She won't be around forever, so don't waste opportunities now.
A mother’s love is unconditional, but growing up, we sometimes don’t appreciate the things our mothers did or said. If we still have the gift of our mother’s physical presence, though, there are some things we can do that are simple but of great value for both parties, and which can provide us with the opportunity to show our mother gratitude and make every moment we still have with her count.
1Accept every hug, and respond with an even bigger one
As we grow older, we tend to hug our mothers less and turn to them less for their affection. Often, we only turn to them when we’re in a difficult situation. Don’t wait for hard times to come before you show your mother your affection!
When we have the chance to greet her, we shouldn’t do it coldly or passively. If she hugs us, we should hug back, with all our heart. Make that hug strong, and long enough to count.
These are special opportunities that life gives us, “for a limited time only.”
2Ask her lots of questions
We can ask our mother about anything, and we know that she’ll generally give us a straightforward answer. In fact, she’ll usually be glad we asked, and will tell us everything we want to know; yet, most of us rarely ask questions.
How did she and our father meet? When did they know they were in love? What was it like when she was pregnant with us? We have to ask these questions while we can, because tomorrow might be too late, and when we’re older we might regret not having asked. Our parents are the repository of much of our family history.
3Listen to her advice: it’s the fruit of years of experience
Sometimes we feel like our moms are interfering in our personal life with their advice. They try to tell us how to manage a situation better, or how to act, and often we ignore them and tell them they have no idea what the world is like today. We don’t think their experience can shed light on our own.
When we look back after an incident like that, we often realize that our mother was actually right. And in many ways, they’re the people who know us best. They raised us for years, and had plenty of time to observe us and to get to know our personality and character. We need to trust them. Instead of refusing to lend them an ear, we need to listen first, and then decide how we can apply what they’ve told us.
4Keep up healthy communication and don’t ignore her messages
Answer every call from her that you can. Answer her messages and teach her to use new technology. Although it may seem like a waste of time, a simple “hi” while we’re on the way to work or a short message before we take a trip can make a big difference.
Someday, she won’t be calling you anymore, and her name won’t appear in your text message alerts. The comments she put on your Facebook posts in the past will make you smile when you come across them in your “Facebook memories” years from now. Now is your chance to enjoy her presence and make memories for the future.
5Understand that she does the best she can
Often, it’s only when we have kids of our own that we start to appreciate how much our parents did for us when we were young. Adult life teaches us to look with greater empathy and understanding on our parents’ child rearing efforts, and to learn from their successes and failures.
Our parents are people like us, with virtues and weaknesses. We often think of them only as our parents, but they also have had their struggles and their previous family history. If our mother or father didn’t live up to what we might have expected or hoped for, we need to forgive them and recognize them for who they are: the people who gave us life, loved us, and raised us, in the midst of their own struggles and achievements. They are a gift we need to appreciate while we can.