“I am just telling you the way it is”. Those words are ingrained in my mind forever.
Today we will see countless photos and post about how amazing their mothers' are. After all, isn’t that what we are suppose to do on Mothers Day.
Call me a rebel, but this post won’t be one of them!
I am my mothers daughter after all! So, far be it for me to be like anyone else today.
No, I am not going to tell you that my mother is a horrible person, so relax!
This morning I am in the beginning process of writing all my father's “one-liners” down and documenting how he and my dirt road have affected and shaped me into the person I am today… You may or may not see a book coming out of that later this year. ;)
Today is Mothers Day though, so this is about the things Mom said and how those not so inspiring words have shaped and effected me. Good or bad, it is what it is!
My mother was complicated to say the least. I say “was” because although she is 87 and a widow for 3 years now, I know she has regrets. I mean seriously, I am about half her age and I have regrets. I refuse to punish her, like some do, for not always being the “mother of the year”.
But honestly tho, who is? From thousands of conversations and coaching people all over the world, and YES I said thousands, I have heard it all. Remember, I started working as a stylist over 30 years ago. People tell their stylist everything!
Maybe your mother did everything for you and taught you nothing. Ultimately paralyzing you by not knowing how to deal with life's challenges. Or perhaps you were ignored and had to fend for yourselves. Or something in between. One thing I know, no one had the “perfect childhood”. If you did, I just haven’t met you.
My favorite mother story is the one that starts with “my mother didn’t want me”.
“I wasn’t planned”. To that, I say “get over it”!
My mother had 8 kids she “didn’t plan for”. And probably would have had more had she not almost died giving birth to me. The doctor told her she would not survive another pregnancy. I like to tell her she stopped at protection. It gets her fired up every time!
My mother didn’t plan on getting married at 16 years old, moving in with my all Dads brothers and sisters, Grandpa and Grandma who was just a controlling mother-in-law, on the farm. Mom just told me yesterday, times were very different back then. Everyone did it back then and that was just the way it was, for her too.
One thing is for sure, from my point of view, it wasn't an ideal situation to say the least.
I can’t even imagine what that must have been like for her. She was just a 16 year old girl that was crazy in love with a boy with a life time of possibilities ahead of her. Now living on a farm with a house full of people repeating the same day over and over again on a dirt road that seemed to lead to nowhere.
She did the best she could with the hand that was dealt to her.
Growing up my mother would constantly say, “I am just telling you the way it is”.
Those words had a life long effect on how I saw things.
For many years, I thought I had to be on the defense at all times. That you trust no-one and things will always go wrong. Money comes hard and you won’t get much further than this dirt road unless you get real lucky.
Her favorite thing to tell me, “for the love of God, whatever you do… don’t get married and have kids. Stay single and free.”
Those were the messages that were ingrained in me.
A bit later in life, after I left my dirt road in the country hills of Vermont, I realized that she was telling the truth, her truth. Yes, from her point of view.
Those words taught me that perspective is reality. Her perspective was that life is hard and to survive you must be even harder than life itself.
My mother is not a bad person. As a matter of fact, people love my mother. They find her funny, refreshing, and love her honesty. Still to this day it amazes me how people flock to her like bees to their honey.
Her “tell it the way it is” personality is like no other.
Going to the grocery store back home in Vt, she is like a celebrity. People fall over themselves trying to help her. This fiery 87 year old redhead barrels through the store on a mission and also in a hurry, still bossing people around like she owns the place. But they love it!
I joke with her that she has the unique ability to get anyone to do anything for her. She reply, “what can I say, people like me”. She finds herself all kinds of funny. But the proof is in the pudding.
To this day she loves to banter and a have good argument. But that is all she knows. The fight!
Maybe it makes her feel in control of a tiny piece of time in the moment or maybe she doesn’t know who she is without the fight.
Most of us women spend our lives trying not to be like our mothers. And don’t get me wrong, there are things that I don’t want to emulate.
I am not always fond of her delivery, but her honesty and her way to which she can influence others is an art that I hope to inherit.
She is in no way perfect and less than positive to say the least. We tell her all the time that she is “a piece of work”, and she just laughs. Her confidence that she is loved and taken care of, which allows her to change nothing that she doesn’t want to. But her strength is like no other. She has truly been one of the strongest women I know.
But still, to this day her words can cut like a knife. Thankfully though, her knife has gotten duller over the past few years. And if you listen carefully, you can find that she see things differently and her outlook has soften a bit, even though she hates to admit it.
When I point out the things that she says that I deem as “not nice”… she replays with “no one accused me of being nice.” and then follows up with, “I am just telling you the way it is”.
To that I reply, “no Mom, you are telling it the way you see it”.
These words we exchange on a constant basis. Because I have the power to also, tell it the way it is! After all, she taught well.
Like I said before, she is complicated. I often wonder if her life would have played out differently, who she would have become had she not gotten married so young and had her very own big Irish Catholic family.
When you ask her about what she would do differently she says without hesitation she wouldn’t change a thing if she could. She might have done things differently, but the hard years she would do all over again, most importantly with my father, her husband of almost 70 years.
Some say I look like her, I can only hope.
Some say I have her spirit and “I tell it the way it is”… as long my words don’t cut like a knife to those I try to help, I will take that compliment all day long.
My mother has shaped me and taught me so many things about life. Some on purpose and some by example. Some lessons I will let go of as they do not serve me and some I will embrace because she is so loved by many. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want.
However, knowing the difference between right and wrong, the truth is always the way to go, and most importantly, I know who I am and what I stand for. Those are lessons that are priceless. The lessons I will always cling to.
So to those of you who can say you had the perfect childhood with the perfect mom, good for you! I won’t lie and she hasn’t always been perfect mother. Again, whatever “perfect” is anyway.
Maybe she would say that I haven’t been the perfect daughter. 🤷🏻♀️Doubtful though...🤣 Although, I try. We can both say we have done the best we could.
But one things is without a doubt, I am thankful to be one of 8 people in this world that can call her mom! I wouldn’t want any other mom in the world!
Happy Mothers Day Mother! 💖