Wielding a heavy hammer and nine other things I learned from Mom.

Mothers and daughters are complicated. Especially those who belong to each other.

My mother and I have different strengths but our core is the same.

We are both creative; she is slide rule and drafting board creative.

I am pile-the-drafting-board-high-with-projects-I-want-to-try creative. And forget about ever finding the slide rule.

I love her dearly and this Monday Listicles mention 10 of the many things I learned from her.



10.  Fried catfish and grits are perfectly acceptable for breakfast.

9.    Take your make-up off every night before bed.

(No matter what Lady Gaga does.)

8.     Take your children to church.

I’ve relaxed on the dress code with this. But I do insist on shoes. No use perpetuating a small Southern town stereotype.

7.   Love is shown by action — not necessarily words or physical affection.

My mother is not big on hugs or saying I love you — but she worked like a horse helping me fix up all the various old houses we’ve lived in.

6.   No sacrifice is too great for your children. Self goes second.

She gave up a career as a promising commercial office interior designer in pre-Disney Orlando when she got married. I love looking at her color drafts of projects. They look straight out a set design for Mad Men.

5.   Keep scissors and a hammer handy.

4.   Hanging wallpaper is a possibility.

She is a great paper hanger. She convinced me to try and I know that I can keep an old plaster wall from falling if necessary.

3.   Worry.

Taken most of my life to try to unlearn this one.

2.   Take time alone with God everyday.

1.    Honor your mother.

I loved my maternal grandmother. She was soft-spoken and kind. I wish I had been able to spend more time with her as a child.


Yes, from my mother’s  example I believe;

Accolades and things are fleeting — what matters is how you conduct yourself in front of your children for anything worthwhile is mostly caught rather than taught.

What are some things you learned from your mum?




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18 responses to “Wielding a heavy hammer and nine other things I learned from Mom.”

  1. Ally says:

    I loved reading the things you learned from your mother, but that sentence at the end stole my heart: “Accolades and things are fleeting — what matters is how you conduct yourself in front of your children for anything worthwhile is mostly caught rather than taught.”
    Ally recently posted..Monday Listicles – Pride

  2. Jamie says:

    I know Ally — it’s tough for me to think sometimes…but they are always watching. That’s what they’ll remember.

  3. Susan says:

    oh, amen, fried ANYTHING is acceptable for breakfast! especially when dipped in ranch…

    your mother sounds like a wonderful, wise woman – how lucky you two have each other!
    Susan recently posted..Why, Hello!

  4. Colletta says:

    Those are VERY wonderful lessons to have learned from your Mom!

    thanks for stopping by!

    Colletta recently posted..Menu Monday ~ 5/14/12

  5. What a beautiful way to honor your mother who sounds like one amazing woman!

    The church dress code thing cracked me up. Many of the kids in our church wear their normal everyday clothes, mine included, although there are the uptight few who frown upon it. I too draw the line at bare feet. Ha! And yesterday my oldest was confirmed so I had to torture him with slacks and a dress shirt!
    Diane@BeStillaMinute recently posted..10 Mother’s Day Smiles

    • Jamie Miles says:

      Diane, I used to say Sunday was my day in the “what they wear department” but I even let that go. But when we are scrambling to find a pair of shoes at the last minute…I wonder how did I go so terribly wrong.

  6. You (and your mother, obviously!) are so wise. Your kids are lucky to have you.

    And. I ADORE the statement at the end of your post. I honestly believe that conducting yourself in front of your children is incredibly important. Caught rather than taught! What a way to put it – LOVE!!
    Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} recently posted..Celebrating My Mom

  7. Jackie says:

    While you may have been cut from different cloths, I do believe your mother’s influence has been quite an impressionable one, as your list reflects this. And I too, love that last sentence.
    Jackie recently posted..Mother Knows Best

  8. Ado says:

    I hope your mom got to read this one and I’ll bet if she did she was beaming. (-:
    What a treasure she is – fried catfish and grits for breaky, I’m coming over!
    Ado recently posted..What She’s Thinking

  9. Yoli says:

    Your mom sounds like a very wise woman. “Fried catfish and grits are perfectly acceptable for breakfast.” Yes, and a great dinner too! 🙂
    Yoli recently posted..If Only I Could Erase….

  10. Janice says:

    I love this list. Seriously, that make-up one made me chuckle. But scissors and hammer is definitely a must for all women to at least, minimum, know how to use and have on hand. That, and knowing how to pump your gas at the station.

    Happy Mother’s Day. 😉
    Janice recently posted..Remember Me

  11. RoryBore says:

    “caught rather than taught” – that is perfect. love it.

    I am mostly convinced my mom can do anything – from hang or remove wallpaper to the most amazing crafts and cook a perfect meal. I pale in comparison. But there are many things of worth, like #8 and #2 that I definitely Caught.
    I am quite confident they make all the difference.
    RoryBore recently posted..Monday Listicles: 86 That, Will ya?

  12. Stasha says:

    This is lovely Jamie. I would love to see your moms drawings! So glad you have a wonderful relationship!

  13. Taking time alone with God everyday should help with the worry. Very nice list. Ellen

  14. Robbie says:

    This list is a fantastic tribute to your mom. She sounds like a very talented woman.
    Robbie recently posted..Ten Things about Motherhood

  15. Cyn & Co says:

    Great list, definitely going to have to try grits with my catfish next time. Sounds yummy.

    I’m definitely saving the link to your list so I can remember to do a few of those things as well. Mothers are so wise, even when they don’t mean to be, proof that “anything worthwile is mostly caught, rather than taught.”

    And I believe it is impossible to unlearn the worrying, no matter how old your children get.
    Cyn & Co recently posted..Monday Listicles – 10 Things Motherhood Gave Me

  16. Ducky says:

    What a BEAUTIFUL post! Catfish and grits sound great for breakfast and not just because I’m currently trying to ignore a grumbling tummy while I get a few more things accomplished this morning.

    Your mom sounds amazingly wonderful and I can only imagine how awesome her drafts are :O)
    Ducky recently posted..That Moment When Your Stupid Falls Out

  17. Audrey says:

    You always need scissors and a hammer handy!
    Audrey recently posted..Monday Listicles – 10 Things I want my sons to learn



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