You all have known me for 11 years or more, and you know this holiday isn’t exactly my favorite. There are a number of reasons, and none of them have to do with the concept of the holiday or anything like that. It reminds me of the relationship that I don’t have with my own mother, making my reasons entirely personal.
My goal has been to try to be the kind of mom that I didn’t have, but really? How unrealistic is that? I can try my best, but honestly, how many apple trees do you know that produce mangoes? None. I am going to be a lot like her, and the energy I use trying not be can definitely be used elsewhere.
There are signs that I am so much like her in absolutely everything that I do. This website, for instance. This community was the first of its kind. She did so many things that were firsts. She has always been unafraid to do what made sense to her, no matter if it made sense to anyone else.
So, this Mother’s Day, here are ten ways that I am definitely like my mother as a mom to my three.
- She LOVED business. She investigated new concepts to improve how things are done. I am the same. I wake up thinking about business, and I go to sleep thinking about it too. I watch all sorts of videos, attend webinars, and read books… my obsession with business is one of the things that made my husband and I connect the way that we did and still do.
- She was an innovator and shared her ideas with me. I remember she got this idea about “Urgent Care” stuck in her head. She filled notebooks upon notebooks on how she would do it. It was over 30 years ago, and nobody was doing such a thing. if you had to go to the doctor you had to take off of work, get out of school, or go the emergency room. People thought she was insane. But she did it! She did so many things in business, that people thought were crazy. Radio and TV commercials for a doctor’s office? How unprofessional! How undignified. That was my first time hearing myself on the radio and on TV. When I came up with the idea for SocaMom, I wasn’t scared to be told that it wasn’t a good idea. I was raised having these conversations. I listened to my mom talk about naysayers and watched her do it anyway. Eventually, she stopped sharing her ideas with people, and just did them. By the time I shared the idea for SocaMom with people, I already had the domain name for a year. I had a plan and knew how I was going to do it. As a mom, I not only ask my kids to share their ideas with me, but I also share mine with them. They are really interesting young humans, and usually have some input that can make my ideas better and more relevant.
- She brought me into her business. From the time I could put things in order numerically and alphabetically, I was filing charts in her office. I got 2 cents per chart. She had a lot of patients, so by the time I got a raise, it added up. So, in number 2, you see that she had me do her radio and television commercials. I had never seen a commercial for a doctor’s office or hospital, so I felt like I was part of doing something new – AND – whenever I applied for anything, college included, it went on my resume. On SocaMom, my kids have been a part of my business from the beginning, and the things they did with and for SocaMom have gone on their resumes and applications too. My daughter started off doing campaigns for me and used that experience to create her own blog, Lemonerdy. My oldest ended up taking two trips to the Caribbean as a Beaches Teens Ambassador after attending Beaches Moms with me, and my middle son started his car blog after working on a Dodge Moms campaign with me. They are all now entrepreneurs in their own right, and like me with my mom, they got their start working with their mom.
- She made sure I had tools. My mom worked A LOT. But even after a long day at work, she would pull up to Walmart so that I could buy fabric, glue, and popsicle sticks for the Easter baskets I wanted to make and sell. She would buy me the dye for the tie-dye shirts I wanted to sell. Paint, markers, all sorts of things. A full-size cash register. Not sure what that was for, but she let me have it. Eventually, she got me a drafting table. Now, truth be told, I did not want this drafting table. It made zero sense to me. I remember her being so terribly excited about it. To me, it was just a huge white table. To her, it was a springboard for ideas. It was space. It was something she would have loved to have when she was a kid in Belmont with all of these plans and ideas that seemed too big for the scraps of paper she had to write them on. I may have had to beg for jeans and trendy clothes, but tools for business? Her wallet was open to that. I am the same way. There is a teleprompter in my living room. The linen closet is full of one kid’s inventory and another kid’s camera equipment. I am she.
- She believed that tech changes things. I have no idea what made my mom decide 40 years ago that she wanted to have a paperless office. Back then, storage wasn’t cheap, and to get the amount needed to store just one person’s medical records was unrealistic, but she was determined. She just KNEW that it could be done. Back when medical offices barely had one computer, she had them all over the place. I remember looking at the amber screens and learning how to search for a patient to see when their last visit was. If she were still practicing today, with all of the technology that is available from touch screens to cheap data storage, you would be hard-pressed to find a single piece of paper in her office. I started out building static websites to earn money on the side as a single mom. Tech and being open to learning new coding languages made me a better mom, allowed me to provide for my family, and paved the way for SocaMom.
- She made sure that we had access to tech. I grew up with a computer at home. We didn’t have cable TV or luxury cars like my classmates, but I could spend hours and hours coding little quizzes and computer games on the weekends. In comparison to what these kids have today, it was not that impressive, but by the time I got to college, it was a game-changer. Today so much depends on whether children and young adults have access to a computer. My kids didn’t have their own computers until they needed them for school, but like my mom, I know how important it is for young people to have access. I feel like my mom is proud of the way I am raising my kids when it comes to that. I am definitely a tech-friendly mom like her.
- Even though she isn’t great with people, she encouraged me to have friends. She never said “no” when I asked to hang out with friends as far as I can remember. I basically lived at my BFFs house and didn’t miss a dance, party, or any other event. I didn’t always want to go to things, but when I did – I DID. I am the same with my kids. They aren’t introverts like my mom and I, so it doesn’t take a lot of convincing. They enjoy hanging out with their friends and participating in school activities, and I support that. Related: 10 Reasons Why You Need a Caribbean Best Friend
- Even though she has several degrees herself, she didn’t tell me that college was a requirement. My mom wanted me to have a skill and a license to use that skill to make support myself. While I was in college, I was a licensed nail tech. When I had my son, I became a licensed real estate agent. I have a rule for my kids that before they go to college, they need to have a trade that they are licensed to do. My oldest got his real estate license. One down, two to go! They can go to college if they would like. I ask that they have college as an option, so they do work hard, participate in clubs and sports, and take standardized tests. They do they work so that they can go to college, but learn a trade so that they don’t have to.
- She loves learning. I always complain that I don’t have an actual hobby. My mother didn’t either. I am now realizing that we both have a hobby. Our shared hobby is knowing things. I NEED to know things. I watch TV with Wikipedia open on my phone. I woke up this morning wanting to know about how a certain type of email campaign works, and learned how while my husband snored next to me. I won’t use all of the knowledge, I’m sure, and I still have a hard time understanding the Womack family tree – something that, while interesting, I will never have a use for.
- She believed there was nothing that piping hot french fries couldn’t fix. That one is pretty self explanatory. My kids literally call McDonald’s fries “the medicine.”
There are likely a ton of other ways that we are alike, and also many in which we are definitely different. But when I think back to all of the great things that I got from having the mom that I did, I am proud to continue the things that made her amazing, and I hope that my kids carry that on as well.
Happy Mother’s Day all!