Moms give us life, and they also teach us how to live. There’s the heartfelt stuff, and the truly gushing moments at graduations, weddings and births.
But the real lessons? These are in the mundane day-to-day admonishments, chore assignments, scoldings, and one-liners – all the stuff you hear in your first 18 years of life. The remarks you rolled your eyes at or slammed your bedroom door on.
And now, you live by these words (you know you do). It all seeped in. You find yourself repeating these lessons to spouses, kids, nieces and nephews. And, to yourself when no one is around.
Some of it is practical, some of it is true wisdom. It all depends on the situation:
- Make your bed.
- Don’t put dirty fingerprints all over everything.
- Don’t touch glass windows and doors (see above).
- Wash your hands.
- Take your shoes off in the house.
- Put your things away.
- Clean it up. Now. This isn’t a pig sty.
- Buy quality, but buy it on sale.
- Take care of your clothes and shoes.
- Put on your makeup and style your hair. You’ll feel better.
- Moisturize, preferably with sunscreen.
- Use eye crème.
- Take care of your teeth.
- Get your eyes checked.
- Wear sunglasses. Good ones.
- Wear whatever makes you feel good.
- Don’t ever pretend to be less smart than you are.
- Look it up in the dictionary.
- Do your homework.
- Read the directions and figure it out.
- Do it yourself.
- Do it right.
- You don’t get a reward for doing what you’re supposed to do.
- Have pets. Love them.
- Have plants. Love them, too.
- Eat your vegetables.
- Sweets are an occasional treat.
- Don’t fill up on junk.
- You don’t have to eat it all.
- Just try a little.
- Don’t overreact.
- No one is going to do it for you.
- Know when you’re being your own worst enemy.
- Be tactful.
- Be reasonable.
- Let it out.
- Don’t hit.
- Don’t take any crap. Don’t give it, either.
- Don’t embarrass me. Or yourself.
- Admit when it’s your fault.
- Life’s not fair.
- The squeaky wheel gets the grease…
- …but whining won’t make anyone go faster.
- “Because I said so” – is a valid reason.
I’m sure there’s more, and different iterations of each nugget. I don’t always succeed at each or remember each lesson exactly when I should. But, as Mom would say, it had better not be from a lack of trying.