I know everyone on earth who loves their momma says it, but I truly have the best mom in the world. Honestly, she was so perfect as a mom that having a child terrifies me because I know it's not possible to ever be as good of a mom as mine was to me and my brother. She was the most dedicated, loving, "hippie" mom (as I like to call her.. haha) that anyone could ever have.
My mom devoted her entire life to us. The decisions she made as a mom were all in the name of me and my brother having the best childhood and upbringing possible, and I truly believe we are the people we are today because of those decisions she made. When we were really young, we didn't have a ton of money. As a matter of fact, we had so little, people would've probably said she had no business staying home with us, that she should've went back to work. Not my mom. She believed that when you make the decision to become a mom, you stay home with you kids. And even though we had just enough to get by, she was a proud stay at home mom.
I cherish those days my mom stayed home with us. We were always on a schedule, and it was usually a really fun one. Mom also believed in raising your kids "in a very structured environment," as she always said. We woke up at the same time every morning, Young and the Restless came on at 11:00, after "soap opera hour" we ate lunch - always at 12:00 sharp, we had fun activities planned for each day, Oprah came on at 4:00, my dad came home, and we had dinner at 5:30 sharp every night.
Our fun outings were what I remember most as a kid - my mom took us everywhere! Of course, the places we went were always thrifty because we would've never been able to afford anything else. We had library days, park days, ice cream days, Taco Bell days (but you could only order 2 things - 2 food items or a food item and a Coke... haha) - you name it we did it! What's funny is, until I got older I had no idea we didn't have any money. Our lives were so full of love and fun, who needed it?!
You may wonder why a conservative mom who provided such structure for her kids is referred to as a "hippie mom." My brother and I call her this now because looking back it's quite shocking how much she let us choose on our own. If I could describe my mom in 100,000 words when I was growing up, "strict" would not have be one of them. Mom had two sayings she lived by as a parent: "Why say no when you can say yes?" and "A little bit of anything never hurt anyone!"
For instance, I don't remember ever being told I couldn't go stay at a friend's house, have a sleepover, or go to a party. When I was around 11, I came home from a friend's and told mom that she had smoked and asked me to try it (I told my mom because I never hid anything from her). Her response was, "Do you want me to go out and buy you some cigarettes so you can try it?" It terrified me! Of course I said no and I guess it worked because I'm 32, and I've never tried a cigarette. Not once. When we got older, we didn't even have a curfew. Mom said, "I trust y'all to make the right decisions." Funny enough, neither me or my brother ever stayed out too late, drank, smoked, did drugs - nothing. We had such a close relationship with our mom we just never wanted to do anything to disappoint her.
And I have to talk about food, of course. One of my favorite things mom would do was take us to the grocery store and let us pick out all the stuff we wanted in our lunch each week. Of course, we could only have a Lunchable one day because that's all we could afford. But, aside from that, and too much over spending, we could pick whatever we wanted! My lunch was a kid's dream - Little Debbies and potato chips galore! And look at me now, I'm a fairly healthy eater who will try just about anything. It didn't kill me to have such a fun childhood, eating a little bit of junk food now and again.
I always think it's so bizarre to see people be so strict on their kids. My mom knew saying no all the time only meant the likelihood of us rebelling. Her passive-aggressive, reverse psychology way of parenting was actually very enlightening. The way she looked at you when maybe you were about to do something wrong or maybe about to make a bad decision was enough to scare the wits out of you. And dont think for a second we never got in trouble. When we did something wrong, we were punished for it and it was really scary, believe me. As a matter of fact, if we ever started to bend the rules when we were younger, I remember mom threatening, "I'm going to go get the big red belt." My entire life I was terrified of "the big red belt," but I never saw it. Guess why I never saw it? Because it didn't even exist! But it sure did keep me out of trouble all those years.
From structure, to lenience, to being home with her babies every day, there are so many reasons I could give for why I think my mom has been the absolute best. Because of her, me and my brother had the absolute best upbringing, and in turn, have made great decisions as adults that continue to bring us a great life!
I asked mom what her top 3 favorite foods were for Mother's Day this year. She said a good steak, Mexican, and Cajun. So I combined the three and made her a delicious meal: Steak with Chimichuri Sauce over Dirty Cajiun Basmati Rice. Plus, Garden Sparkling Cocktails and a Strawberry Basil Galette for dessert! I could never repay my mom for all she's done for me, but I can promise to cook her delicious meals forever!
Update to this post: I have to share my mom's sweet response after she red this post. What she said is what makes her so grand:
" Oh my goodness! You have me crying and laughing at the same time. That is so sweet and It makes my heart happy that I accomplished my goal of giving you the best childhood that I could! Two things: 1) The only way that I was able to stay home was that you had a hardworking dad with a good work ethic and that made my stay at home days possible! 2) I definitely was not a perfect mom. There were things I did that if I had the ability to do it over, I would! But I give God the glory because I prayed for y'all and myself consistently (still do) and He saw you through my young mother imperfections! I consider the two of you as gifts from God and I loved and cared for you the best I could! You two are still everything to me and I only want the best for you! Thank you for the wonderful lunch. I'm thankful for your cooking ability! I pray y'all continue to be blessed and prosper! ❤️"