“The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.” — James E. Faust
If I asked you right now to tell me a story about your mom, I’m going to guess that you could give me at least five minutes of content. At least.
Whether your mother is your favorite person or the hardest relationship you’ve ever had. Whether you’ve never known her or she has passed away. No matter if she is your adopted mom or step mom or bonus mom or extra mom. Whether she remembers the day you were born or she can’t remember your name anymore. There is a human woman in your life who has been a mother to you – and you could tell me about her.
You might smile when you start. Your face may go dark and you might shift in your chair. Or you might laugh out loud and launch into a memory.
If I asked you for ANY story about her – whichever mom you choose, where would you start?
Maybe with the conversation you had the other day, or the blow-out fight you had when you were 15, or maybe even that time she taught you how to shave your armpits (awkward!). Maybe your memories of her perfume on Sundays or how she made you feel on that one special birthday. Maybe you have tears in your eyes as you share about her final days.
We all have a story about our mom – and most of those are everyday stories. They would make us laugh or cry – but we’d all be able to relate in some way.
If you shared a story about your mom, it would make me think of a story about mine. And vice versa.
I was recently on the About Your Mother podcast. Jennifer Griffith, the host of the show, chose me to share my mother with her listeners is because I shared about my mom in a blog post that made everyone want to hear our story. When we started chatting, I figured we’d just talk about my relationship with her – but the more we talked, the more she asked about the woman I had become, where I got my confidence, and how I live my life now. We talked about the everyday stuff of being a woman.
The story I share about my relationship with my mom is also my story. It’s my story to tell because it’s from my perspective. Yet I’m also thinking about the gratitude I have for who I have become when I share it – not in spite of her, but because of her and our relationship. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
I am the woman I am today because of my mom.
When Jennifer closed up the podcast, I thanked her for having me on – and then didn’t think of it again – until I got the graphics. Until I read the show notes.
I don’t think of myself as a very quotable person. I’ve borrowed other people’s quotes for years – and even made stickers of them. I’ve reworked some phrases into my own, but they always start out as someone else’s. I seem witty, but I’m mostly just good at picking up the things other people say and twisting them into something witty. It’s something I learned from my mom.
“Confidence comes from choosing to be confident.”
“It’s the everyday stories that are most important.”
“Life isn’t about balance, it’s about integration.”
“The constant reminder to not apologize unless you’re actually sorry for something. If you did something terrible, please say you’re sorry. Otherwise, don’t apologize.”
I said those things – not because they’re witty or epic or mind-blowing. Because they are my everyday stuff. Because they’re things we all need to hear. They’re reminders that we’re all walking a path and growing.
Same goes for sharing our stories. They don’t have to be epic or earth-shattering – they can be everyday. Those can be the ones we need to hear. The ones that connect.
When I was sharing about my relationship with my mom, I wasn’t doing it to get back at her. I wasn’t doing it to make her look bad. And I definitely wasn’t doing it to blame her. I was sharing because I know our story isn’t the only one like it. Our story is an everyday story about an independent mother and her strong-willed daughter.
I share it because someone reading this post has a mother like mine or a daughter like me. I share it because we’re not the only ones with this story.
No matter how many times I share our story – about how we didn’t get along most of my life (there were some seriously epic fights), then ended up not talking for a few years in my early 30’s, only to reconcile and do the work to build a strong relationship – I always hear: “so, there’s hope for me & my daughter?” or “there’s hope for me & my mother?”
YES! She even finally quit coloring her hair and we look like sisters now.
And it doesn’t take an epic story or all the gory details to give others hope. It takes being real – and being willing to share the story of your mother to connect with others. It’s proving to others that they’re not alone in their relationship with their mom or their daughter.
Your everyday stories matter.
Your everyday words matter.
Your everyday quotes matter.
So, what’s the story of your mom?
Choose one & share a little part of your story. Try it right now before you go off and do something else. You can share it here in the comments below, in a blog post on your own site, or on social media. (And if you do put it out there, tag me in it! I want to read it.)
The everyday story of your relationship with your mom will spark something in someone else. And it could give them what they’ve been searching for.
Are you willing to give someone else hope? It’s not about you anyway. What do you have to lose?