Five Life Lessons from the Moms in My Life

Kristen Baird

Our moms are our first teachers. From little things like how to tie your shoes to big life lessons like how to be a good friend, our moms set the example. As life goes on, I’ve found that I learn more and more from my mom, but I’ve also acquired a whole group of mother figures who have shared their wisdom and love.

This Mother’s Day, I want to honor a few of the incredible women who have guided me throughout my life. This is by no means a definitive list, but a little peek into how fortunate I’ve been to have these wise women by my side. They’ve all taught me so much. 

Today, I’m reflecting on five life lessons from the moms in my life.

From my Right Bench: Find people who get you.

From my Right Bench

I met Angela during my first class of Graduate Bench Jewelry at The New Approach School for Jewelers, where I did my postgraduate certification. We drew straws and happened to be sitting next to each other. Right away, Angela named me her “Left Bench” and she was my “Right Bench.” She had me laughing from the first moment, and within seconds we were inseparable. Angela is one of those rare people who just gets me. There are the surface things, like the fact that we both work in the jewelry industry and in small businesses, but there are deeper things as well. Recently, we have both gone through some very similar personal challenges and I’ve found, to my great amazement, that Angela can still put a smile on my face. A great friend is there for you through highs and lows, and if you’re lucky enough to have a friend like Angela even the toughest times will be a little bit lighter.

From my Savannah Moms: Make everyone you meet feel welcome. 

From my Savannah Moms

It’s one thing to move to a new city for college, but it’s quite another to stay there permanently after graduation. When I decided to adopt Savannah as my new hometown, I had a lot to learn. Fortunately, my Savannah Moms - Amy, Debbie, and Rebecca - stepped in to show me the ropes. While we initially met through our running club, they were quick to show me all the amazing things this city has to offer. Thanks to them, I felt so welcome in my new city and now I can honestly say, without hesitation, that Savannah is my home. Whenever I meet someone new to the city, I strive to pass on this same kindness. 

From my Nanny: Home is a special place.

From My Nanny

Growing up, we called my dad’s mom Nanny. Nanny was the quintessential Southern grandma, a master of hard work and hospitality. When she wasn’t serving heaping plates of comfort food to the crowds of friends and family that constantly filled the home, she was out in the garden, pruning and planting. Nanny understood that a warm, welcoming, home is a work of art. From canning and preserving to cooking good food from scratch, she put her heart and soul into making her home a place anyone could go to rest. It was a gift to be there. 

From my Grandma: Never stop exploring.

From my Grandma

Every Tuesday, my mom’s mom would take me and all my cousins out on an excursion. Sometimes this meant a visit to the park or an art festival. We went to museums and plays and concerts, always something with a cultural element. In many ways, Grandma was the perfect foil to Nanny, yin and yang. My cousins and I learned the value of exploring and learning about the world beyond our culture and family.

Later, Grandma and Granddaddy would travel the world, even going to multiple Olympic Games. They made friends wherever they went and they were diligent about keeping in touch with all of them via snail mail. I see her spirit as one of fearless adventure. 

From my Mom: Whatever you do in life, do it well. 

From my Mom

If there’s one thing I inherited from my mom, it’s her meticulous attention to detail. Always have the seams lined up, and always color between the lines. She taught me the importance of proper execution and follow-through on any task. This has been invaluable in my career as a jewelry designer and craftswoman. But as I got older, I realized that my mom’s attention to detail also extended to her treatment of others. She is a woman who truly pays attention. 

Be kind, be loving, listen, and treat everyone you meet with respect, love, and care. Now that I’m a mom, I’m careful to pass all of these lessons on to my sons, but especially this one. Whatever you choose to do in your life, do it well. 


Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother figures out there! Thank you for everything you do!

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