The Best Advice My Mother Gave Me

I used to joke that the best advice my mother ever gave me was to never fry anything in the nude 😉 Aside from my mum’s entertaining words of wisdom, the best advice she ever gave me was “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. Yes, don’t burn your boobs off was pretty good advice, and I can honestly say I have never cooked butt naked… but the second piece of advice was much better. My mum’s simple words of encouragement have been put to use many times over the years.

Have you ever had someone say something to you that has left you in a bit of a tizz. Someone parked in your car park? Someone ate the last chocolate bar you had hidden in the back of the fridge? 🙂 “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is such a great reminder that worrying about silly insignificant problems is not worth it. You can’t change it, it’s only a small matter… don’t worry about it. Move on, or as my mother would also say “get over it!”

Below is more advice my mother gave me, read them and let me know your thoughts. Maybe your mum, aunt, sister or a close friend gave you some great advice? If you would like to share it, just leave a comment below.

x x x


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1. “Life isn’t fair”
When I was a young girl my mum told me more times than I could count – “life is tough, get over it!” 🙂 I didn’t want to get over it. I wanted to win the race, I wanted to wear that dress in the wash… I wanted to go to my friends party… “Not everything in life is going to go your way. You need to learn how to deal with disappointment and to grow from the experience.” Boy was she right. It took me years to figure out that fairness was a matter of individual perceptions. Losing an employment opportunity years ago may have felt unfair to me, but how many felt it was unfair I was selected in the first place 🙂

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2. “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you too?
When I was 15, maybe 16 years old, the popular girls in my high school year level got their hair permed. Yes, permed… it was the late 80’s… think Nicole Kidman Dead Calm 🙂 When I saw how great one of the girls looked, I wanted my hair permed, my mum thought I had straw for brains! “You’re like a lamb, following the flock,” my mum told me. I wasn’t a lamb, I just wanted curly hair, blonde tips and a denim jacket to fit in like the movie stars. Lamb… sheesh!!!

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3. “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all”
Back in the early 90’s I dated a wonderful guy who happened to be in the army. As you can imagine he was buff, cute and had a wicked sense of humour. To top him off – he had a toupee! Yes, a wig!! It was held on by these little hard beads… I didn’t even know. We were getting rather hot and heavy under the stars one evening when I ran my fingers through his hair. When I tried to remove my hand I freaked out. My mother lectured me when she found out what I said. I still feel awful all these years later.

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4. “Have your own interests and goals.”
I remember my mum telling me how important it was to have your own interests, friends and hobbies. “When you’re in a relationship, you enjoy spending time together. But couples need space so you don’t suffocate each other.” I learned just how true that was as I got older. Doing everything together at the start of a relationship was fun, but after several months it became monotonous and boring. I felt like I had lost my own identity. Having my own interests gave me a sense of strength, it was great not having to worry about someone else.

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5. “Make sure you earn your own money”
Depending on who you talk to, this little piece of advice can be seen as either a good thing, or something negative. Some men don’t like the idea of their wife or partner being financially independent, and on the flip side there are some guys who don’t like their partners to be unemployed. Taking time off to have a baby or study….no! grrrr. My mum always said “You need to be able to survive on your own” and she was right. Money gives you the freedom to leave if you need to, to contribute to the household or mortgage and to make your lives a little less stressful.

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6. “Find a gentlemen who treats you right”
My mum is a ‘straight shooter’, ever heard that term before? It means she says what she thinks and doesn’t hold back. It can be a good quality, and also an annoying one. But I have certainly appreciated her honesty over the years – “If you behave like a dimwit, you will attract a dimwit!” Thanks mum!! 🙂 But she was right. Back in my early 20’s I was attracting dimwits like bees to a honey blossom. Mind you short dresses and enough makeup to look like a drag queen didn’t help my image. “If you want a man to respect you, or fall in love with you, then you must show him that you respect yourself” If I didn’t want to end up like Bridget Jones, singing Celine Dion hits and being surrounded by Alsatians then I had to do something about it. I made a the decision to be more myself and to stop trying so hard. If I met someone who was not abrupt, arrogant or rude, genuinely cared about who I was and what I wanted to be then I was a far happier person.

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7. “Pay attention to how he treats his mother”
I remember this guy I dated years and years ago… oh he was smooth! He just knew how to butter me up. He was polite, friendly and so cute, I thought he was the best guy to ever walk the earth, but the day I went to his house and met his family was the day I cut my ties. Walking in the back door, he wacked his younger sister over the back of the head as we walked through the kitchen. She was in her late teens. It wasn’t a playful little clip, it was a hair flying snap of the wrist. When we found his mum sitting in the lounge he became someone I had never met before. He was such a rude bastard! I can’t even remember everything he said, not all these years later but I remember feeling scared. I told his mum I had to go and left. Later that day when he showed up at my parents house I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore. That was when he revealed his true self to me, and that was the day my mum chased him down the footpath with the saucepan 🙂

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8. “Don’t sweat the small stuff
Even to this day, when I get flustered and annoyed because something didn’t go to plan my mum will tell me “Life’s too short, stop worrying so much, you will give yourself an ulcer!” Or her other favourite saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s so trivial…. don’t worry about it.” I have to laugh, I’m 43 years old and my mum is still giving me advice. Would I change it though… nnnooo 😉 There are times when I let things get to me, I know I am over reacting or just being plain silly, but it’s still nice to be able to talk to someone about it and for them to remind you that it really isn’t worth all your time and effort worrying about something so insignificant. I have to remind myself at times to simply put things into perspective. If the issue is still bugging me tomorrow, then see what can done about it. Until then, chin up and stop sweating over it 🙂

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9. “Communication is a key part to building a healthy relationship”
I gave my eldest daughter the same advice only two days ago. “Don’t stop talking to him… if something bugs you, talk about it. You feel hurt or confused about something, talk about it because it is when you stop communicating with each other and you both give up that your relationship will start to fall apart” Have you ever said something and it’s like your mother is inside your mouth?! You repeat something she once told you and it feels like deja-vu? I have been experiencing that a lot of late 😉 I have also learnt over the years it isn’t just about being able to talk to each other, you need to be able to listen, to have patience and work through the problems. If you love someone, you will want to build a long-lasting relationship.

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10. “Never go to bed angry”
I have heard this from my mum, relatives, friends… and I couldn’t agree more. It isn’t just because you don’t want to go to bed upset, unable to sleep, etcetera, but because it is important that you not let any problems fester. What might seem like an annoying problem today can be bigger and worse if left to fester for another day. Solve what ever arguments or disagreements you had before you go to bed, makeup and get a good nights rest. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so start the day with a clean slate. You will both be so much happier.

x x x

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