie--Are you in pain?” My mother looked her straight in the eyes and said, “yes…I’m in so much pain…I have the worst wedgie right now! Help me pick it out!” We all laughed hysterically.

Through that situation, my mother inadvertently taught me that no matter how grave a situation presents itself to be, there is always room for humor. Even when our world literally is ending, through God, we can handle it with grace and laughter. It’s a blessing to laugh.

Check out Sophia’s Blog -

Arielle Dwyer

I would be lying if I said my mother and I have the best relationship, but I absolutely love her and she has definitely taught me a lot - verbally and nonverbally.

Most Valuable Verbal Lesson

Through our many talks, my mother has taught me that I can't let how people treat me affect how I live my life. She taught me that I should never be lackadaisical. She always stresses the importance of education. Lastly, my mother always expressed to me that she didn't like my boyfriends, so I guess she was telling me to do better and never settle (if only I could've seen it like that then lol).

Most Valuable Nonverbal Lesson

Nonverbally, she has taught me that people do the best they can. I grew up not understanding why she did certain things. Now that I'm older and I have my own child, I can see that she always had my best interest at heart. Seeing my mom work hard and always come home exhausted taught me that I never want to let someone else dictate how I spend my time. She's definitely responsible for my entrepreneurial spirit (thanks mom! :-) ). The last thing I'll say she taught me is to be BOSS no matter what hand you're dealt. Being a single mother is HARD, but I've always lived in a house, she bought me my first car, and I can still call on her whenever times get a little rough. Thanks again mom!

Keep up with me as I follow my dreams at!

Greg Lewin

When most people reflect on their life, undoubtedly, there are several moments they can distinctly identify as having the biggest impact on helping them evolve into the person they’ve become (ie: college life, high school, a particular job, a specific experience, etc..).

For me, that period was 2002 – 2006. In late 2001, I got laid off in the wake of the “dot com” era disaster coupled with the 9/11 aftermath. In mid-2002, I landed a job opportunity to work for the City of New York. As fate would have it, the building where I worked was conveniently located directly across the street from my mother’s office. Because I still lived at home, this meant I got a chance to commute with her daily. I often look back at that time in my career and credit it with being the most valuable of all my experiences. In that role I gained a great deal of professional knowledge and experience that helped propel my career, but that paled in comparison to the valuable lessons and wisdom I gained, and the countless laughs we shared on those daily commutes. In honor of Mothers’ Day I will share a couple of those gems with you…

Most Valuable Verbal Lesson

The most valuable lesson I learned from my mother, that she explicitly said to me was “If you were that ____, you wouldn’t have to say it” While I always knew my mom was an excellent cook, it was during those years I realized she made the best “humble pie” ever! She never hesitated to serve me healthy portions if ever she felt like I was starting to “get gassed”. I would say things like “Ma, I’m killing this suit right now ... I look good, don’t I?!” She’d respond, “If you really looked good, you wouldn’t have to say it”. If I ever said anything that sounded remotely like I was implying “because I’m so smart”, “because I’m such a nice guy”, “because I’m ____”, she would never hesitate to reply “If you were that _____, you wouldn’t have to say it”. It took a little while, but I finally got it … my mom was a hater! (lol)

In actuality, it was during those moments I learned the valuable lesson of humility! I learned that if you do anything well enough, you’ll never have to sing your own praises. Just work hard, take pride in all that you do, and people will notice.

Most Valuable Nonverbal Lesson

Matthew 7:1 reads “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. During the years we shared those commutes, it dawned on me how much my mother personified this scripture. I realized that this was easily the most valuable non-verbal lesson I’ve ever learned from her. She never has a negative judgmental word to offer about anyone regardless of their situation. If she overhears someone saying something negative, she’s quick to respond “they made a mistake, we all do it” or “sometimes the best lessons we learn is through our mistakes” which often quiets the critics. When people make mistakes or are feeling down she is often the person they seek advice from her because they recognize that she will encourage them in a spirit of love and only wish the best for them. This is a quality that I have tried my best to embrace … and admittedly haven’t quite mastered, but don’t judge me … lol.

These are just two of the great lessons I’ve learned from her out of the thousands that have helped mold me into who I am, and for that mom, I am forever grateful!! I love you!! Happy Mother’s Day!!

Check out Greg’s at Blog -

Anthea Knight

There’s no way I can boil down what my Mom taught me into a simple set of lessons…wait a minute, that’s not what my Mom taught me. My Mom taught me to give it my best shot, so here it goes:

Most Valuable Verbal Lessons

Remember who you are and whose you are. Each time we left the house as children, my mother would utter this phrase. To me that meant remember what you’re made of and who made you.

Work as hard as you can. My mother graduated from business school, cared for two children, a husband, studied through all hours of the night, kept a clean house, and holds multiple roles in church at the same time. She gives her all to everything that she commits to, and that is not easy, but it’s doable - and it’s worth it. Because of her I continue to compete with myself. It’s a process.

Family is everything. Everyone needs a support system, preferably a strong one to get through this crazy, wonderful, outrageous rollercoaster ride we call life. I am blessed to have an amazing one!

Most Valuable Nonverbal Lessons

Stay Classy. My mother is the classiest woman that I know. As a pastor’s wife, she has been faced with countless challenges and has found a way to navigate through them all, with a smile on her face. She can put you in your place without raising her voice or using one foul word…a talent I am still perfecting

Be the example. “If you can be the role model, be it.” Sometimes this means being the bigger person. Sometimes this means paving the way. It’s easy to complain… it’s more effective to be the change you want to see. My mother is one of my role models and most of what I learned from her was through watching her actions.

Have Faith. My mother’s faith is legendary. She always tells me to “take everything to God. If he brought you to it, He’ll get you through it.”

Check our Anthea’s Blog -

Janel Martinez

Most Valuable Verbal Lessons

“One thing no one can ever take from you is your education. That’s something you’ll always have.” My Mom always encouraged my brother and I to do well in school and not be ashamed to be intelligent and confident. Academics were important in our household and my mother always encouraged us to do the best we could in school. No matter what, education is something that can’t be taken away from a person, she’d remind us.

My mother came to the U.S. at five years of age and she would remind us that life could be very different if she/we grew up in Honduras. Her reminders were humbling in a sense because although we grew up in America, received a great education and reaped the benefits of hard work, our outcome could’ve been very different had my grandparents and dad not come to this country.

Have your own money.” As long as I can remember my mother advised me to have my own stash of money for emergencies or whatever. Even when I get married, she’d say, you’ve gotta be able to support yourself. I didn’t fully understand the importance of a rainy day fund until I got older. I’m so glad she raised me to understand that I have to be able to support myself financially, with or without a boyfriend/husband.

Most Valuable Nonverbal Lessons

To be aware of my surroundings, always. I swear she knows what’s going on miles way—she just knows, lol.

Be strong and hold it together. My mother is one of the strongest people I know. Not sure how she holds it together so well but I admire that about her.

Check our Janel’s Website-

Once Again feel free to comment and share lessons from your mother

1 comment:

  1. Keep inspiring us Tash...Thank you for looking beyond your own special story, memory, and lessons to show us something amazing... the amazing thread of a mother's love that is somehow weaved through all of us....kudos to you for this tribute! I keep reading it over and over.. <3



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