My mom:I once read a quote from someone (I cannot find it) that went something like, "The world is not made by soft people." The gist being that many or most of the truly great people over time have been very, very tough and difficult to deal with. That would be my mom.
My mom is 77 years old. She will live to be 100 or 110. Why? Just because, you know, "Fuck you, death!" that is why. It will be a sad day when my 105 year old mom has to bury her 77 year old son, but I fear that may occur.
My mom has no patience. She yells at anyone she can find. She believes the world hates her, and everyone in it is trying to take things away from her. You can visit my mom for 2 or 3 days and then her capacity for kidness and caring will be overcome by just how much everything about you and your kids is pissing her off. She is s stress giver - once she has off-loaded her stress to you, she is fine. "So why are you so down HM?" Cuz you just basically screamed at me for 45 minutes. "Oh, that. Come out, aren't you any tougher than that?" Say one clever quip in response to my mom - she will bawl and ask why you hate her.
Even so, five things I learned from my mom:
1) Get educated. It is the way out of a shitty life, and it makes you a far better person.
2) Do not say, "I don't know" unless it is absolutely necessary. You DO know something. Think of anything in the world that you know about the subject you have been asked, what do you know - what might possibly be the answer? If you know nothing about that subject, try to compare the question to a subject that you know and can make an analogy to.
I would say my mom's intelligence and desire to teach me how to anaolgize probably made me a lawyer.
3) At any given point in time, you may hate your kids, but NO ONE ELSE gets to hate your kids. You do not mess with my kids. If someone messes with your kids, the response needs to be swift and certain. A lioness may cuff the heck out of her cub, but no one else comes near that cub.
4) Express your opinion and be your own person. Do not let people feed you crap. Do not believe people know more than you do. They probably do not. Also - if you don't like someone, don't pretend to be their friend. There are bad people - do not hang out or associate yourself with bad people.
5) Fight through adversity. A lot of bad things will happen to you in life (my mom's dad was a verbally abusive person, and my mom gave birth to two children who developed substantial life disabilities). Rain will fall on you, but it must slide right off. You must be a rock. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage, etc......
I know that I am far more like my dad than my mom. But my mom taught me a lot, plus she accidentally taught me how to deal with difficult people, which is a life skill that I have needed far more times than I would care to count.
So Happy Mother's Day, mom. We are stuck with each other for another 20 years, hopefully, so let's try to emphasize our mutual love and work on the rest.