2615 Park Central Blvd, Decatur, Georgia 30035

I get it from my Momma!

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I get it from my Momma!

May 6, 2022 “I Get it from my Momma!”

When I am working in my wellness center, giving vitamin B12 shots, starting IVs on clients, or waiting for their lab work to finish processing, I make small talk. This week I asked clients what they were doing for Mother’s Day. I saw many expressions of joy, excitement and pain in people faces as I asked this question.

Like myself, one client is flying home and surprising their mom for Mother’s Day. One client’s mother is turning 75 and they have a huge celebration planned. One client stated she and her mom don’t have a great relationship and don’t speak often. I prayed with her to find peace and hopefully make amends. You don’t have to become best of friends however finding peace within the relationship is a start.  We only get one biological mother good, bad, or indifferent. She’s ours, we are part of her. You get it from your momma.

One client posted in her meal plan journal, that this time of the year is very hard because not only is it Mother’s Day weekend, but it also marks her mom’s death date. She said this time last year she locked herself in her home and drank.  However, this year she said although it still hurts, she is happy to be exercising with her fit family and working on self-care. 

I recognize it can be really, really hard celebrating Mother’s Day, if you’ve lost your mother or mother figure. But it’s still so important to do so. They would want that. It’s essential to continue to celebrate your mother and her spirit so that you can cherish what your mom means to you and to keep her memory alive.  Recognize that even though you won’t be together in a physical sense this year, she's with you in spirit always.

So, we all inherit and learn positive and negative traits or characteristics, behaviors, physical and health traits from our mothers. Over time, we may begin to see some of these features that we get from her manifested in ourselves.

When these are qualities that we like, and if they come from a mom with whom we have a good relationship, we are apt to be pleased by seeing the similarities. I love how big my mom’s eyes are; I love my mom, and I love it when people say my eyes are just like hers. I have great respect for my mom’s entrepreneur and customer service skills; so, I get flattered when people say I’m a good businessperson just like she was. I get it from my momma!

When the traits are positive and flattering, we regard ourselves as blessed or lucky and enjoy the DNA good fortune. But when the characteristics are not so pleasant or flattering, especially if we have a tense, unhappy, or conflictual relationship with our mothers, then we have a greater challenge. It is a sobering moment indeed when, after years of fighting with, rejecting and even hating parts of her, we are faced with the reality that we exhibit some of the same qualities.

The fear and disgust about the resemblance can be so strong that we refuse to accept it. A close friend stated to me that “I hated my mom’s drinking and temper, and I am not going to be compared to her.” Yet we’ve had long conversations about how irresponsible she is when she drinks too much and it’s nothing for her temper to go from 0-100 in a matter of moments. She gets it from her momma!

As I go over my clients’ lab values, I often hear them deny their high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. Once I look at their most recent lab work or do the labs in our wellness center, they are quick to blame their parents and say I got it from them. While it’s true our family history plays a significant role in our health, however most of our issues are because we followed the same pattern that our mothers/parents did. No exercising and unhealthy eating.

Just think about it, I use Tide to wash my clothes because my mom did my entire life. I shop at certain stores because she did. We hold onto things because of the learned behavior from witnessing our mothers. Others, who have lost the mom, don’t want to forget her so they hold onto things she did to feel close.

I was just FaceTiming my sister LaCretia last night and as she was telling me what the Mother’s Day menu was going to be, she pulled out our late “No Mess Granny’s” famous iron skillet. As soon as she pulled it out it brought back so many great memories of the smell of bacon sizzling on a Sunday morning, because when would spend the night with her, that was her way of getting us up for Sunday School. Let’s not forget about her skillet cornbread. Whooo Chile!

Let’s assume that the genes we inherited from our biological mom will not change, although genetic engineers may be working on that. Until then, if we inherited a genetic predisposition toward bipolar disorder or diabetes, we can certainly use resources available to cope more effectively than our moms might have been able to do. And the non-genetic parts of who we are that we learned in childhood, the patterns of behavior, ways of thinking and underlying belief systems can surely be changed by identifying the patterns and diligently practicing new skill sets.

Imitation may be the best form of flattery, however being stagnant and not able to progress is not. Do take away the positive things, grab some sentimental items or create your own. My mom is big on handwritten notes so for Christmas I had a necklace made for my mother of my Grannies signature. My mother was amazed that could be done and cried at the thought that her mother’s handwriting lives on.

I’m proud to say, “I get it from my momma.” I am taking all the life lessons my mother taught me and improving on them. Instead of doing the same exact thing she did, I am taking lessons from her actions, traits and her style and enhancing them.

 

I am leaving behind her high blood pressure and pre diabetic status. I will substitute her nightly intake of sweets for a healthy snack. I will exercise on a regular and not just when I feel like it. Not eating pork anymore and changing myself for the healthier doesn’t mean I love my mom any less. It means I love her even more to put what she created first and to have our legacy live on. For every mother and motherless mother, I wish you a very happy and healthy Mother’s Day. No mess


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