“My Momma always said: Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.” Fourteen years after Forrest Gump came out, this lesson still applies and will continue to in the years to come. As men, we can't help but to be close to our mothers. Mothers are the fabric of families. Although fathers play an integral role in a child's development, mothers take the brunt of the child rearing responsibilities. So much so that if a stay-at-home mom was paid in the business world for their household activities, they would make about $122,732, according to a Salary.com study published this month. But moms don't do it for financial reasons. They do it because they want to ensure that their children grow up to be responsible, useful and respectful citizens of society.
As men, we can't help but be close to our mothers. It's natural. For the ones who have not established a relationship with their mothers, I'm almost certain that we yearn for that motherly bond. However, for us who have strong maternal relationships, we have to deal with the stigma around this special connection we have with our mothers. The term “Momma's Boy” comes to mind. Most times described as a man who is excessively attached to their mother, these same men are also the most successful, responsible, caring, sensitive, dateable, guys ladies will find out there. Fathers will always have a special role as they turn their sons into men. However, it's Mothers that mold their sons to be gentlemen.
The problem is when guys have not transitioned their relationships with their mom's from youth to adult. When you're 30 and you're still living at home, with your mom doing everything for you, that's an issue. When you have to ask permission from your mom for everything you do or go to, then there's a problem. When your mom takes precedence over your girlfriend or wife, then you may as well be single for the rest of your life. It's okay to be close to our mothers. But learn to establish boundaries so as not alienate other people in your life, and lose out on development opportunities when you think for yourself.
A lot of my success I owe to my relationship with her. Growing up, I learned a lot from my mom. In her honor and of mothers everywhere, the following are life lessons from my mom that I use to this very day. Some may sound very basic, but those are the ones we usually tend to forget.
- Be TRUE to yourself. Society will always want you to be someone else than who you are right now. Stick to your guns. Be proud of what you've become at this moment.
- Honesty is the best policy. You will be remembered by your integrity, not by your wealth or the clothes you wear. Your word is worth a lot more than you think.
- Your wife/girlfriend is someone else's sister, so treat them right. Treat them like you would treat your mother, with utmost respect, care and love.
- On personal style, always look your best as you never who you're going to meet. First impressions last the longest.
- On finances, save for a rainy day. Life isn't always a bed of roses. Be ready for the tough times.
- Laughter is the best medicine. Learn to laugh at yourself first.
- Have a sense of faith. In the military they say, everyone is going to call for a god's help at some point during a war. Why wait for a war, have a strong spiritual foundation now.
- On work and career, always give it your best. There's no room for mediocrity in this world.
- Every action has a consequence. Be responsible for what you say and do.
- Live your life to the fullest. You only live once.
This Sunday, take your mom out to a nice brunch or give her flowers. Wear your Momma's Boy badge with pride. And remember, that without our mothers there is no you and me. To my mom and all moms, Happy Mother's Day!