Lessons from my mom on Women’s Day

This month we celebrate international Women’s Day and, for those who live in the UK, Mothers’ Day – or Mothering Sunday to be more accurate.

I need no further prompting to celebrate the woman who has inspired me the most – my mom.

Mom lives in the UK and I live 9,000 miles away in Australia. In January this year my sweet dad, the love of her life, passed away after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease. They’d been married for a little over 56 years.

Mom and I have always had a very strong bond. We talk regularly and miss each other deeply. After years of her being my greatest supporter and friend, my heart breaks that I can’t be there for her in person to support her and keep her company each day as she works through this difficult time.

Although we don’t see each other very often, mom’s influence in my life is felt each day. I see it in my relationships with my husband and daughter, in my friendships and in my interactions with people at work. Mom loves people. She is a nurse by profession, and that caring and need to help others has permeated to every aspect of her life.

Despite her own unhappy childhood, which she’s described as one of general neglect and poverty, she has been a remarkable mom – attentive, loving, patient and kind. She has always been my rock and no matter the circumstance, I have always felt safe with her and loved by her.

In addition to the usual great things our moms teach us, here are five lessons from my mom that stand out for me:

1.  Be slow to anger and quick to forgive – holding a grudge is bad for your health.

2. You are stronger than you think – this will be tested at some point and you’ll be ok.

3. Do things that create joy in life – joy for you or for someone else.

4. Always assume positive intent – it may not be warranted, but that’s on them not you.

5. People will let you down sometimes – love them and be kind to them anyway.

I appreciate there are many women of standing who are held up as examples of inspiration on International Women’s Day. But for me, my mom will be the ultimate inspiration. So this Women’s Day I will focus on how I can love more, give more, help more and be kinder. Thanks for the lessons mom, and Happy Women’s and Mother’s Day!