Lessons My Mother Taught Me

By Christina Kim - May 26, 2016


One of my earliest life teachers has got to be my mother; and it makes perfect sense too, seeing that she was the very reason for my existence today.

From the day I was in her womb to the day I opened my eyes to see this world (outside the warmth of the womb) and let out my first cry, she was right there with me.
There is nothing like the bond between a mother and her child, and that saying could not be more true.

She watched me take my first sip of milk, my first bite of solid food, my first clench of my fist, to my toes touching the ground and taking that first step to sprint and standing on my own.
Every first thing that I learnt to do, it was in her presence.

To say mothers are our teachers are perhaps just an understatement, for the times she laid awake and running to our cries to the hands which got dirty from cleaning after us, there is nothing a mother has not and will not do.

That is the woman who is our origin; the beginning of who we are and who we turn out to be.


I am close to my parents; both my mum and dad, and they are both unique in their own roles played in my upbringing. There is none who supersedes the other, they are both equally as special for they are both the reason for me living and breathing today.
They are both my role models, and there are just so many things they have taught me; in unison and also, separately, spoken or unspoken.

They say daughters tend to be closer to their fathers, but there is also the other saying that daughters tend to turn out a lot like their mothers.
Well there are just too many sayings out there, which are we to follow, anyway.
To me, I go with my own principles and whatever that is best for me.

I am my parent's child, there is no doubt I will have pick up from both of them and as mentioned, equally.
I will not be forced to choose between the two.

However, this post is to focus on my mother; since it is that time of the year when there is just so much focus on mothers.
After all, it is the month of May, and May IS for mothers, isn't it?
(That goes without saying that you do not, I repeat, do Not just focus on your own mother once a year and only within this month).

I have said in one of my earlier post on Parents' Day (read the post here) that the notion of these dedicated days though perhaps somewhat born out of commercial reasons (or thwarted so), there is still that underlying sentiment which is just beautiful to remind all of us the beauty of our parents and all that they have done for us.

May is just that month for mothers; with Mother's Day just celebrated a week ago.

Mothers are godsend to us and there is no way I could finish talking about the greatness of mothers in one single post, but in this post, I would like to focus on only my mother, because, well, she's my mother and she deserves it.

There are so many things my mother had taught me ever since I was born; from my first ABCs to my 123s, they are just countless.
My mother would definitely remember that, but here, I would like to talk about the things that she had taught me, that she probably did not realize for it had just naturally seeped into shaping me into who I am.

The lessons on life itself.

Things that I believed in, the way I see the world, and even the choices I make in my life.
Yes, I got it from my mama.

She has been one of my greatest influences, even if she does not know about it (but now she probably does after reading this) and she has taught me about life, in ways she probably didn't imagine, or perhaps, she did.

#1: Everyone is born Equal; and there is no gender superior than the other.
My mother was content with either a baby girl or a boy; she never really believed the old (very outdated) custom that boys are meant to be better offsprings (at least in certain cultures) for they will carry the family name down the line. Girls are only with the family until the day she marries and then she is part of her husband's family.
These are things my mother never believed in, for to her, everyone is just as important; regardless of gender.
Everyone is a gift from God, and come what may, she will do her part to raise her children, believing in the same values as she had, and to send forth to build a good society.
Besides gender, my mother also taught us that rich or poor, we are all just human beings.
The rich are not above others; nor the poor are worthless.
Everyone has their own worth, and everyone is equal.

#2: Our Decision is a Choice; We all have a Choice
There are women who chose to work and send their children to babysitters, and there are also women who chose to be stay-at-home mums, leaving their jobs behind.
There are women who juggle between both, but the similarity among them all?
They made that choice.

There is no judging others if you do not know their stories.

Don't blame the mother who left their children at the babysitters, you have no idea how much her heart breaks when she turns her back to walk out of the centre every morning as she goes to work, or how she worries throughout the day even when she is attending meetings.

Don't look down on the mother who left her career behind to become a housewife, and turn out without makeup or without dressy clothes when she goes out. 
Don't call her country bumpkin or sluggish woman, you do not know the sleepless nights she has or the hour she wakes up in the morning; nor the hours she work throughout the day, tending to every little thing at home and taking care of the whole family, which could be longer than your usual 9-to-5 routine.
She may not have nice clothes to wear because of her chores, or perhaps because she is saving up for her children and to ease the burden on her husband, who is the sole breadwinner of the family.

Don't judge the woman who sinks into depression because she could not juggle between both worlds; for you do not understand her pressure when she wants to balance her time so she does not miss out on her child's growing years.

My mum made her choice, and we are blessed to have her caring for our every need.
She has sacrificed herself in many ways unimaginable, yet without a word of complaint.
She definitely cut back (a lot) on herself, simply to provide for the family.
She made her own choice, and we can too.

