How many of us ladies like to lay blame on our mothers for everything wrong about ourselves or with our lives? How many of us felt our moms didn’t understand us; didn’t get our problems with boys; our desire for all things stylish not the cheapest or the bargain; wanting to get our hair permed (yes back in my day that was popular, lol) instead of a cut done by mom while sitting on the kitchen table; wanting to get our ears pierced before grey hair grew in; wanting to wear makeup from the Sears makeup counter not from the door to door saleslady. How many of us had moms who didn’t want us “messing” up her kitchen or “breaking” the washing machine?
I can probably say yes to most of those questions but this post isn’t about what my Mom didn’t let me do or didn’t teach me, quite the opposite. This post is about everything my Mom did teach me even when a lesson wasn’t her intent.
My Mom was the first plus size woman I learned fashion and style from. Sure it was style from an older generation but style nonetheless. My mother rarely left the house without her hair styled, a pretty blouse on and her bright pink lipstick. So if I go out I always make some effort to look presentable; lip colour, hair done (or a hat) and a clean, unwrinkled outfit. Being plus sized does not give you permission to wear sweats 24/7 or go without a hair appointment every now and then.
My mother never learned to drive or never lived on her own until she married. What did this teach me? I’m capable of learning and doing great things whether I’m on my own or with someone I love. It is a choice I make just like her choices were hers. I learned I am a woman capable of making decisions for myself like she did.
My mother was a fierce mama bear when it came to her children. Two examples stick out in my mind; my haircut disaster right before high school when my mom gave that hairdresser quite a dressing down and the second, when my gym teacher sent me home with two broken arms saying there was nothing wrong with me. After her visit to the school I didn’t have to participate in gym the rest of the year (yay, I hated gym!). From her example I learned how to protect, teach, love and be a mother to my daughter.
My mother was a bargain shopper so I get my love of shopping genetically (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). From her I learned waiting for the sale is worth it and look carefully at the tags as there’s usually a good deal hiding somewhere. I think she would appreciate the growing choices retailers are now offering plus size women and she’d be first in line for sale days!
Every Friday was her shopping and hair styling day. From this I learned as women we need to take time for ourselves; time to care for and pamper ourselves. When we care for ourselves we can better care for those depending on us; our life partners, our children, elderly parents.
Mom taught me selflessness, charity and generosity. She lavished gifts on her children, husband and grand-daughter. My daughter was only 5 when her Grandma died but I know my mother is watching and bursting with pride.
The most important lessons I learned were in the final months and days of her life. In the face of terminal cancer my mother showed astounding faith, strength, bravery beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed. She never complained or showed fear for herself. Her thoughts were only about her husband and children; who would care for us after she was gone? Our last summer vacation with her gave me some of the best memories of her that I will hold close to my heart until we meet again. Every day she asked “What are we doing today?”, never letting a day pass without making it special.
My mother was a woman I am proud to take after, curves and all! I think she would agree with the statement, we shapely ladies need to be Pretty, Plus and Proud!”