Wishes for Mothers and Daughters: Lessons I Learned From My Mother

Wishes for Mothers and DaughtersI remember, at nine years old, making a cake for my mom for her 30th birthday. There is a picture of it somewhere. I was so very, very proud of it. I remember a few things about that day: 30 seemed so very, very far away, I was giddy with pride over my creation and though I can picture it perfectly in my mind’s eye (so I am certain when I tell you it was a disaster), my mother treated it as though it had been made of the finest ingredients (not from a box) and crafted by a baker with the most perfect of pedigrees. (it hadn’t) I never suspected she was choking the cake down, though she may have been…..and her smile was anything but false.


MumDanielle1stBirthdayThis was and still is the treasure of my mother…. a trait I now recognize as explicitly glorious: she has a gift for seeing the beauty in the moment, for living in the present – especially when it came to time with her children.

I remember that my mom always smelled like Oil of Olay. She was a dynamite swimmer and gymnast. She made family dinnertime fun. She loved chocolate and being outside in the sun. Her greatest wish was to be at home every day when my brother and I came home from school and though that wasn’t always possible, she was my first living model of a mother who worked to take care of her family, but never stopped being both present and a source of love and affection.

She and I share many qualities: a soft heart, a cry-too-easily-gene, and a love of all kinds of books and movies. We also have a strong friendship. I always knew we both attributed our bond, in large part, to the fact that she had me one week after her 21st birthday. She and my dad believed that they were always still young enough to remember being ‘our age’ – whatever age that happened to be at the time. So, as I hit my 20’s, I was initially distraught that I wouldn’t become a mother any time soon. As I approached 30, I wondered if I would be half the mother she was to me.

Mom Danielle SanDiego - BarefootMemories

I need not have worried.

I had the very best of teachers.

While I know I still have many years of motherhood ahead of me, and I know I still have many years for my relationship with both my children to develop, I am especially grateful to my mother, not only for her kind and gentle heart, for always choosing to be there to listen, but especially for providing me with the example of what it means to create a good relationship with your children, with your daughter. I am aware the teen years are a few years in my future (and I am afraid!) but know that I am well-equipped.

So, friends, today, in honor of my mom’s birthday, these are my five wishes for mothers and daughters.

  • For the many times my mom indulged a tea party when she would have preferred playing a sport with me (and the times I now do the opposite) I wish you the spirit to find joy in what puts a smile on each other’s face.
  • For all of the times my mom found the time to listen to me, despite a long day, a packed schedule, and other family and friends who needed her attention, I wish you the ability to make time for each other and the opportunity to truly listen.
  • For all the times my mom chose to hug me through the challenges of pre-teen years, of teenage years and beyond, I wish you both patience and an affection for each other.
  • For all the times my mom wanted to be my friend, but knew in her heart of hearts her job that day was to be my mom (as hard as it was), I wish you the strength to make the hard choices and to accept the hard love as it comes.
  • For all the times my mom had to let me go and let me grow – knowing I needed to make my own decisions – even if it meant heartache or failure, I wish you faith in each other and gratitude for the relentless support.

Mum….Happy Birthday. I wish you the most beautiful of days. I have never stopped learning from you.

Thank you. I love you.

What lessons have you learned from your mother? What wishes do you have for your future self?

  • MaryAnne

    Happy birthday to your Mum. My Mom shaped every ounce of the person I am today so I can identify. She loved me through the bad, and cheered me through the good. Always by my side, she was my very best friend and no one will ever claim that spot again. Cheers to you and your Mum, enjoy every moment, wish I could meet her sometime. Love meeting the people who shaped the strongest women I know and picking their brains. Love you big time D.

  • Kristin

    Beautiful! My relationship with my mom is so similar. I was so excited to have my little boy (exactly what I had hoped for) and felt such a peace that my family was complete when I had my little girl. There is something amazing about the relationship between mother and daughter! Happy birthday to your mom!

  • Danielle Smith

    MaryAnne – have I told you lately how much I miss you? You are a treasure, my friend. Thank you for this…. I enjoyed writing it. I hope my mom enjoys it as much :) And I would love for you to meet her. We’ll plan a girl’s trip to Dallas and pull you away. Love you THIS BIG.

  • Danielle Smith

    Kristin – thank you so very much! There is something very special in a mother/daughter relationship and I feel so lucky I’m able to duplicate what I have with my mother – with my little girl (or at least so far, so good :) Love that you have the same bond too :)

  • Mum

    My cry-too-easily-gene is overflowing! Thank you Sweetheart. I love you.

  • Danielle Smith

    I know that all too well. Love you. xoxo

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/notifications/all Kristin Swenson

    Simply beautiful! I too have been blessed with a mother who I can hope to be half as kind, loving and good as!

  • http://www.childmode.com/ Nadia Carriere

    Happy Birthday to your mum! You are so blessed to have such an amazing mother! xoxo

  • savvysassymoms

    What a beautiful way to celebrate your Mother’s Birthday. This was lovely.

  • Danielle Smith

    Thank you, Kristin – It is wonderful to have a mother who can be such a model, yes? We’re lucky.

  • Danielle Smith

    Oh Andrea – thank you so much…. I’m grateful. And so thrilled she loved it too :)

  • Danielle Smith

    So grateful, my friend. Blessed. Yes. Very. xxoxo

  • Jelli

    How sweet! My husband and I sometimes daydream about what our life would’ve looked like had we met 10 years earlier and had babies young. I can see that it was a beautiful experience for your mom and you.

  • Danielle Smith

    Oh thank you so much, Jelli – I’m lucky to have such a wonderful relationship with her. It is funny to think – if I had my sweet girl at the same age she had me, Delaney would be 18 instead of 9 – crazy :)