Speaker/author Dee Dee Raap is the author of two books on
motherhood: Dear Mom: Remembering, Celebrating, Healing, and its sequel,
Find Your Pink Flamingos. We've invited Dee Dee to be our
guest blogger during the month of May. In her three-part weekly series,
she will enlighten us on momhood - both inside and out. This is her final post in the series.
You know the old saying and the resulting groan blended with denial:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, you’ve become your mother after all!” (OK…let’s hear it: groan, denial, more groaning…..)
I’d like to dispel a few notions about the saying that drives us to a glass of wine before 5 p.m.
It might not be the worst thing anyone could say about you. Unless, that is, you’ve made a bad choice.
The bad choice would be to become the worst of your mom.
Now I can hear it: “Well, you don’t know MY mom! There isn’t a ‘good,’ there’s only a ‘bad.’”
One audience member told me about her mother’s physical abuse, another described emotional abuse. I understand. I know the journey can be really hard. I was blessed to have a mother who had no mean bones in her body.
You may not have had a great mom. But you had a mom. Every single one of us got here the same way. And we all have a simple choice to make: we can be the best of our moms, or not.
Spirited women choose to be the best.
Think of the things mom did that made you smile, helped you grow, gave you wisdom. And then, let go of the rest, decide to be the best you possible.
I’ll bet the best you is one who is kind, patient, creative, and trustworthy. I’ll bet you care about words like quality, loyalty, and I’ll bet you’re even an optimist at heart. I’ll bet you know how to work hard, and I bet you have some strong traditions you’d like to see carried on with those you love.
Your mom—as well as other spirited women—taught you values that make your journey great. The problem is that the lessons were disguised sometimes, in actions you took for granted, and in traditions that meant nothing to us as kids.
When I complained about not having what other kids had, mom said, “Count your blessings.” The value: gratitude.
When I shared my insurmountable problems in grade school, mom said, “There’s a silver lining in every cloud.” The value: optimism.
Raised in the Great Depression, mom believed everything could be used again for something. We wasted little. The value: resourcefulness. (The danger? Becoming a pack rat!)
Sunday dinners were a great tradition. Mom cooked for all: when a car filled with relatives showed up at dinner time, she miraculously fed everyone. The values: sharing, kindness, compassion.
Remember the little things your mom did. Then look at your own life. Don’t you do many of the same things? That’s because those wonderful values were gifts given in love, to teach you how to live life authentically, genuinely caring for others, taking care of yourself.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, you can, indeed, simply choose to be the best of your mother after all!
Dee Dee Raap, http://www.deedeeraap.com
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Dee Dee Raap believes life becomes an amazing journey when we learn the “how” of living timeless, core values, like optimism, gratitude and quality. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and author of three books: Dear Mom: Remembering, Celebrating, Healing, the sequel, Find Your Pink Flamingos, and JourneyWords: 52 Strategies to Achieve Great Service. She lives in South Dakota. Her biggest accomplishment? Being called “Gumma” by the world’s two best grandkids.