Advice From Mom: The Top 10 Things I Learned From My Mom

by Samantha on March 14, 2013


mother daughter vintage

What is it about moms? They just seem to know everything, right? Why is that?

My mother is no different. Sure, there as a time - a long time - that I didn’t believe her. After all, what did she know? She couldn’t have any sound advice because she hadn’t lived, at least not like I had. This was the delusion of my teenage mind.

It was only when I became a mother myself that I realized that my mom knew far more than I had given her credit for. The very sage advice from mom that I had previously ignored seemed to all of a sudden resonate with me. Yes - I will tell anyone who listens that the old adage is true: Mom really does know best.

“It was only when I became a mother myself that I realized that my mom knew far more than I had given her credit for. The very sage advice from mom that I had previously ignored seemed to all of a sudden resonate with me.”

And throughout the years, the many tears, joys, disappointments and surprises, my mother has been right all along. She just knew that things would work out the way that they did. How could it be?

Perhaps the reality was that she had indeed experienced life, love and loss, and as a result, was able to provide advice on all of these subjects with authority.

Because only those who can say that they have truly “been there, done that” have the ability to give bang-on parenting advice - and then some.

Me and my mom - March 2013

Only recently I realized that Mom’s good advice had actually sunk in, and that I was following her words of wisdom. So true are these pearls of wisdom that I felt that it was only fair to pass on the intelligence to others.

1) No price? Don’t bother asking - If you go to a store and are admiring a beautiful item of clothing, trinket or home furnishing, look for the price-tag. If you don’t see a price-tag, guess what? You likely can’t afford the item. Products that are not labelled with a price are almost always much too expensive for the average Jane. By not pricing an item, the assumption is that “money is no object” and therefore, not necessary to scope out before making the decision to buy.

2) If you don’t cover your neck you’ll get a cold in your chest - The human neck is an often ignored part of the anatomy. My mother is convinced that not covering your neck when it’s even just slightly cool out will bring on a bout of a very bad cold. For years, I was convinced that my mother was obsessed with necks. This part of the body needed to be covered if the weather seemed to be even just a tad intemperate. Of course while I was a teenager I thought my mom was crazy, but as I’ve gotten older, I must admit that there’s some truth to this. No scarf = a cold, some coughing and sometimes worse - guaranteed. Now I always cover my neck.

3) Never show up at someone’s home empty-handed - It’s rude, disrespectful and thoughtless. If someone has taken the time to invite you over, whether it’s for a coffee or a full dinner, make sure to bring a token. It doesn’t have to be expensive; it could be some flowers, a plant or a box of chocolates. The key is to show your appreciation for your host’s efforts. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way.

4) Always make sure you can take care of yourself - Unfortunately this is especially important for women because at the end of the day, women still make 77 cents to every dollar that a man makes. Coming from a family where hard work was prized above all, there was no excuse for laziness. At the end of the day, I learned from my mom that being self-reliant and independent is one of the best gifts that you can give yourself. Knowing that if push comes to shove, that you can take care of yourself and your kids on your own is empowering, and a lesson that all parents should teach to their kids.

5) Cut your losses and get out  - If a bad situation seems like it’s rapidly becoming hopeless, end it. It’s probably not worth any more of your time or emotional energy so get out while you can. This applies to relationships, work, school and all other life situations that can cause you great stress. This is particularly sage advice for teenagers hanging on to a hopeless relationship with a loser boyfriend.

6) Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about yourself - No one can make you feel bad about yourself unless you let them. So said my very smart mother and of course she was right. We teach people how to treat us, and if we accept bad behavior, that’s what we’ll keep receiving. Have some self-respect, treat yourself well and others will follow suit.

7) Get an education - The importance of a good education was not lost on my parents and was imbued within us as early as was humanly possible. My mother always said that your world would be so much easier to navigate with an education. Schooling opens doors, no doubt about it and not getting an education would not have been accepted by my mother or father. Thankfully I listened and am glad I did. Chalk up another winner for Mom.

8) Whatever you do, do it well - Following #7, do the best you can at whatever you do. My mother always said that it didn’t matter what it was that you were doing; what mattered was that you were happy doing it, and that you were doing it to the best of your abilities. A lesson well-learned and always remembered. Don’t do a half-hearted job; it’s worse than not doing it at all.

9) Don’t worry about it - Really. Don’t. It’s not worth it, in the long run. No matter how much you think that the situation that you’re in is the be-all and end-all of everything, you will very quickly learn that this is never really the case. Mom knew this and did her best to teach me this very important philosophy. After many, many years of stress, I think I’m finally learning. Variation on this theme “Better days are ahead” (my mom always said this as well).

10) You can never be too kind - “Kill them with kindness” was always one of my mom’s favourite expressions. This is particularly the case when you’re confronted with a truculent sort. They’re usually thrown for a loop when you smile sweetly and respond positively to their crabbiness. Try it. It works.

I love you mom. And thanks.

What is the best advice that you received from your mother?

To read this article on Huffington Post, please click here.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine March 16, 2013 at 10:44 pm

I love your mom’s advice. Especially the last one “you can never me too kind”. I always tell my kids, above all else, I just want them to be kind. Your mom sounds like a wise woman.


Samantha March 17, 2013 at 12:10 am

Thanks, Christine. Yes - she is one wise woman, for sure. The “kill them with kindness” philosophy is one that I use when I’m particularly challenged with an individual. It actually works when you keep confronting a crabby type with a kind demeanor. They can’t stand it and usually soften up :)
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