With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom. We have a really special relationship. She’s more than just my mommy – she’s my favorite shopping partner, one of my biggest supporters, my shoulder to cry on, my travel buddy, my voice of reason, my best friend, and my role model. Growing up, she was who I looked to as an example of what a wife and mother should be. She was a stay at home mom who literally gave her all to my dad and me. Even as a kid, I wanted to be just like my mommy, and now, as an adult and a wife myself, I hope that I can be just half the wife that she was to my father. I often reflect on the lessons my mom taught me about being a wife and they shape my philosophies about love, marriage, and even womanhood.
5 Lessons My Mom Taught Me About Being a Wife
Letting a man be a man doesn’t make you any less of a woman
My mom taught me that it’s OK to play my role and support my husband from behind the scenes sometimes. As a stay at home mom, she let my dad work outside of the home to provide for our family while she took care of the household. Not having a career outside of the home did not make her any less of an inspiration – she was still a perfect example of class, strength and perseverance, and she was WAY more than a wifey. The saying that every strong man has a strong woman behind her was completely true of my parents’ marriage and I know that he wouldn’t have been the man that he was had it not been for her love, nurturance, and constant support.
Love him for all the things he does right instead of leaving him for the one thing he does wrong
Last week, in my post about Beyoncé’s new visual album, I discussed just how no relationship is perfect, how much work marriage takes, and, most importantly, how much love can overcome when people are willing to put in the work. Every marriage has its own unique set of issues, and my parents marriage was no different, but my mom taught me how important it is to love my husband for everything he does right instead of leaving him the first time he does one thing wrong. The loyalty that my mom showed as a wife is something that always sticks with me. Everyone makes mistakes and as wives, it’s important that we understand our husband’s are not perfect and give them a change to grow through things (and they should allow us the same chance, of course). While everyone has their deal breakers and I’m in no way excusing anyone’s actions, my mom’s loyalty and willing to always try to make her marriage last is something that I’ll hold with me and try to apply to my own marriage.
Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, but it does mean letting go
Speaking of mistakes, my mom taught me an important lesson about what it means to forgive, not only as a wife, but as a person in general. I will never forget the time when DJ and I had our first HUGE fight back in college. We broke up because of it and a few days later, decided to get back together and try to work things out. I told him I forgave him but I kept bringing up our argument over and over. I was talking to my mom about the whole situation, and she explained to me that since I made the decision to work it out and forgive, I had to let go of and stop bringing up old issues if I ever wanted to move forward. She told me that I wasn’t expected to forget what had happened (because that would be stupid), but I was expected to put it in the very back of my mind and not hold it over DJ’s head. After a million questions and a few complaints, I followed my mom’s advice and I’m so glad I did. My mom taught me what it really means to forgive not only in a marital relationship, but in all of my relationships. Whenever I find myself in a position to forgive, I still apply her advice from years ago.
Be your husband’s biggest cheerleader
While lawyers don’t usually have cheerleaders, my dad sure did! My mom was the proud leader of the Charles Mathis fan club and she supported him in everything that he did. Before I was born and once I started school, she spent many mornings at the courthouse watching my dad litigate. She spent many evenings by his side helping him find the perfect wording for closing arguments when he brought his work home. Even when she didn’t necessarily agree with his decisions, she supported him (and then gave him a piece of her mind in private). My mom taught me how important it is to be my husband’s biggest fan. Now, when I don’t feel like going to my husband’s basketball games, I always remind myself of how bored my mom must have been sitting through hours and hours of opening statements. I remember how my dad must have felt seeing her sitting in the gallery and I want my husband to have the same feeling when he looks up and sees me in the stands.
Marriage is ’til death do us part – and even after
This past Friday marked 5 years since my daddy’s passing. His illness came on suddenly and he was in the hospital for about 3 weeks before he passed. From the time she drove my dad to the ER until the time he was moved to hospice weeks later, my mom didn’t once leave that hospital, not even to eat or shower. My mom taught me that marriage is ’til death do us part and she stood by my father until his very last breath. To say that she loved him unconditionally with her whole heart would be an understatement. She taught me what it means to love someone with everything you have and give your all to your marriage. She also taught me that love doesn’t fade with death. To this day, she shares openly that my father was the love of her life and that, even if she falls in love again, there’s a part of her heart that can never be filled by another man. Her love for my father has shown me what it truly means to love another person without reservations – unconditionally and without any doubt. She has taught me that true love never dies.
What lessons did your mom teach you about love and relationships? I would love to hear from you!