I owe everything I am to my mom and here's why...
My mother never accepted mediocrity in our household and I can't tell you how grateful I am that she never budged...ever. I'm only the mom I am today to Riley because my mom was who she was to my sister and me.
[Mom and me circa 1977 & Riley and me in 2013]
At one point in high school, I was obsessed with the soap opera, "All My Children." When mom discovered this, she made a statement that I will never forget as long as I live: "You're so busy watching people who've already made their money; you need to start spending your time figuring out how you'll make yours." And you know what? She never had to say anything more to me again. Later, in college, I spent a year in London without a TV and I never missed a beat.
[image via instagram.com/SuccessfulThinking]
My mom always encouraged my younger sister and me to find our own paths in life. "If you end up being a street sweeper, you need to be the best so-and-so street sweeper there is," she'd say. So long as the path made sense and we did our best getting there, mom was happy. Along our paths were piano, flute, ballet, honor roll, gifted classes, academic summers and award-winning science fair projects (that she took as much pride in as we did). Not present were cable TV, video games, excuses, Kool-Aid and the phrases, "I'm bored" and "I'm tired."
[Me, mom & sis Jade at the premiere of Jade's award-winning film, "Three Blind Mice]
Yes, in our house, saying "I'm bored" was like saying a four-letter word (just like "can't")--we were just too scared to ever say it out loud. Mom's perspectives helped nurture a sense of creativity inside us that laid a foundation for some of our greatest accomplishments. As the child of a real estate agent, I learned to draw floor plans while I sat with mom in open houses all day and that became my favorite hobby. I later went on to attend one of the most prestigious high schools in the state with a concentration in engineering and a year-long internship at NASA. All of this followed by two full scholarships to study engineering in college. I opted to study public policy instead, but that's another post:-)
When my sister ran out of clothes for her extensive Barbie collection, she started "borrowing" our socks to make clothes in her spare time. She later used our pillowcases as costumes for our extended family's annual Christmas play that she wrote each year. Now, she's an independent filmmaker with an MFA in Directing from Boston University.
The phrase, "I'm tired" was even worse." Mom's clever comeback? "Don't you think the slaves were tired when they ran to freedom?!" Needless to say, I was never tired in mom's house. Thankful that I had a mom who cared enough to be hard on us? Yes. But tired? No way.
Mom retired a few years ago from a Fortune 50 company and now works for me at Innovative Study Techniques (another post:-). You get one guess to figure out what I said to her the first time she complained about pulling an all-nighter at the office...
Love you, Mom. Happy Mother's Day!
Hey Haute Mamas! I'm Riche Holmes Grant, a modern mom + mompreneur who designs smart + stylish products that make your mommy gig easier.
When I'm not busy taking orders from my #miniboss, I'm contributing to MarthaStewart.com or in the kitchen whipping up delicious family-friendly creations in my BambiniWare Apronini.
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I live in the Washington, DC area with my husband and daughter. Follow our adventures on Instagram via @BambiniWareLife!
- Riche Holmes Grant