Thanks For The Push, Mom

Thanks For The Push, Mom

I did not see why you did it then, but I most certainly see it now.
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I am lucky to say that all my life, I have been surrounded by people who have always pushed me to be the best I can be. Without a doubt, though, the person who has never ceased to have been the number one person behind so many of my decisions has been my mom. This being said, I can think of countless things I have not wanted to do that she has made me do, and that I have been mad at her in the moment for. Now, looking back on all these situations, I can say that I am thankful for them now. Everything she needed to push me to do, she pushed me to do for a reason, and I can finally understand that looking back. Here are a few of the many things I am thankful my mom pushed me to do:

1) Hang out with my friends.

Now, let me explain this, because this does not seem like something my mom would have to push me to do. It is not that I do not like to hang out with my friends, because I definitely do. More often than I would like to admit, however, I would rather stay home and relax than have to go out. If I would get invited somewhere, I would usually go tell my mom about it, but tell her that I was going to make an excuse so I did not have to go. To this, she would almost always respond, “Just go, what’s the big deal? You go hang out for a few hours, then you can come home and relax. You will regret not going one day.” I would almost always end up going, and even though I would be mad, once I would get there, I would forget why I did not want to go in the first place. Then, of course, I would realize that she was right. Now, if I think about all the times I almost did not spend time with my friends because I was just too lazy to want to go, the amount of memories I would never have made would be too many to count.

2) Play sports.

When I was young, I played every sport I possibly could. From, softball to basketball to soccer to dance, I did it all. There were numerous times I could think of when I wanted to stay home and not go to practice or to a game, but my mom always would tell me that I made a commitment to my team. She would also reassure me, and say to me that whether or not I played very well, as long as I did my best and had fun, that was all that really mattered (which was good because as much as I loved playing sports, I was most certainly no star athlete). From these experiences, I know today that even if you do not necessarily excel at something, if you are happy doing it, that is all that is truly important.

3) Go to school dances.

Just like my mom would have to push me to go out with my friends, she would also have to push me to go to school dances. This did not happen every time one came around, but it happened often enough. I would love to get dressed and do my makeup to go, but I always knew that once I was there for about an hour or two, I would be ready to go home. Once again, she would tell me that it was only one night, and that when it came down to it, I would be more upset if I did not go, than if I went. Looking back, I cannot even imagine what I would have missed out on if I did not go to even one dance.

4) Go on my first Midnight Run.

Throughout high school, I went on a Midnight Runs, where you spend a night going to the city to help feed the homeless. The first year I took part in one was my sophomore year, and I was just not sure that I wanted to do it, probably because I did not know what to expect. My mom pushed me to do it, because she said it was important that I help those in need when I was so lucky to have all that I did. After I went on my first midnight run that year, I realized how fulfilling of an experience it was, and I more than willingly participated in the ones my junior and senior years. In this situation in particular, I can honestly say that it is not something I think I ever would have done if my mom had not highly encouraged me, and I never would have been able to realize how good knowing you did something to help others feels.

Through each of these situations, my mom taught me valuable life lessons, and allowed me to make memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Now, whenever my mom pushes me to do something that I do not want to, I think about these experiences and realize that she is probably right. I know that she would not want me to do something if I would not ultimately get something out of it, and I could never thank her enough for that. I mean, what can I say? I guess it really is true that mother knows best.

Cover Image Credit: Gianna Pisano

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Everyone Should Experience Working In Fast Food Or Retail

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it.

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I know these jobs aren't glamorous. In fact, most days I looked forward to clocking out before I had even clocked in. I always secretly rolled my eyes when an angry customer droned on and on about how entitled he or she was. Though I can name a lot of bad things that happened on the job, it wasn't all horrible. As I reflect on my time working in fast food, I realize how much having that job really taught me and how grateful I am to have had that experience. I really think everyone should work in fast food or retail at some point, and here's why:

You make some great friends from work. I get it, sometimes your co-workers are royal jerks or flat out creeps. You see your name on the schedule next to theirs and immediately try switching with someone else. I've been there. However, I have worked with some amazing people as well.

Every time I worked with one girl in particular, we laughed for entire shifts. One night, we were singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs without realizing a customer had come in (to our surprise, she applauded our terrible screaming). Another coworker and I turned up the radio on full blast when business was slow and had dance battles. We made the most of our shifts, and I still talk to some of these people today.

You learn how to deal with difficult people. It's the age-old story: the uppity customer thinks twelve dollars for a meal combo is outrageous and Where is your manager?!

My friend and I were once called stupid and a customer said he would never come back to our restaurant to eat ever again. At the moment, we were scared out of our minds because we were both pretty new to the job. As time passed, we became more patient and tolerant and knew what triggered these particular customers. Dealing with these adversities definitely helps in the long run, particularly when it comes to doing group work with people who seem unbearable.

Your people skills increase by a landslide. I had always thought that I was great with people before I had a job. However, when I found myself in situations where I had to talk to strangers, I would grow nervous and stumble across my words from time to time. Working in an environment where communicating with others is a driving force helped me not only with improving my public speaking, but also made me more outgoing. In situations where I once backed into the corner to avoid having to talk to someone, I now take charge and initiate a conversation.

You establish a connection with regular customers. My favorite customer was named Jack. He was the sweetest old man who came in every Wednesday and Friday and bought food for himself and his wife. I quickly memorized his order, which impressed him. We shared pleasantries every time he came in, and my coworkers and I looked forward to seeing him.

Establishing a relationship with people who come in a lot helps immensely when it comes to working. It also provides a sense of accomplishment when you memorize an order. Not to mention, the customers start to like you and typically leave a generous tip!

You have stories to tell for a lifetime! Sometimes bad things happen at work. Once I was holding a hot pan and burned my arm— I still have the burn mark on my arm to prove it. My point is, it sucked at the moment, but now I look back and laugh.

One time I asked my coworker how to make soup and she replied, "Slowly, but beautifully." It was so nonchalant that I cracked up for hours. There was also a time when a customer asked me for outlandish toppings and condiments that we didn't offer. The craziest story, though, was the drug deal that went down in our public restrooms. My coworker and I obviously could not leave our station and follow these people into the bathroom, so we were pretty much defenseless. Nobody got hurt or anything, so it made for a great story.

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it. It made me more independent and outgoing and gave me memories I'll never forget.

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