My Mother’s Love

When you’re a child, you often think of your mother’s love in terms of what she does. “My mommy makes me cookies.” My mommy bought me a new dress.” My mommy gives me hugs.”

My mother did all those things during my growing up years. But since I’ve become an adult, I’ve realized that the things my mother did NOT do for me were equally important.

She did not make a big deal when I got hurt. She simply hugged me and encouraged me to get up and brush myself off. If there was blood, I got a bandaid. But she did not gasp and go on and on about my misfortune and she didn’t let me either. Just a matter-of-fact patch job and an encouragement to get on with life.

When I was in school, my mother did not micro-manage my study habits. She expected me to do my best, but left the working to me. And the consequences if I did not work.

She did not act as a full-time maid in our home. Rather she trained us step by step to do the cleaning ourselves, working alongside her.

She did not buy me every new fashion that came out. She made sure I had the essentials and left the extras to me to buy– IF I could afford them and still wanted them after I’d put out the effort to earn the money myself.

Sometimes mothers get so hung up in doing for their kids that they forget the crucial importance of strategic not-doing. By not doing things for me my mother taught me valuable lessons. Accountability. Priorities. Work ethic. Skills. Resilience. Courage.

My mother did it right. You see, in the long run, it is not a mother’s job to do everything for her child; there lies the road to a stunted person, a forever-child.

Instead, it is a mother’s job to teach her children to become strong, competent adults. To, day by day, work herself right out of her job. And in doing so, gain a place of honor in her children’s hearts forever.


  1. Mary, you are so right. My Mama raised us much the same way, and I have tried to raise my daughter that way. She often compared her life to her friends and classmates:
    But ______ already has a car, and ______ get to stay out as late as she wants, etc. I was a mean Mama, you know, and I still am to an extent, but she is coming around after seeing the situations some of her friends have gotten themselves into.
    It's sad to see what some parents have done to their children trying to give them what they didn't have as kids growing up. Things will never take the place of time and love spent on a child.
    Sometimes it's better to leave them to fail on their own and learn the consequences than to give them a crutch to success. Sooner or later, that crutch will fail you, and then where will you be?
    A good, insightful post, Mary. 🙂

  2. You are lucky to have a mom like that. I hope I am or will be a mom like that.

  3. You are so right. This is why my grandparents mostly raised my brother and I because they had allowed their daughter to stay a child. What a blessing your parents where/are. I pray that I too can teach my children the disciplines of accountablity and hard work.

  4. I hope to be a mom like that. My Dad is and was like that and I totally appreciate it!

  5. Excellent post! You are exactly right.

  6. You just described my mom. I was/am so blessed, but didn't always realize it at the time.

    It's an awesome model to follow, but not always easy.

  7. Thanks for the comment!! You have a beautiful site…I couldn't stop reading the 'I am from's' =)

  8. This was wonderful, and a good reminder of the kind of mother I want to be for my kids.