Happy Mother’s Day mammina!

Today is mother’s day and as I reflect on being a mom, I cannot help but think about my own mom’s influence on who I am as a mom. Mothers shape their children. I’ve tried to be the very best mom that *I* could be given my personality, temperament, and talent but part of who I am – as a person, as a mom – is derived from the biggest influence in my life: my parents and ultimately my mom because she was a stay-at-home mom.316

She has always been a role model to me, particularly in my growing up years when I was deciding on “what I wanted to be when I grow up.” I wanted to go to college but ultimately my goal was not to have a career but to stay home and raise my children myself, because that is what my mom did. Now don’t get me wrong. She didn’t not work. She worked. And I don’t mean cooking and cleaning, although she did that too. She always found jobs that she could do and still raise us, still be there when we came home from school and I have followed her example.

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My earliest memories are from when we lived in Puerto Rico. She sewed for the seebees, adding names to the guys’ shirts. She also babysat a little girl, Kimberly, while her mom – a school teacher – went to work. She taught Kimberly Italian, because that’s what she spoke at home to her own kids and she raised her like her own kid. {Funny story: one night after the mom had picked Kimberly up from our house and had gone home, she called my mom because she couldn’t understand something Kimberly was saying since she was asking for it in Italian. Something like acqua for ‘water’.}

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Later when we moved back to Italy, she sewed for the Marines, adding and removing chevrons and stripes as they made and lost rank, chatting with the young men who were not much older than her own children and being motherly to them when they were homesick. She sold cars to the American families and service men, driving them downtown to the Fiat dealer and negotiating and translating for them. She and my dad made hundreds of panini, selling them to the different snack bars in the squadrons. This meant waking up at 3:30 every morning to pick up the fresh rolls from the bakery, cutting and stuffing and wrapping them then bagging and delivering them. I would wake up early (but not NEARLY as early as them) to help wrap or stuff before school. When that dried up (the health dept said we couldn’t do that out of our house) she and my dad figured out how to rent our extra apartment as Temporary Living Allowance (TLA) quarters to families who were either moving to or from a new duty station. They would give the tenants a car to use and would help them find a place to live and anything else they could to help them transition to a new country. That led to mom helping new families to the area find apartments and villas to live in – like a leasing agent – again acting as liaison and translator.

She did all this while raising her two children, preparing home cooked meals, eating as a family, chaperoning dances and field trips, sewing my prom dresses, insisting on Sunday being a family day, driving me to and from the base for movies, dances and dates.

This strong emphasis on family is what led me to want to raise my kids above all else. Yes, I went to college and I even stayed on for a Master’s degree (and I’m so glad I did because it was in that year that I met my husband!) but after Michael and I were married, I didn’t jump into a career-type job. I knew that we were going to start a family eventually and I wanted to raise my own kids and not put them in daycare which led me to homeschool them because I wasn’t done with them yet. Her dedication to her family has shaped my dedication to mine. I will be forever grateful for the role model and influence she has had on my life. Ti voglio tanto tanto bene mammina mia! Auguri per la festa della mamma!

me and mamma

About Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

I’m a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher. I’m always behind on housework and paper pile sorting. I’m fond of this crazy life but not of melted cheese. I want to follow hard after God, making each day really count. I like to run, read, cook (and eat!). Thanks for joining along on my journey!

5 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day mammina!

  1. Sheila you made me cry…. I would do a thousand times for my family above all for my children

  2. Great testimony of honoring your Motherenjoy these years w/ your parents. I lost my Mom 10 years ago to a very rare cancer, & my Dad, 4 years to dementia. They were special people who had a tremendous family impact on my life. I am thankful for them!
    Have a blessed Mother’s day. You, & your Mom look so much alike

  3. Beautiful post, Sheila! Mrs. Couch, you and Sheila are a blessing to many! Happy Mother’s Day to you both! ❤️

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