As we head into a Mother’s Day weekend that is sure to feel different from any we’ve experienced, the Cora team has been talking about ways to reimagine the holiday. Many of us are thinking about how we’ll celebrate at a safe distance, but beyond the day itself, we started thinking about the many things we’ve learned from our moms and how some of our childhood grievances—“go to bed!”—have become guiding principles of adulthood. We asked some of the Cora team members to share words of wisdom from their moms, and for those who are moms themselves, how they’re hoping to pass down that wisdom to their own children.
On Feeling Grounded
“[My mom] leads with love and loves unconditionally. Even when I was struggling to figure things out,I was amazing in her eyes. She never judged my process. She never questioned my vision. She supported every step, including some weird, circuitous paths along the way. She’s a believer in just being “you” without any real consideration for what others think. I always found that mentality empowering and I’ve definitely carried it with me as an adult.
Honestly, I personally struggle with this, now that I’m a mom myself. It’s not as easy as it sounds to execute in real life. I want my kids to succeed, and it’s natural to think that your kids will follow in your footsteps. My older son challenges this for me on a daily basis—he’s so smart, and so talented, but not wired for a traditional school day. So he falters. And it’s hard to watch. But I try to emulate what my mom showed me—that it’s ok to be different, it’s ok to find your way. It’s ok to be unapologetically you. It’s ok to get an average grade in school—it’s not what defines you. So I feel like I understand the value that my mom’s perspective had on my own development, but I’m still working on what that means for me, as a mom.
One last thing that I think I learned from my mom that’s especially valuable during this time is to live in the moment. To love everyone around you like today is your last. Because you really don’t know—no one does, and things happen every day that are unexpected. I feel like I’ve done a good job of that thus far—and I try to live my days without regrets, and with love.” –Jen, Innovation
“My mom always encouraged us to have an outlet for our energy or creativity–and helped us cultivate it. Ballet and dance have been a part of my life since I can remember, and represent the ultimate form of release, focus, expression, and connection. No matter how my life, body, age or circumstances change, the arc of a ballet class remains consistent, unwavering, and always accepting of me. My mom nurtured that love and it remains an ultimate form of grounding for me.” –Asha, Marketing
“Every morning my mom sat in a big comfy club chair in a room away from all of the kids where she prayed. She said starting the day releasing everything to God helped her trust and move through her day with less worry.” –Ashley, Creative
“My mom always taught me to 1) stick to my values and 2) treat others how I’d want to be treated. I think in many ways these two things have helped me to stay grounded.” –Emma, Innovation
“My mom led by example. She showed me what it looked like to become grounded in practices like yoga and meditation by making them part of her own wellness routine. I saw her as a role model in that way and ultimately felt compelled to try them myself at a young age. As for helping me tame my anxiety, especially in my teens and early twenties, she was always just there as a sympathetic ear when I was struggling. I always knew I could call her and she’d work through any problem with me, big or small.” –Molly, Founder
“Take more naps. Especially when I was younger, my headaches/stress were always at least partially due to lack of sleep. My mom always suggested naps as a way to reset, and they really did do the trick!” –Neha, Ecommerce
On Going to Sleep
“My daughter and I love using our imaginations to build a story together during bedtime. I’ll start with a few sentences and then, she’ll take over and continue expanding the story, and so on. It’s magical to see where we end up!” –Asha, Marketing
“Whenever I couldn’t sleep as a kid, my mom would gently scratch my back until I fell asleep. I now practice that in a different way by giving my face and neck a good massage before sleep with my hands or a tool, and 100% of the time I have a better night’s sleep because it helps me unwind from the day.” –Emma, Innovation
“My mom would make me a cup of milky chamomile tea to help me sleep.” –Molly, Founder
“Actually, my mom used to sing a couple of lullabies in Hindi to me. Back then, I didn’t understand the words but it was really soothing. Now, I’ll turn on some soft tunes (often in other languages), to help me zone out. My siblings and I all also sing these same songs to their kids now and my mom tears up everytime!” –Neha, Ecommerce
“When I would have trouble falling asleep, my mom used to guide me through a body scan/gratitude practice. We’d go through each body part and thank them for their hard work—feet, you worked so hard today walking me all around school. It’s time for you to rest now!—ending with my brain and thanking it for working hard and saying it was OK to turn off for sleep. I still do this sometimes and you can actually feel every part of your body relax and prepare for sleep.” –Megan, Marketing
On Eating Your Veggies
“A drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or a sprinkle of seasoning (chaat masala or Trader Joe’s Chili Lime are current favorites) can transform any veggie from blah to delicious in our house…and it also makes it fun when they can do the sprinkling or drizzling themselves. Also, the more involved they are in the process—gardening or cutting the veggie—the more likely they are to eat it. We love our kid-friendly plastic knives and cutting board.” –Asha, Marketing
“Put spinach in their waffles.” –Ashley, Creative
“As a kid, even on nights when we thought we were having a “fun” meal like mac and cheese, my mom would sneak in some steamed broccoli or cherry tomatoes, which actually added some nice flavor and texture, so we ended up liking the meal even more. Likewise, any Friday night pizza order as teenagers was accompanied by a salad order, and I’ve grown to see them as an inextricable combo.” –Molly, Founder
“My mom used to always tell me “Big Girls try new things” whenever she wanted to motivate me to eat new (aka green) foods. It worked—I was always trying to prove my maturity. I say this on my fiancé now when he’s hesitant to eat my eclectic cooking :)” –Gia, Ecommerce
“Does pizza count? We did a lot of hefty veggie pizzas that did the trick. My parents would basically cook up whatever veggies we had and top them on homemade pizza. Lots of cheese was a good way to mask it ;)” –Neha, Ecommerce
What words of wisdom would you add?