Discover Your Mom’s Journey!
Mom, She Taught You the Rules
As she knew them.
Our moms are pretty amazing, they didn’t always get it right but they did try to teach us and make us into good human beings.
If you were born in the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s then you were born in a time of unrest and change. There was a demand by many that oppression stop and that there be a new way of life. The old way of being was starting to change… slowly
But… our moms grew up in a different time. They grew up when the expectation for a woman was to look after everyone, get married, have kids and… look after everyone. That was it. So our moms tried to teach us what they knew—manners and rules. After all that seemed to be the measure of whether you were a good person or not. So our moms taught us—please, thank you, yes, no, how to talk, when to talk, how to show up in public, how to dress depending on what we were doing (Sunday Best vs play clothes), how to eat properly, how to sit, how to show respect for others, what was considered acceptable and what wasn’t, what words to use and not use… the list goes on.
Image was everything.
People wanted something different
She was trying to do this in a time of change, when people wanted something different. Your mom might have even been one of the ones pushing for that change—peace and love, not war. Or she might have just gone about her work. Either way, she still had the old ways ingrained in her as did society. So it was a real struggle to figure out what was right and what wasn’t.
Unfortunately for kids, all those lessons, rules, and manners that we were taught, actually taught us something else—our self worth. Too often as kids, what we saw was that we weren’t measuring up, we weren’t good enough. We had trouble getting all the rules right and when we were supposed to use all those manners. We just kept getting reminded of what we were supposed to do and how we were supposed to show up… meaning we were lacking.
Our moms taught us what they knew and what they believed to be right.
So what does this mean for you? It means that it is time to look at your relationship with your mom, differently. She didn’t teach you those things to make you feel less than, her intention was to show you how to let others know you were a good person. You have to remember that she grew up in a time when the measure of her self worth was in how good her kids showed up in the world. It had nothing to do with your self worth, it had to do with her teaching what she thought would help to make you a good person.
What she didn’t know and not many of that time did was that kids are already good. Kids just needed time to be kids, without rules and regulations. Kids just needed time and attention and love. Unfortunately, it was also a time when moms didn’t know how to say ‘I love you’. It just wasn’t said, really by anyone. So your mom may not have said it but she did try to show it. One of the ways she tried to show it was by teaching you the rules and manners that were so important in the day. Or she showed it by all the things she did—the meals she made, the clothes she made you…
She did what she knew with what she had. Sometimes she got it right and sometimes she didn’t. The truth is that one of the most important things you can do for you mom, is to take time to get to know her, understand her journey. It can make all the difference to you.
Have ‘The Talk’ with your mom, today!
Glenna is the author of heart-touching and humor nonfiction (Glenna Mageau) and suspense/thrillers (Maggie Thom). Glenna is also the founder of The Women Writes Movement - Helping women find their voice through writing. She is also on a mission to ensure that when we reach old age, we should feel love, connected and know that our lives mattered.