by Karen Meister At this time of the year, I cry at every Publix commercial showing the relationship between a mother and daughter. When I heard the clip of Kevin Durant awarding the NBA’s MVP award to his mom, I wept like a baby. And I am so thankful that I get to see my mom almost every day! My mom is a beautiful, gentle, loving, tough cookie! She taught me skills and provided tools that were not necessarily part of my initial wiring. You see, I was the tomboy wanting to focus on sports, playing, being messy….. My mother, on the other hand, was always beautiful, put together, orderly and not athletic. Some things just will never change. Now at 80, she is still magnificently beautiful, perfectly put together, and not athletic. And me, at 57, live and work in tennis clothes with a pony tail making sure to get my exercise in each day (thank goodness I work out of the house!).
Ahhh…. but what she taught me. The top 10….
1. Never let them see you sweat. Keep cool when you don’t feel so cool on the inside. If you have a job to do, get that job done, take care of business and then go home and figure out how to solve your problems.
2. Every penny counts. Whether you spend or save, every penny counts. You work hard for the money and spending it frivolously is thoughtless. You work hard for your money so make sure you spend it. Enjoy life!!
3. Be thankful for every day and clean your dresser drawers. Every single day has an opportunity. Tell those you love that you love them because you never know what may happen. And before you go on a trip, clean your drawers in case you don’t come back.
4. Manners and etiquette must be part of who you are. From the very beginning, we knew which piece of silverware was used for what, how to dine, how to dress, how to greet a person and how to write a thank you note. She taught me that this knowledge was not something you put on for certain circumstances but something that had to be a part of your being so that it was never a chore.
5. Welcome people to your home. Don’t hesitate to entertain. Welcome people in. Enjoy their company. Make them feel at home in your home. The presentation should always be nice, but have the confidence to know that whatever you do is great because you extended the invitation.
6. Love your children with every bone in your body. She loves us sometimes more than she loves herself. My mom loves us despite what we may or may not do. And love them so much that you will let them go and be their own person — even though it may not be the vision you had in mind.
7. Be the boss. As a mom, you are on the front lines every day. If you let the kids take charge, you are not being the best mom. And use the “wait until your father gets home” as the very very last resort.
8. Be a parenting partner with your children’s father. I make the distinction of father, not spouse, because there are so many marriages where mom and dad are no longer together. Despite what you may think of your spouse or children’s father, you will always be your kids’ parents and make it a successful lesson moving forward. If you disagree on an issue, deal with it before speaking with the children, and then support each other on that decision.
9. Stay organized and be prompt. There is so much to do with ever day. If you are not organized, you cannot fit it all in. And if you don’t write it down, you will always miss appointments or show up late. And that is a bad reflection on yourself, rude and disrespectful.
10. Color your hair. No explanation, just do it! Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mommies out there and please share what you have learned from your mom…..
Karen Meister, in partnership with Joanne Paltrowitz, works with the international consulting firm, Camp Experts and Teen Summers. Feel free to contact Karen for complimentary assistance at Karen@CampExperts.com or 305.931.KiDS or 305.931.5437. Thousands of families have received confidential and complimentary guidance to select the best camp and teen programs from around the world. Karen is also the Founder of the LifeMeisters.