When a child is born, the very first human she interacts with and learns from is usually her mother. Generally, mothers are the first friend, guide, and teacher people have. They’re often pillars of strength. For most people, they’re the first person to shed tears of joy when we succeed and secretly cry when we’re sad or hurt.

Your mother probably taught you your first life lesson. And be it directly or indirectly, mothers are responsible for shaping the kinds of attitudes and personalities we possess.

And your upbringing is a different ballgame if you’re raised by a strong mother. Here are 10 life lessons you probably learned from being raised by one:

1. You learn the value of independence.

There might be several people in your life that care for you, but in the end, you have to take care of things on your own. You take responsibility for your actions, and you don’t need a man to protect or save you. The strength of your mother is evident if you’re doing a good job, being independent, and travelling around the world all alone.

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2. You learn what unconditional love really is.

When a strong mother is your guiding light growing up, you get to know how many sacrifices she’s made for you. Be it a small sacrifice like leaving a last piece of cake just for you, or not going into the office because she’s taking care of you when you have fever, she’s showered you with unconditional love. She compromises her youth and health to make you smile, and never complains about anything. She fulfills all your demands and puts you before herself. And by the time you grow up, you realize that her love is eternal, and such love can’t be found anywhere ever.

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3. You learn how to truly love yourself.

She makes you understand that failure, disappointments, bad grades, and heartbreaks don’t define who you are. She motivates you to believe in yourself, and wants you to know your potentials and capabilities. No matter how the world treats you or what people think about you, you know how to move ahead in life without doubting yourself. Your resilience makes you who you are. Thus, you never back off or feel overcome by obstacles in life.

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4. You learn that you can be both soft and strong.

Strong mothers are like coconuts: they have a hard shell to protect and defend, but they’re tender and soft at their core to absorb, understand, and nurture. Similarly, they have sensitive, soft roots, which they’ve mastered the art of hiding. This art includes those days when her eyes looked puffy because she cried all night long after you fell asleep, or she worked throughout the night so that she could take the day off on your birthday. Strong mothers have this kind of tenderness and unparalleled compassion.

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5. You learn that it’s not easy being a woman.

In this world, being a human being is quite hard, but the difficulties that women face is on a whole other level. Their opinions are dominated by men, who may or may not take them seriously. And as a woman, putting across your ideas, opinions, or thoughts requires much more effort than men. Therefore, you’ll realize the tough times your mom has been through, and how strong she is because she’s overcome so many difficulties in her life.

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6. You learn how wise it is to never look back.

Your mom might have spent most of her time worrying about the future, but the one thing she’s always taught you is to never hold onto your past, and always move ahead in your life. All through your life, you’ve seen how strong your mother is, and you can definitely borrow this page from her book about how to forget the past and live in present. Whatever comes your way, you handle everything with a positive outlook, just like your strong mother.

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7. You learn the importance of faith and patience.

Be it the universe, god, or positive energies, you believe that there’s some higher power looking after you and watching over you. Similar to your mother taking care of you, you learn the importance of faith and patience, and know that everything will be okay at the end of the day. You learn that after bad times, there’ll be good times, but you have to be patient and wait for them. She’s bestowed you with two qualities: patience and faith.

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8. You learn to create your own happiness.

You learn that happiness is found in little things. On rainy days, your mom used to make you comfortable with alphabet soup, which you enjoyed under the covers while watching your favorite cartoon. By seeing your mother smiling in every situation, you know how to find happiness in difficult times, and how to smile, even when carrying the weight of world on your shoulders.

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9. You realize that she knows more about love than you do.

No matter how much of an age difference there is between you and your mother or how different your personalities are, always trust her instincts about the guy you like or want to marry. You never know, she might end up saving you from a heart attack. From loving, caring, and nurturing you to supporting who you are today, she also knows what’s good for you. She doesn’t want to see you heartbroken. So always listen to her, as she knows best.

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10. You learn how to be a good mother yourself

A mother knows how to sail the ship called home and family. She knows how to take care of each and every member of the family, and how to be loving, compassionate, strong, and kind. Today, you might not follow her footsteps, but in the future, her wisdom and values will be very useful to you. You’ll learn the experiences and principles of being a strong mother from her.

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