On a recent trip home, my friend Katie confided to her mother about the difficulties of dating in a big city. After a long, thoughtful pause, Katie’s mom responded, “Ya know honey, I don’t think I have any advice for you.” When Katie retold the story to me a few days later she said, “I knew then that it must be bad. If mom has no advice for something you know you’re in trouble!”
She made a good point. If there is one person you can always count on to weigh in on a subject, it’s your mother. We count on Mom to always give input on whatever we’re going through. It’s one of those “Mom-isms” that we may complain about but secretly rely upon.
Whether we admit it or not, and despite the countless shut up Mom!’s we have screamed in our lifetime, we really do care what she has to say.
And more often than not, she’s right.
As I thought about this concept I realized there are some staple pearls of wisdom that our mothers passed down to us that still stand. This is a look at some of Mom’s most timeless advice that we can still apply today (if we humble ourselves enough to admit that she actually does have a point).
1. Sit/Stand Up Straight
This one may seem silly but I give my mom the credit for training me to have good posture. It’s not only good for your health but it also exudes confidence and self assurance.
2. Learn to Take a Compliment Graciously
This one is tough. But important. We are somehow wired to think that if we disagree with the person complimenting us, we are showing humility. But Mom said it best: A “Thank you” works wonders on your self-esteem–as well as your manners–when it comes to accepting kind words. This is a timeless lesson that I am certain we will teach our daughters.
3. Kill Them with Kindness
Leave it to mom to remind you that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Historically a kind response to an unkind person is referred to as “heaping burning coals upon your enemy.” That’ll show ‘em, right? This is a difficult morsel of wisdom to heed but I always feel better when I follow it.
4. Write Thank You Notes
This one always gets me and my mom STILL has to remind me to do this. She used to withhold the Christmas cash from our Grandpa until we wrote thank you notes. Holding gifts hostage: only a mom would think of it. But I have never underestimated the power of a thank you note. I hope they never go out of style or practice.
5. Don’t Give Up
My mom never let me quit. I tried quitting soccer, choir, and even my sorority freshman year. But she didn’t let me. With each season that I persevered, I looked back and was deeply grateful for the lessons I learned from each experience that I stuck with.
6. Do Your Best
The saying, ‘whatever you put your hand to do, do with all of your might’ is mom’s favorite advice in a nutshell–and it’s actually one of the more simple pieces to follow. But it goes without saying that in all of my lazy moments, I cringe when I hear my mom’s voice reminding me to do everything with excellence. Dangit, mom! Sometimes she’s spot on.
7. You Never Know Unless You Try
Mom’s are great cheerleaders. My mom always reminds me that she is my #1 fan and that taking risks and exploring new things is an essential part in finding out who you are and what you are gifted at. It can be scary but this piece of advice is pretty solid.
8. Never Smoke Cigarettes
Maybe this one was just my mom, but I listened and I’ve never regretted it.
9. Be Yourself
Mom’s are notorious for challenging the status quo and helping you refine your individuality. Discovering what makes you you is a never-ending and lifelong process but it is essential to your character growth. You gotta love Mom for being there to remind you that you are wonderful just because you are you. Cheesy but true.