Mom Taught Me: Lessons from my Mother, Wife, & Mother-in-Law

Certain people are placed into our daily lives for a variety of reasons.  They shape our beliefs about finances, health, relationships, and even deeper truths involving spirituality and living a better life.  With it being Mother’s Day, I wanted to share with you some lessons my mom taught me.  However, I also wanted to explore amazing things I learned from other mothers in my life: my wife and mother-in-law.

mom taught meAs a guy, Mother’s Day is a little uncomfortable for me.  I know, I know, it sounds weird to say that in this day and age.  It’s not politically correct or whatever.  I don’t know.  But, it involves expressing your feelings for the mothers in your life and that’s not something I always want to do.

That said, before you bite my head off, consider the feelings I’m expressing here in this post.  In essence, this is the Mother’s Day card to transcend all Mother’s Day cards and it’s to the three most important mothers in my life.

I know you will be able to relate to the sentiments I share.  No personal finance, health, or mindset lessons here.  Just a nice read on a beautiful spring holiday.

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My Mom taught me to protect the family

Let me start by saying that my mother was the only woman in a house with 4 men.  My father, of course, plus her three boys of which I am the oldest.  To say we would give my mom a hard time is the understatement of the year.

In fact, as we grew up, we would often poke fun at her or torment her as boys can do.  In our defense, it was often in retaliation for what we perceived to be overreactions about trivial matters in life.  However, each of us had a difficult relationship at times with her growing up.  Whether that was her fault or our fault is still a fun family topic during the holidays!

Nevertheless, no matter what was going in life, my mother was always there for us.  She was the “mama bear” protector of the family.  When things were going down, you called in Pat (her name is Patricia).

Here comes Mama Bear Domzalski

I can remember one time when my mom’s protective skills were in full force.  I was in eighth grade and one of my teachers was the type of woman that poked fun at her students.  From what I remember, she would say some weird or inappropriate stuff.

I can’t remember exactly what she said to me or us one day, but I told my mother.  If I had to guess what the topic was, I think it might’ve been puberty or something off topic in class.  As I was saying, I told my mom.

My mother — if she doesn’t confront you in person — has a knack for letter writing.  I think the woman must have her own stationery with the amount of letters she sends out citing her dissatisfaction.  So, she wrote a letter to that teacher calling her out and reprimanding her for her inappropriate behavior toward her son.

I remember actually getting a note back from the teacher to give to my mother with the phase “besmirching my reputation” written in there.  Of course, she was calling my mom out.  I don’t remember the final outcome.  I don’t think she killed my grade because I graduated!

However, I just remember my mother always ready to fight for the family.  It didn’t matter how seemingly insignificant the matter was.  If Pat felt affronted or felt her children were in danger, watch out world!  Mama bear is ready to play.

Thank you, Mom.

My Mom taught me how to survive anything

I’ll never forget the moment I learned my mother first had breast cancer.  I was in college and I got the phone call.  It upset greatly, obviously, but it was more a strange feeling.  Like a stunning feeling.

When I was home from school, I saw my mother wearing a head scarf because she lost her hair from chemotherapy and it just didn’t compute for me.  Here you had this woman who was so vibrant dealing with something nobody saw coming.  As her son, it just didn’t make sense.

Well, my mom beat the damn thing.  She beat it in great “Pat” fashion.

That is, until the bastard showed up again a second time.  Yes, my mother had breast cancer twice.  Spoiler Alert: she beat it a second time as well.

I remember being in the hospital with everyone and my mother was in bed.  She didn’t really seem phased by it.  I had Anna with me and her support is second to none.  But, I can remember my mom being rather upbeat and just ready to do battle again.

She beat breast cancer twice.  Double mastectomy?  No big deal.  She just dealt with it.

She survived, yes, but it seems like I do a disservice to her battle by just saying she survived.  No, she beat it.  My mom kicked cancer’s butt and did so twice.

I pray that she never goes through it again, that nobody in my life has to face that beast at all.  But, I appreciate the grace with which my mom handled her cancer fight.  It’s amazing what we as human beings can handle.  Thank you, Mom.

My son’s Mom taught me how to be a go-giver

My wife, Anna, is the most giving person you will ever meet.  The woman literally doesn’t stop.  From sunrise to sunset — and to the weary midnight hour, she is giving to somebody else.