#3: Love is Selfless and There's No such thing as sacrifice when it comes to Love
Love is natural and it is meant to be that way.
Sacrifices are never viewed as sacrifices when you do it willingly.

A mother never thinks she sacrifices her time for her children.
A mother never thinks she sacrifices her food to make sure her children are well-fed.
A mother never thinks she sacrifices when she says no to that vacation because she needs to care for her children who are too young to fend for themselves (and she doesn't want to send them to the babysitter).

She does them, all because of Love.
It is way beyond her own self, and she could no longer even see her own interests when it comes to her loved ones.
It is truly selfless.

#4: Love is NON-Returnable/Refundable
You can't expect a return for everything you do for anyone; moreover the ones you love.

A mother does not raise her children; clothe and feed them in the hope of them returning the favor someday.

A mother does not calculate the hours she spent awake waiting to feed her baby or the amount of milk which flows from her body to her newborn, that that exact amount will be returned when the child grows up.

A mother does not keep track of the countless times her bones ache, her nipples sore or her eyes hurt from the tears when she worries about her child that someday she would do the same thing back to them.

That is the way with love.

When you love someone, you do it for them willingly and non-calculatively.

There is no measurement to love; it is all in the heart.

Of course, nothing beats the love bond between a mother and a child but love is meant to be selfless for that is where the beauty lies in love.
You never do something because you believe in its return someday.

You do it because you want to; out of your own will.
You give out of your will, not because you think you can take it back someday.

If there is ever a label for love, I am sure it will say, "Sorry, Love Given is NOT Returnable Nor Refundable"

#5: Home is Where the Heart Is (Or where Love resides)
A mother can be fighting political wars at the office, and her way up the corporate ladder; menacing to those who work with and around her. She could be ruthless at work, but when she is back at home, she will soften and give in to her child's whimper or her husband's embrace.
The same way with the forest predators; a lioness or a tigress are often feared for their persistence when they prey, but even when they do not have a single bit of food in their stomach for several days, you will never see them pounce on and devour their own cubs.
That is the way it is with life.

You shouldn't even be doing anything to harm others, in my opinion, but there are too many things beyond my judgment.
However, whatever you do or how you do it, you will never turn to hurt your loved ones or even turn your back on them.
You do not hurl them out to protect yourselves, rather you do all you can to protect them, fiercely.
Find that home for your heart, and don't ever wreck or demolish it yourself.

#6: Nothing is Ever Impossible (You don't always have to be prepared for the future)
Ask that young woman if she could ever go through labor pains, or raise a child while juggling a hectic work schedule, then cook, clean and get no rest for the rest of her life.
She may probably shake her head and think that she will never be able to do it.
She will need more time to prepare.

But, there is never a time to be fully ready.

We can't always be ready for everything, especially when we can never predict what is going to come next in our lives.
We may not think we can do it, but when it happens, we surprise ourselves when we realize, hey, that wasn't so hard?

Mothers do not get where they are, or where their children are today, by just breezing it through.
They slogged through it all; sweat and tears when no one sees them.

All that people see are the perfectly dressed and pink-cheeked child standing before them, but never the behind-the-scenes when the mother probably had changed three times because of the milk spills, vomit and even poo that stained her dress before the party.

Everything is not quite as imagined when it comes to motherhood, and mothers are all just as inexperienced when it comes to their firstborns, never mind the countless advices they received beforehand. Situations still require spontaneous responses/actions.
But they made it through.

Did they give up because it was too hard?
Did they think it was impossible to grow that feet from so tiny to that big feet standing on their own ground today, and they just couldn't do it because they couldn't imagine it?
It does seem very far away, doesn't it, when you are talking about age zero to Twenty?

Two decades, and yet mothers did it.
They couldn't see if they made it in the future; they had no time machine but they did it.
It was not impossible because we, are living proof, for what would it be if our mothers gave up on us?

We do not always need to know or see what the future holds or feel if we are ever ready, sometimes we just need to believe in ourselves and just as Nike says, Just Do it.
Que Sera Sera.

#7: Believe in Yourself
My mother always tells me that, "Believe in yourself, your capabilities are far beyond your imagination"
Of course, imagination also stretches the mind.
Nothing will ever be done if we don't believe, or worse, stop believing.
We can always do anything and everything if we put our minds to it.
Just like #6, Nothing is truly Impossible if we truly believe, most of all, in ourselves.
Our true capabilities.
Everything is too much when we make it out to be.
Everything cannot be done because we said it cannot be done, not because we have tried it.
Mothers can go to work and come home late at night, yet still could do all that household chores, check on their children's day at school and homework and even put them to bed.
They have shown us that everything can be done, because they never believed they could not.
They did it because maybe they wanted to, they had to, but the point is, they did it.

Believe in yourself, you can do more than you ever imagined.
There is no doubt to that.

