As teenagers we swore we would never, ever use the same "lines" on our own kids as our mothers used with us. Then one day we look in the mirror and discover — much to our surprise and horror — we have actually turned into our own mothers!
Once we reach adulthood we realize that these wise women influenced who we have become, in ways both big and small. Aren't we lucky?
Here are just a few of the life lessons we learned ...
KNOW YOUR WORTH
"Beauty comes from the inside out so be confident in yourself, be kind to others, and share your smile."
"Just do your best (and that is always enough)."
"'Freedom is riding easy in the reins.' (Robert Frost, I think.)"
"When feeling down or things aren't just right, think happy thoughts, things that make you smile."
"My mom told me to know my worth. When I got my first 'real job' I negotiated my salary and after three years at my job, I scheduled a meeting to talk about a significant raise. I made 25% more than my counterparts at work and it wasn't because I was better at the job than them; it was because I was taught to be aware of what I should be earning. I do that as a mother too. Now trying to teach my girls to know their worth."
"When my mom was sick with cancer and knew she was going to die, she told me not to mourn her but to honor her by doing the best I could in life."
WHAT OTHERS THINK OF YOU IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS
"The only person stopping you from doing something is yourself."
"Don't let them rent space in your head for free."
"Did you ask for their opinion? Then don't worry what they think!"
"Put on your Teflon shoulder pads and let it just roll off your back!"
"Go with your gut and never let anyone steal your joy."
HOW TO WIN AT ADULTING
"Always be educated enough and capable enough to take care of yourself if need be. It's nice to 'be taken care of' but don't be the type of woman who depends on it."
"Leave the party early so they'll miss you."
"My daily mantra to my kids as they walk out the door to school: 'Be nice to someone new.'"
"Learn how to do your own taxes."
"Do today what others won't so you can do tomorrow what others can't."
"Wear clean underwear."
"Learn how to check your own oil, drive stick shift (just in case), and change a tire."
"My mom always emphasized the journey over the destination. It's probably because she is known for getting lost, but it is a useful reminder for so many parts of life."
ON MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
"If you can't love your man for the worst of his attributes, then leave. Men aren't makeover projects."
"Argue naked, it ends quicker!"
"Never go to bed angry."
"Never leave the house or go to bed without saying 'I love you' to your family."
"Don't ever be ashamed of being smarter than your boyfriend or your husband."
"If you want a guy to remember you, repeat a motion each time you see him that involves touching. The example she gave me was running her hand down his ear before she says goodnight."
"My mom always yelled, 'Just wait until you have kids! That's when you'll appreciate me the most!' She is so damn right."
"Remember they have their own Higher Power watching over them!"
"No vacation days. No time off for good behavior. No sick days. No pay!"
"Every child is a blessing and a gift. Even though I thought she was nuts for having five kids ... She said that all the time."
"I swore on my life that I would never say 'Because I said so' or 'Because this is a dictatorship.' Mom caught me using both and nailed me for it."
"Say 'No' only when you have to. And when you do say 'No' don't ever change your answer."
"Don't call your children names."
"You can just be with your kids by sitting on the couch scratching their backs. Safety happens there."
"I learned not from words but from what I saw and experienced growing up. What I learned from my mother is selfless dedication to the family. She put the family first, showed unconditional love for all, and she never asked for anything in return."
"The only place you find 'fair' is in the dictionary."
"Having things does not guarantee an ounce of happiness."
"Don't be in a hurry to grow up; it all goes by too fast."
"If you feel tied up in knots for more than 6 months, go to therapy."
"The only place you find success before work is in the dictionary."
"No matter how upset you are, never under any circumstance call your mother a bad name to her face. She might just give you a good whollup and leave a bruise on your back."
HOW TO LOOK AND FEEL YOUR BEST
"Put on some lipstick. You will feel better."
"Nothing beats a crisp white shirt and a pair of jeans."
"Purple eyeliner looks amazing on green eyes."
"My mother always said 'Everybody's got to eat a little dirt!' Turns out she's right (I thought she just really hated cleaning!) and now I see they are selling dirt as a nutritional supplement. Builds your immunity."
"Eat, you'll feel better!"
"You'll feel better if you poop."
"Floss your teeth, but just the ones you want to keep."
RANDOM TIPS AND TRICKS
"It's nice to wake up to a clean kitchen, so always do the dishes the night before."
"Roll your blueberries in flour to prevent them from 'bleeding' blue into pancakes and muffins."
"'Never let your gas go below 1/4 tank or your gas line will freeze.' (This was back when your car's gas line could freeze, but I hear it constantly in my head!)"
"She taught me to drive by making me drive through major traffic and a very busy tunnel and bridge. Then if that wasn't enough, she would make me change the channel on the radio and reach into the back seat. She said I shouldn't do it while driving but knew that I probably would while driving so she would make sure I could do it. She had nerves of steel! I found myself doing the same thing when I taught my son to drive!"
"Clean up for 15 minutes each day then you shouldn't be overwhelmed (yet I always AM!)."
"Follow the guides on the sewing machine plate. They will ensure a straight stitch."
"Half an avocado filled with ketchup is awesome. Just need a spoon."