By: Jeanne-Marie Branche
When someone asks me what woman has greatly influenced my life, it is quick to think of celebrities or social media influencers who want to inspire and motivate young women. However, as cliché as this sounds, when I really think about it, my mom has definitely been the biggest and best influence in my life. Growing up is hard, and the peer pressure around you doesn’t make it any easier. Through thick and thin, my mom has always been there for me for support and encouragement. Most importantly, her honesty throughout my life has impacted me in the most positive ways possible. At times, the truth does hurt, but throughout all the rough moments in life my mom’s honesty and real-ness made me realize many other point of views and helped me to really put my life into perspective.
I appreciate my mom for all she does for me and continues to do. Even as I am away in college, she will text me a message or call me, letting me know that she cares and that she is still here for me. To be quite honest, when I was in my young teenage years, I never really appreciated how much it means to have a mother who cares. I went through that little rebellious stage in middle school when everyone is trying to fit in. It took me some time to realize that fitting in simply does not matter. Being true to yourself is a beautiful thing and that’s one the important lessons my mother has always told me, and still does. Many of you reading this are probably moms yourselves or hopefully a beautiful young lady growing up.
If you are a mom, I encourage you to stand by your daughter no matter what they are going through. Let them know that who the world tells you to be is never the best idea. Let them know that they are loved and that they don’t need to fit-in in order to be someone; being yourself is the best it can get. Let them know that they are beautiful on the inside and out, and that is all that matters. Let them know that being kind and finding your joy is important while growing up, and to never let the negative influences around you bring you down, for there are many scary things out there in this world. It’s getting harder to raise young women these days, but I think the best influence right now for young girls are all of their mothers. They look up to you all. Isn’t that such a blessing?
If you are a young girl reading this, I know it can be hard to listen to your mom. Trust me, I have been your age already, and I am still learning because a lot of the times I still think I know more than my mom. But, like the song from Tangled goes, “mother knows best”, and I can’t deny that truth. Being a teenager can be a struggle. You have so many new experiences and people you are meeting everyday. My best advice to you is to always talk to your mom about anything and everything, even though it may seem hard, it only gets easier. That is one thing I regret not doing growing up. I could have stayed out of a lot of trouble and learned lessons easier if I had just talked to my mom about it. As weird as it sounds, moms really do know everything, more than you can imagine, and you will only find that out by talking with them and building that true mother-daughter relationship.
I never understood the importance of having a close relationship with my mom until a few years ago. I slowly realized that I can now truly call my mom my best friend, that I know I can go to her for everything. I will not be judged for anything; I know I can go to her and her arms will always be open ready to give me a hug only a mom can give; and we all know how comforting those are! I look up to my mom as my number one role model and a true example for honesty, strength, love, kindness, and many more! My mother is one of the greatest influences in my life, and hope she is yours too!!