Important Life Lessons from my Mother

Important Life Lessons from my Mother

As I write this post, I am sitting in one of the best places on earth- my mother’s living room. Gy has ten days off from school due to the festival here in India and a part of me really wanted to get away from it all, after weeks of preparation for exams and other stress-related concerns.

It’s been a week since I got here and it’s positively magical how worry evaporates when I am with my parents. Even as I type this Β out, my momΒ is quietly moving about, doing her work, getting things done and attending to her family. Every once in a while she calls me or Gy to help her out with something.

Soaking in the love and warmth of this wonderful person, I realise that there are some incredible lessons I can learn by merely watching her.

Welcome People with Love

The second she knew that we were coming over to stay with her, she swung into action, buying all the food items she knew were our favourites and also setting up the Navarathri golu in preparation for the festival. You’d be surprised at the energy she exudes when it comes to cooking for the family or doing things for the people she loves. (Hint: She loves everyone; something that doesn’t come that readily to me, I confess)

Listen with rapt attention

Whether the person is one year old or ninety-two, she can listen to them with complete attention. I’m amazed at the reserves of patience she must have. But, I think it goes deeper than that. She is truly a person who believes that every person deserves to be heard. So while I may get a tad irritable when it comes to people talking non-stop, (yes, Gy, this means you and yes, I do love you)she will hear them out without a trace of annoyance. No wonder my daughter listens readily to her than she ever does to me.

Feed people with love

Moms appear to come pre-programmed to ensure that every person is well fed. Again, I personally don’t fall into this category. Cooking is one thing I shy away from, mostly because I don’t enjoy it as much as, say, cleaning the house. But my mom? She will ensure that you are eating something every 30 minutes- fruits or green tea or nuts or snacks or. . . you get the picture. Aside: If I come back home a few kilos heavier, you all know it wasn’t in my control.

Life Lessons_Mom_Love_Shailaja

Speak softly and kindly

I can’t remember the last time she raised her voice, if at all. It makes me wonder how resilient and loving she is, simultaneously. I’m the kind who likes to say something once, repeat it thrice and progressively increase my tone in strictness until it’s obeyed. Suffice to say that works not at all. The only thing it effectively achieves is mutinous glares from my daughter and a sense of tension that hangs in the air between us. Surprisingly, I used to be very soft and very kind too. Maybe becoming a parent has changed me. Time to remind myself of the person I used to be.

Embrace life with excitement

My mom’s close to 60. You wouldn’t think it to look at her. She’s always looked young for her age (a fact that I’ve never really forgiven her for!) But you should see the excitement she expresses for every aspect of life- meeting people, making new dishes, jet setting across town to teach songs and bhajans to people (she’s a singer) or giggling with me and my sister over memories from our childhood, sometimes late into the night. I appear to have forgotten that in this mad rush of work and school and managing life.

Always be ready to learn

My mom calls me up every other day to ask me if I can teach her the newest feature in Whatsapp or how to download a voice recording app or even how to make a dish I learnt from my husband! That child like enthusiasm is something I find significantly lacking in most adults. We are all so bent on saying that we know everything. To admit we don’t know is probably more liberating than we realise. This is one thing I strive for on a daily basis, at least on my professional journey. For this, I credit my mother completely.

At the end of the day, I realise that my best parenting journal has been right by my side all these 38 years, teaching by instruction and action, love and compassion. And it doesn’t take too much effort to be kind, compassionate and loving.

You just have to be open to everything; like my mom.

***

Images courtesy Shutterstock: Mom and Love

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18 thoughts on “Important Life Lessons from my Mother

  1. Mothers are like that. So selfless, so warm, so welcoming. All heart. So glad that you took this time to go and stay with her. So envious of you that you live in the same town and can visit your parents regularly. Soak in the love and destress. God bless!
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  2. You really won’t believe it, Shy, but as I was reading your post, I felt as if I was reading about my own mother and myself. You and I are quite alike and our mothers are alike in every way you have mentioned here!
    Each time I see my mother I make a mental note to emulate some or other trait of hers that I find lacking in myself. But, I fail miserably at it because she is made of a much better yarn than I! She is the epitome of perfection and me…well, let’s not go there now! πŸ™‚
    But that’s how our mothers are – way ahead of the game, way more perfect than we can ever imagine and such blessed and gentle souls! Hugs to our mothers! β™‘β™‘

    1. Hugs indeed to our moms, Shilpa. And you don’t give yourself enough credit. You are a lovely, warm, amazing person and I can tell all that without ever having met you.

  3. I’m reading this and thinking , wait, this is about my mom or Shailaja’s? I guess, all Mom’s are magicians and wonderful πŸ™‚ I’m going to Mom’s today for a week and can’t wait to reach. There is just something about the previous generation of moms , I think. They knew and still know the secret πŸ™‚

    1. Amazing how many people have said that πŸ™‚ It’s quite uncanny how moms have become such an integral part of our lives and growing up the way we did,
      right?

  4. Shailaja, that was so beautiful! I think it is something to do with the older generation’s values, patience and endurance. We have much less of all that and our future generations….I shudder to think of! Love the quote that says, Gods in heaven and Mothers on earth! So true no?

    1. I love that quote too. But it’s true, right? So much we can learn from that generation, if we choose to. Thank you for reading and for your kind comment, Kala πŸ™‚

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