Lessons from our mothers

Kathleen Keaveny





Mother’s Day: the day we spend at brunches or tea time, celebrating our mothers and all they do for us, a day set aside for appreciation and, typically, a day off.

Our mothers teach us lessons daily. These lesson sometimes turn into anthems that guide our lives. However, not every son or daughter understands these lessons until a little bit more maturity or when we are in a position where they come to our realization.

I hope you will take some time to reflect on the things that your mother has taught you. Here are two important lessons my mom has shown me.

Choose experiences over things.

My mom has been reiterating this ideology as long as I can remember, but did not fully understand its importance until my teen years.

As a middle schooler, my “misunderstood” and “angst-filled” self was bitter of not being able to wear that season’s Abercrombie & Fitch graphic tee. I would beg my mother to go in that dark, deafening and cologne cloud of a store so I could try on an entirely-too-tight-for-a-12-year-old shirt. The answer was always no. All the cool kids were wearing them. Why couldn’t I?

She would say that there are better ways to spend money. By that, she meant on experiences.

As embarrassed as I am to admit, I did not gain perspective on all the amazing experiences I have been afforded by my parents until recently. My mom constantly expresses that she chooses to spoil us with experiences, instead of things. Although I didn’t get to fashion that Abercrombie tee with some super cool Nike Shocks and a Juicy Couture sweatsuit, I can attribute my appreciation for experiences to my mother.

Because of her, I love long roads trips with my family crammed in the Suburban, trekking to Virginia, Florida, Canada and above all, Colorado (I’m from Kansas – woohoo wheat fields!). Because of her I have a extreme adoration for Colorado and all it has to offer. Because of her, I am here. Because of her encouragement for travel, I feel comfortable calling more than one place my home. Because of her, I am grateful for time spent with family. Because of her, I value people. Because of her, I choose to take chances and try new things.

Because of her, I have a collection of memories and experiences in places I love with the people I love.


Don’t let things knock you down.

“Don’t let things knock you down and put your nose to the grindstone.” My mom has said this more to me since I have entered college than ever before.

Basically, you cannot let people or obstacles knock you down. If they do, stand right back up and keep moving.

If you are having a particularly rough semester full of seemingly impossible classes, confusing relationships, copious amounts of stress or whatever it may be, put your nose to the grindstone and make your way through it. Don’t let it knock you down.

I don’t always appreciate the tough love, especially when I am having a mid-semester meltdown on the phone with my mother, hoping to just receive some sympathy, but in the end, my mother is always right. The only way to get through it is to work hard and do it.

My mother has modeled this countless times in her life.

So what lessons has your mother taught you?

Collegian Interactive News Team member Kathleen Keaveny can be reached at socialmedia@collegian.com or on Twitter @katkeaveny.