The Ponder Effect | What have you learned from your mothers?
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What have you learned from your mothers?

Biological mothers, adoptive mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, godmothers, fill-in mothers, mother figures, friends who are mothers…Who are these women in your life, and what wisdom have they imparted to you?

I think of my maternal grandmother. She wore her silver hair in a wide swirled bun at the back of her head, and her skin when I knew her was paper-thin. The veins in her hands I can still see, the softness of them I can still feel. She could talk about the kings and queens of England like they were personal friends, and she preferred to free wasps in her kitchen than kill them. She was, to me, wisdom incarnate. A favorite phrase of hers was “This too shall pass.” I bang my head against that wisdom daily.

Her daughter, my mother, is more to me than I can possibly form in words or anything else for that matter. What have I learned from her? To be both resolute and gentle. To care—about people and values and simple gifts of this life. To listen.

And you? What have you learned from your mothers? What wisdom have they imparted to you?

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

5 Ponderings
  • Varina Willse

    May 13, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    I learned that wining is not everything and that family and love are about the most important things in the world. I am not a mother yet but when I am i hop[e I am like my mom.

  • Varina Willse

    May 13, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    I have a very kind mother who helps me to be myself. Three of the things I have learned from her are how to walk [crawl and run] and to talk and to, read. But the most important one is family. And I love my family very much but my mom says, “Your family is mostly the people you hurt the most” and this I totaly agree with because we trust each other. It makes some sense but mostly it is upseting. We should love our family with all of our hearts and definetly not hurt them just because we trust them. Espesialy our parents. My mom works to pay for food and me and my siblings education. My dad works to pay the bills and house stuff for example, electricity. You also would not be alive without them.

  • Anonymous

    May 14, 2018 at 9:26 am

    When I was growing up, I think my mom was just trying to stay afloat. 3 kids, a difficult marriage, depression, etc. With all of that going on, I don’t think she was able to impart a lot of wisdom. She was just doing the best she could and I knew that she loved me. Today, she is a completely different person. Through her own growth, I have seen that you can be liberated from pain by during the hard work of getting through it and not avoiding it. She has taught me the value of staying busy, doing what you love, and getting up and going for a walk when you are feeling down. She is learning, I am learning and now that we’re both adults the beauty is that we can learn together. There have been times as an adult where I wish I could crawl into her lap and just be, so maybe the wisdom she as taught me is that children need their moms emotionally, but physically too. The comfort of a Mom’s embrace never gets old.

  • Varina Willse

    May 14, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    My mother was and is the only thing that kept me alive as a child

  • Anonymous

    May 15, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    From middle school on whenever I was going out, my mother would always say “Remember who you are.” For my generation that meant “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t approve of or do anything that would reflect badly on those who love you.” And those who loved me extended back generations into my ancestors. My behavior was my responsibility. And a heavy one at that during some of those years. No doubt that reminder kept me pretty much on the straight and narrow of those times. Often it was frustrating but the deep underlying feeling was one of pride. Pride in those who came before me and pride in myself that I knew who I was and that I would live into those expectations.
    I think “Remember who you are” resonates today but in a different way. It is a call to know ourselves. It is a reminder to be authentic to that self. To who we are. . To our values. Our priorities. Our moral compass. Our commitments. To stay the course when there are distractions, temptations, challenges. I am now older than my mother was when she said that to me. Even so remembering who I am resonates deep within my being.