Mother knows best, so the saying goes. I’d to think I know best but I never thought my mother did. I never used to listen to her when I was growing up. That’s thanks to my independent streak that runs deep inside of me. I always thought I knew better, and I’m sure most of you feel the same. Things didn’t change when I had children. When my eldest was born I always preferred reading books written by experts over taking parenting advice from my mother (or anyone else I knew). She did try to give me plenty of advice on how to bring up my children, but I’ve always preferred finding things out for myself, often the hard way.
I was at a baby shower this afternoon. One of the other guests had brought a little black fold-out book with ‘A Mother’s Advice’ embossed in gold on the front. She asked everyone to write down the best piece of advice their mothers had ever given them in it. It was a lovely gift for the mum-to-be.
Most of us had to rack our brains for rather a long time before we could think of something.
Some of the entries included:
‘Never leave the house without make up. You wash your face and clean your teeth, so you should put make up on too.’
‘Always make an effort to look your best’
‘Always wear clean underwear’
‘You can only lose your reputation once.’
‘Never wake a sleeping baby’
‘Never disturb a happy baby’
My entry was ‘always be nice to your mother’. Now I’m not actually sure that my mother actually said that to me, but the only advice she gave me that I could remember was ‘do your homework’, ‘eat with your mouth closed’ and ‘always finish everything on your plate’. That one was passed down from my grandmother. I’m sure she must have given me some proper advice at some point when I was growing up, but I clearly didn’t take it in.
The best piece of advice I would give my children once they are older (and I hope they choose to listen to me and remember it) is that boys are not the be all and end all of life. I thought they were in my younger life and I made some silly decisions because of it.
In honour of Mother’s Day this Sunday, what was the best piece of advice your mother gave you? And what is the best piece of advice you would give to your children?