Saturday, 11 May 2013

Mother's Day: Why mother knows best

Mother's Day: why mother knows best (© Getty)
It wasn't always easy taking advice from our mums when we were growing up, but as the years have rolled by, we've realised that mum was right about so many things after all. We take a look at the words of wisdom that were hard to swallow at the time, but which turned out to be oh-so-true.

Learn to be financially independent
Even if you meet a well-off man, you shouldn't depend on him. Yes, it's fun to be spoilt but you never know when circumstances will change and you should always be prepared - and able - to support yourself.

Always use a sunscreen and don't go too brown on holiday
Mums have the advantage of hindsight, and will have seen some of their friends and colleagues prematurely ageing thanks to too much time in the sun. I recall my mum saying, 'You don't want to look like a shrivelled, old prune before your time,' which was enough to put the fear of God into me and ensure I eventually started slapping on a high factor.

Men will take advantage if you put it on a plate
Was she right about this one! Some men will sweet talk a girl and tell her everything she wants to hear, until they get her into bed. Then it's a roll of the dice whether they ever ring again. Of course there are some nice guys out there who wouldn't take advantage in this way, but as a mum would say: nice guys will wait.

Always love and believe in yourself
When we were in our youth and feeling angsty that we were ugly or unpopular, mum would say we should believe in and love ourselves more. How true - and yet how little we listened until much later in life, when we realised we were actually pretty lovely people.

Be kind to others and treat them as you'd want to be treated
As we fell out with one friend or gossiped about another, we ignored the value of being kind to others. 'Nice to her? But she's been awful to me!' would be the refrain. Of course we didn't realise that sometimes we made matters worse by not being forgiving or generous. Only later on did we learn the value of giving someone the benefit of the doubt and not dumping a friend over something trivial.

 reat your hair and skin gently
Mums would advise never to pull your skin or tug at your hair, but did you listen as you dragged that comb through knots or washed your face like it was an old boot? No. It was only much later that you finally realised how important it is to treat these assets like the precious and delicate things they are.

Put your best foot forward
How many times did your mum tell you to put your best foot forward, to put a smile on your face when you were doubtful about facing the world or daunted by something you had to do? Often you might think she didn't know what she was talking about and she couldn't understand what you were facing. Today, the penny's dropped and you now realise there were many times in her life when she was doing exactly what she preached.

Don't show everything
How annoying was it when you wanted to go out in a teeny tiny miniskirt and see-through top, only to see mother raising her eyebrows, archly stating that you shouldn't show everything. Years later, you now know that revealing everything is less sexy than keeping a little bit covered up.

Classics are worth the investment
When you were a teenager, you probably wanted to get a new top, dress or shoes every week, yet mum would advise that it's always worth saving your pounds and investing in a classic. Today, you totally appreciate the wisdom of buying a coat or bag that's more expensive, because it's lasting, smart and a great investment.

You can always count on me
Perhaps the most important thing your mum would always say to you when you felt let down by someone or something. But only later in life did you realise just how much you have counted on her love and support through the years, as well as the fact that she's been there for you through the break-ups, job losses and all the other stresses and strains of life.

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