I’m missing my mom on this Mother’s Day 2019 and it’s not because of the marketing force this holiday has become. Did you know that in 2018, over $23 billion was spent on Mother’s Day? Approximately one quarter of all the flowers purchased throughout the year are bought for Mother’s Day. I hope your mom is more than just a marketing statistic.
My mom passed away in November 2017. Over the 60-plus years I enjoyed her company, she taught me many work lessons. Here are just a few that I still value.
Mom found joy in work. Whether she was cooking, baking, cleaning, or gardening, every task was completed with an inner delight. I learned that everyday chores could be fun. Washing dishes, pulling weeds, and cleaning my room were more than ordinary tasks; they were opportunities to experience joy.
Mom taught me the value of praise. Many of my early attempts to fold laundry or vacuum fell short of expectations. Some of them may have even caused her a bit more work. Yet, I always received encouragement, including suggestions for improvement. Today’s workplace is frequently missing any meaningful praise. It’s a costly mistake too many leaders are making.
Mom helped me delay gratification. Work won’t always be exciting or compelling. Cleaning the rabbit pens as a child certainly wasn’t very exhilarating. However, earning money from selling the offspring several times a year actually was. I learned that doing little things well often leads to lasting results.
Mom taught me to clean up my messes. Failures are a part of life. I witnessed mom throwing away a cake that didn’t rise, laugh when the laundry blew off the clothesline, and gather the pieces from a broken dish she had dropped. I don’t always smile when I make mistakes, but I try not to dwell on them.
The role of mother can seem like an impossible blend of career professional, impeccable hostess, devoted housewife, and perfect parent.
The work lessons mom taught me offer a different approach―model joy, praise generously, delay gratification, and clean up your messes.
Wrap those lessons in unconditional love and you have some Mother’s Day statistics worth more than the $23 billion spent honoring our mothers in 2018.
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