The only woman I know that gave more of herself is Mary, the Mother of God.  Anna is a living saint.

I marvel at her capacity to give to our family.  She takes care of everything.

But, if before I thought she couldn’t give anymore, she absolutely surpassed her level of giving when we had our son, Davey Joe.  Anna became a stay-at-home mother and Davey was breastfed for over a year.  She would stay up with him all night long.  As the father, there wasn’t much I could do because Anna didn’t really pump.

Instead, she “kept midnight watch” and gave our son her undivided attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  She hardly complained, but if it was too much on her, I tried to give her time.  I’m actually not nearly as giving as she is.  Rather, I’m more of a reluctant giver!

Anna ALWAYS puts others first.  It’s just her nature.

For as long as I’ve known her, Anna has always put others first.  It doesn’t matter how big or small the situation either.  If Anna has the opportunity to serve others, she will do so and sacrifice her wants and desires.

She listens to the problems of her friends and family and offers counsel that is wise beyond her years.  When it’s time for somebody’s birthday, she gives them something she knows they’ll like because she listens to what we like.  And she is the person that puts on the party flawlessly and helps make sure the party you’re throwing goes off without a hitch.

When she was an RA in college, she served her girls.  As an staff auditor, she learned the tricks of the trade and served her co-workers and clients.  As a teacher, she served her students and made them focus on being extraordinary.  And as a Realtor, she went out of her way to make sure her buyers and sellers were taken care of.

As a wife, Anna puts up with a lot from me and sacrifices daily.  But, as a mother to our son, she gives him the world every day.

Thank you, Anna.

My wife’s Mom taught me how to pray and know God is listening

The mother-in-law and son-in-law relationship is certainly a unique one.  However, if you have the right type of person as your mother-in-law, it can actually be pretty simple.

My mother-in-law, Colleen, and I are actually a lot alike.  Where my father-in-law and wife are the more dominant personalities and “doers”, Colleen and I are more of the laid back, “don’t bother me” types.  This comes out the most when we’re on vacation together and we just want to sit around with a good book.  My wife and her father are off in God knows where doing God knows what.

As I said, it’s nice to have somebody in the family whose personality gels with yours.  But, that’s not what’s truly special about my mother-in-law.  Rather, she has taught me something from more of the eternal realm — and that is prayer.

My mother-in-law’s impact on my Orthodox Christian faith

As many of you may know, I take my Orthodox Christian faith very seriously.  While I fail on a daily basis, I try to live a life worthy of eternal splendor with God.  Faith is something I want to instill in my young son and it is my responsibility to make sure he grows up as a believer.  And I can look no further than Colleen for how to do that.

Our entire family counts on her prayers.  She goes to God on our behalf and prays unceasingly for us.  The woman has the ear of the Lord and it is truly a miracle.

While I don’t discuss my faith on this blog often, it greatly shapes my entire life.  So, sharing it here and giving others a chance to see the depths with which it impacts my life is worth it to me.  Prayer is direct communication with God and Colleen continues to bless us with her example and her gift.

Have Colleen pray for you and the Lord will bless the situation.  No doubt about it.

Thanks, Mom, for praying for all of us.

Each Mom taught me something I don’t take for granted

Protector.  Survivor.  Giver.  Prayer.

My Mom taught me to protect the family and how to survive anything.

Anna taught me to give more of myself and think less of what I want.

My mother-in-law taught me how to live a prayerful life.

I am truly a blessed man.

Each Mom taught me something crucial.  They had their own spin on it and I learned it at a point in my life that helped propel me to the next level.  Call it God (which I do) and maturity (which I still need) — and you have the answer as to why it happened.  It happened because it made me the man I am today.

I will forever be in my mother’s, my wife’s, and my mother-in-law’s debt.  But, I will also be forever grateful.  After all, Mom taught me to be thankful for what God gave me.

Happy Mother’s Day to Anna Domzalski, Patricia Domzalski, Colleen Brown, and every Mother out there.  Your reputations will always precede you.  Thank you and God bless all Mothers living and deceased.

How has your own Mother touched your life?  Share your memories and lessons you learned from her below.

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