I have always been passionate about designing and making meaningful gifts and keepsakes and was very fortunate to able to start my own business. Lauren Nicole Gifts (name after my niece) was started in 2004 and was a great way for me to have my own business, but still move around as an Army wife. My husband recently retired from the Army and we are now permanently located in Ouray, Colorado

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lessons from Mom: It's OK to Get Your Hands Dirty Sometimes

My guest post today comes from Alexa who is the co-admin for the site Art Room Melody. She’s sharing a personal experience today that will make you think of your own lessons learned from Mom.

There are few human beings on earth as great as moms, if any.

They're somehow able to juggle kids, a husband, work, friends, personal time, household management, leisure, volunteering, chauffeuring and still have time to take us shopping for new

From relationships to household tips and tricks to life-lessons, there is a lot to learn from your mom. She's an invaluable source of knowledge and information in your life and, no matter how old you get, there's always more to learn.

What I've Learned from My Mom:

While I can't boil down all the lessons I've learned from my mom into one blog post, I'll discuss one of the most important things I've ever learned, a lesson that's carried me through life (so far) and that I've gotten more mileage out of than my favorite pair of jeans.

I've learned the importance of being able to get my hands dirty, in a good way of course.

Back when my family was living in Los Angeles, I used to put up a huge fuss about cleaning my room. I didn't understand why I had to make my bed, hang up my clothes or organize my Barbies. My mother tried to tell me that cleanliness was an important habit to learn, and that it would pay off in the long run. She soon learned the futility of telling a child anything about the "long run" or "cleanliness". I begrudgingly cleaned my room, did chores, helped wash dishes and took out the trash, but only because she said so. Within a few years, I'd stopped grumbling, chalking up household chores and cleanliness to habit. No big deal, right? I'd learned how to get my hands dirty without complaining and my mom never had to lecture or breathe down my neck. She was calm but persistent, and pretty soon, I succumbed to her subtle assertiveness. Cleaning? Check.

By my teenage years, I was dealing with a whole other slew of issues: relationships. Friends, boys, teachers and everything in between were my biggest concern. When I'd complain to my mom, she'd stay calm yet again, but she'd help me out. She'd give me advice about choosing my battles, dealing with some conflicts head-on, ignoring other squabbles and learning how to
mediate. It's a lot for a 15-year-old to learn, but with my mom's help, I was soon navigating relationships of all types like a pro. Conflict? Check.

So, how do cleaning and conflict resolution ever reconcile? College, of course. Everyone's got their fair share of college roommate stories. From sleepwalkers to total slobs, we've heard it all. My senior year of college, I lived with a few girls that gave me a whole new appreciation for the
lessons my mother had taught me. Not to put anyone else down, but I seemed to be only the girl in our duplex that was willing to get her hands dirty. I cleaned when no one else would or could, I resolved conflicts no one else even knew how to approach, such conflicts like sloppy boyfriends making a mess of our living room and squatting for free. The other girls shied away, but I knew that those were the types of situations that wouldn't dissolve on their own, so I faced it head on. Polite but assertive just like my mom, I told my roommate and her boyfriend that his behavior in our home was unacceptable. And you know what? It worked.

Gleaning life-lessons from chores Los Angeles house cleaning, middle school conflict resolution, and organizing Barbies could only be the result of a hard-working mom.

Advice For Parents:

Coming from a former kid, there are a few things we hate: Don’t lecture, we don't listen. Instead, talk to us from your experience. Let us know that you're only trying to help us. It makes all the difference. Start early. Sure, I hated cleaning our home as a kid, but it paid off in the end. Be
persistent. My mother's persistence made all the difference in helping me develop life-long habits.

And most importantly: have fun. We want to have fun just as much as you do. Intersperse learning experiences with genuine good times.

We'll come around, sooner or later.

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