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Did you have a tough-as-nails mom growing up?

I did. And while tt was hard when she laid down the law and fed advice even when I didn’t ask for it… I’m a better person as a result. Dedicated mothers teach us so many things we might realize until adulthood. Things that teach us how to be independent, patient, and other traits that make us better people.

So here are 10 gifts that strong moms give us. See if you agree!

10. The value of independence

Moms not only teach us how to be independent through words but actions. Picture your mom handling a tough phone call or working two or three jobs to raise her family. She doesn’t take things lying down, she works for what she’s earned. She’s a go-getter and even if things don’t work out, she gets up and tries again. She’s resilient. These lessons show us that we don’t need a significant other to pay our way. We can do it on our own. Mom’s actions show us that we can achieve anything and can have a fulfilling life.

9. The meaning of unconditional love

Moms have the ability to love you no matter the circumstances.

Did you get arrested? Maybe you wrecked the car? Did you disappoint her by not doing your chores? Maybe all of the above?

Moms can be angry and still love their children deeply. It’s an unexplainable bond created at birth. She’s taught you how to be selfless and forgiving.

8. How to love yourself

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How many times has your mom told you you’re beautiful? Or how proud she is of your accomplishments? You can see it in her eyes, feel it in her hugs and kisses. She blocks out the self-doubt caused by life and allows you to appreciate who you are to your core. She understands that life causes pain but her comforting shows you that pain does not define you. It’s there to teach you.

7. You can be soft and strong

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Never confuse a mother’s strength for being “hard”. She is soft to her core—full of love and giving. Her hardness is only to protect her children, to teach them the ways of the world.  You may have found her crying silently in the corner wishing she could protect you, always.  But that compassion and tenderness? She’s given it to you through her touch and understanding. She’s shown you her heart through tears of joy and sadness.

6. It’s not easy being a woman

Times are changing for women because of other strong women. Our mothers’ generation knows how to fight and be taken seriously. They go toe-to-toe in corporations, the playgrounds (bullying), and stand up for what they believe. Our mothers continue to break ceilings for us. They help us understand that our voices need to be heard.

5. Never look back, only forward

What happened yesterday can only be a learning experience. You can’t change it. Today is a new day and the future awaits. Moms have a special way of telling us this. They have this unexplainable thing that helps us see things differently. Asking yourself, “What if?” or “Should I have done that differently?” will only paralyze you. Moms are meant to propel us, push us “out of the nest” and keep us flying forward.

4. How to be patient

Moms have more patience than anything in the world! Let’s give them round of applause. This trait was built over time, since you were a child, and will continue into adulthood.

“Storms will pass and tomorrow is a new day. You learn to be patient with life, patient with timing, patient with success and patient with problems. You learn that patience is strength”

3.Creating your own happiness

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Only you can create your own happiness. Don’t like your job? Change it. Living with a bad boyfriend? Dump him. Your mother taught you about choices and how they affect your life. You’ve seen her struggle with her own issues and change course. She will forever be your greatest teacher.

2. She knows a whole lot about love

Mom will judge your significant others. It’s their duty. They’re always watching to be sure you are treated well and at your worth. If she gives advice, take it. You might not like it or agree, but there’s always something to take from a mother’s conversation. You might not see it, but down the road, you’ll say, “Man, my mom was right.”

1. You learn how to be a good mother

In the end, your mom gives you the gift of being a good mother in the future. Even if you choose to not have children, her lesson remains rooted. You can be a great aunt, a confidant to your friends’ children, it doesn’t matter. What she’s gifted you is the ability to love others, empathize, and care for those around you.

Do you have these traits? I’m sure you do and we have our mothers, aunts, and grandmothers to thank.