‘love doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mom.’ life stands still only once a year for us to appreciate our moms and tell them how much they mean to us. may this day remind us how much they’ve contributed to the women we are today. let’s have a look at some pretty valuable things we learn from our moms:
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to love unconditionally:
at the end of our lives when we look back, it will be the moments of love that will be highlighted and remembered. not achievements, not positions, not promotions – but love. this is probably the most valuable lesson we learn from our moms – to love fully and to love unconditionally. to allow love to shape our hearts and lives. to love with no strings attached, but rather to love purely for the sake of loving.
moms have this unfading ability to love and keep on loving, even when they’re faced with our dirty diapers, our flaws, our shortcomings and our worst days. it’s a mom’s unconditional love that provides us with a safe space to explore this world and to uncover who we are in the context of this world. it’s their unconditional love that enables us to love ourselves and others unconditionally.
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to nurture yourself holistically:
as little girls we are enamoured by our mom’s wide selection of lotions, perfumes, scarves, jewellery, masks and make-up. we dream of being a grown-up, so that we can also beautify and pamper ourselves. as we mature into young women, we realise that being a woman is truly as amazing as it seemed to be – to relish in our femininity by wearing beautiful clothes, playing with accessories, painting our faces, fluffing up our hair, painting our nails and lavishing our skin with moisturising lotions.
to nurture your femininity is not a superficial or vain notion; it enables you to enjoy being a woman, to enjoy being the beautiful half of the world. if it comes from a place of nurturing yourself and accepting yourself and your body, this can be one of the most powerful tools to break a distorted self-image and a broken-down body image.
another essential self-love tool is to nurture your body with proper nutrition and regular movement. i’m passionate about women’s wellness in all its complexity, with a particular interest in how a healthy self-love leads to healthy eating habits and a desire to respect and take care of your body. moms teach us to eat healthy not merely for the sake of being skinny, but rather to take care of our bodies when we’re young, so that our bodies can take care of us when we’re old.
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to embrace your authentic femininity:
after having one or more kids, moms usually come to a place of rest within themselves. they accept that their bodies and their souls will never be perfect, so they stop striving for the unattainable goal of perfection and instead focus on resting in their authentic selves and allowing room for growth.
there’s nothing more beautiful than a woman truly at peace with who she is and where she is in life. each woman has an authentic beauty that can either be neglected and sabotaged, or nurtured and enhanced. when a woman embraces her authentic femininity and has grace for her physical shortcomings and emotional vulnerabilities, she comes alive in a way that can only be described as ‘radiant’. moms teach us to be radiant as authentic beings. they teach us to truly enjoy who we are and to allow our true essence to shine forth.
‘we are all meant to shine, as children do. as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ (marianne williamson)
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invincible inner strength:
‘i don’t sweat for pounds, or inches, or dress size. i sweat to make my outside match my inside.’ (amber dawn hunter)
moms teach us to never, never, never give up. never. life throws many punches at us and it’s understandable that we want to ‘up and quit’ when life gets too much. moms move in with love, strength and compassion, reminding us that life is never bigger than our ability to handle it. they encourage us to lift up our heads, push back our shoulders and learn from failures, mistakes and setbacks in life, instead of allowing it to make us hard-hearted, frustrated or discouraged.
moms teach us that inner strength and resilience can be cultivated. they teach us that it’s not about what happens tous, but how we respond to it. it can make us bitter or it can make us better – they choice is up to us.
‘teach your daughters to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and more about shattering glass ceilings.’
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it’s about the now:
moms teach us to relish the small moments in life and to enjoy where we are now, instead of merely focusing on where we want to be ‘one day’.
moms teach us to be here. to be here now.
being present is one of the greatest values we learn from moms. they see us grow up faster than they’ve ever hoped possible. one day we’re twirling in a tutu, the next day we’re walking across the stage to receive our graduation certificate. moms understand the value of time, the value of being in the moment – because it will never occur again.
sweat...but don’t sweat the small stuff:
moms teach us to not be petty, but rather to see things in perspective and in view of the bigger picture.
as a woman, it’s so easy to get swept up by emotions and by every life occurrence. it’s part of our inherent wiring as women to attach emotions and value to everything that happens to us. moms teach us to evaluate situations, to respond appropriately and to not allow emotions to dominate our existence.
‘emotions are wonderful slaves, but terrible masters.’
pretty is an inside job:
‘we get so worried about being ‘pretty’. let’s be pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty smart and pretty strong.’
moms teach us that it’s prettiness on the inside that makes us truly pretty. moms teach us that living from a heart of kindness, humility, generosity and sincerity is way more beautiful than perfectly-applied make-up and coiffed-up hair.
as young women we often have idols that teach us how to lose weight, exercise properly and attend to our external appearances in meticulous ways. there’s nothing wrong with learning and applying beauty hacks, but may we not get so caught up in being ‘outside pretty’ that we forget to tend to our ‘inside pretty’.
written by jeanne van zyl for MOVEPRETTY | for queries or feedback contact jeanne: jeanne@beautifulbalance@co.za / 082 700 3610

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