#8: Life itself is our Greatest Teacher
We fell down when we took our first step, then we got up and tried walking again, though more carefully this time.
We stay away from the kettle or anything with smoke arising since we burnt our hand the last time.
We listen to our mother when she tells us not to go out into the woods.
Sure, there are many things we were guided when we were just kids, by our mother and father, but the most lessons lie in life itself.

We can never know how our journey turn out to be; we just live it, make mistakes, learn from it and move on again.
The cycle continues.

The child-raising experience is also different for every single mother; even when the same formula is applied.

Some children need not be disciplined yet they turn out to be great angels, and yet there are some who are sent to even military schools yet they still plot in rebellion.

Life offers many great experiences which cannot be taught at home or even in school and textbooks; we need to learn from each and every one, with the knowledge and skills our parents and teachers taught us.
We cannot expect to have our parents and teachers walk with us every step of the way, we need to learn to fend for ourselves.

My mother did not learn to deal with seasonal allergies or which food works best when the child is sick, nor did she make every phone call to her mother when something is wrong with us.

Life presents many learning opportunities; seen and unseen and we just need to learn along the way.

#9: Be Patient, the Tree doesn't Grow in a Day
My mother didn't turn to me when I was two and say, "Hey grow up now, be 20, so I can be free"
No, she nurtured me and taught me all she knew, guiding me through the good and bad for my future self; for the day when she knows I am ready to be on my own.
If there is anyone who knows patience better, that would be mothers (or well, parents and even teachers in general).

They don't plant the seeds, do nothing and expect it to grow immediately, do they?
They don't leave the seeds there and think that the next day they will come back to find a huge tree which takes hundreds of years to grow, already in its place.

They are the greatest planters who took and not calculating the years spent in nurturing, caring, and ensuring the best for what will turn out.

Patience is truly a virtue, and whenever things move a little too slow, I will always remind myself, not everything goes by speed.

If my mother can wait for decades for me to grow up, what is a little time spent waiting in that queue anyway?

After all, even a civilization like Rome wasn't built in day, just saying.

#10: Love at First Sight is REAL
I knew I loved you before I met you.
That is the exact same thing I heard from every single mother.
They already felt protective and filled with love even when the child is in the womb.
They know they are already going to love us even before we were born.
When my mother finally held me in her arms, she knew that it was love at first sight.
She knew that she loved that tiny child whom she just met.
Of course, it was also her flesh and blood but for people who think that love at first sight is corny and are just nonsense, well, mothers will all tell you it is not.

And Finally, 

#11: There is NO Greater LOVE
Than a Mother's Love, definitely.

For All that they have done for us and all that they have gone through, there is no other love that can compete with a mother's love for her child.
A woman could be timid and soft-spoken when you see her, but her wrath will be unleashed if you dare or even so lift a single hair off her child's head.
She will even sell her own soul to the devil if she has to, in exchange for her child's life or for their good.
There is nothing too big of a risk for a mother, when it comes to her child.

That LOVE is Unmeasurable.
That LOVE is UnMatchable.
That LOVE is simply PRICELESS.

Is there any wonder we call them Superwomen?
There is nothing beyond what they can do, when it comes to their children.

That is truly, what I would call amazing.

But above all the lessons mentioned above, the greatest lesson of them all, that my mother had taught me is just one word; LOVE.

She had and is still showing me the greatness of LOVE and how Love truly can conquer it all.

My mother is no prime minister of a country, nor did she lead any historic movement against injustice.
She is not a high ranking corporate woman, nor is she the head of any legislative state.
She is not a Nobel Prize winner, nor is she the most successful person in history.

But in my heart, she is already a prize winner and the most successful mother (well, I personally also think ALL mothers are successful).
She ranks the highest in our eyes and hearts, and she always says that we are already her biggest prizes ever won.

She wants the best for us, even if it means sacrificing luxuries for herself (and I'm talking about a lifetime)
She always wants us to be her better selves and our better selves, to do good and also to spread good in our lives.

For that, she is already a prize winner; a noble one at heart and she is our most prized person and definitely Most Valuable Person in our lives.

The Queen of my Heart, simply because she is My Mother.

Thank you Mum, for being there always for me.
Thank you MUM, for the things you have taught me.

Thank you Mum, for the stories I could tell the next generation and the life lessons we could pass down.
Thank you Mum, for always praying for us.

Thank you Mum, for always wishing for nothing but the best for us.

You want us to be the best, showing us great examples of the successes we have seen in history, but Mum, did you know, YOU are our greatest inspiration, for all that YOU have done?

THANK YOU, My Mother, for without YOU, I will not be able to see the world or even be here today.

You are the Greatest Mother, in my eyes.

THANK YOU for all the lessons you have taught me, and for the gifts you have given me.
There is No Greater Gift than having you in my life, Mother.

You may not be the President, nor the one who rules the world, but You are My Queen and you Reign Over my World.


*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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