Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Advice My Mother Gave Me

    I've just arrived in Florida. My parents lived here for 15 years after they retired, and so it got me thinknig about my mother.

     I've argued before, and I stand by my position, that we'd all be better off if we had just done what our mothers told us to do -- no questions asked. Because who, besides our mothers, has nothing but our best interests at heart? Sure, our dads love us. But they have an ulterior motive. They want us to succeed, make them proud. Our mothers just want us to be happy.

     My mother was not the overbearing type. She instead was rather cool and detached, perhaps because she had four kids and didn't have the time or resources to give a lot of individual attention to any of us. She instead fell back on a lot of sayings that she, no doubt, got from her mother.

     For example, she believed in addressing problems head on, and not letting them linger. So a favorite saying of hers was:  A stitch in time saves nine.

     She also warned us what would happen if we didn't face up to things. We'd be: Up a creek without a paddle.

     She was industrious, and didn't believe that her children should sit around and daydream (or watch TV). She'd admonish us when she thought we were being lazy:  Don't be a lump on a log. And she drummed into us:  The early bird gets the worm.

     But she knew all matters didn't necessarily proceed as fast as people, especially children, want. And so she also counseled patience and reminded us:  Rome wasn't built in a day.

     When I got older, into my teens, she was appalled at the clothes I wore. And more than once as I left college and went out into the world she reminded me:  The clothes make the man.

     And I'd be more successful if I didn't sit around and engage in idle chat, for:  He who gossips with you will gossip about you. Or, another way she'd say it:  Mind your p's and q's.

     And whenever we did anything, she thought, we should do it right. Or: Cross your t's and dot your i's.

     Not bad advice. I wish I'd taken more of it. So . . . what did your mother tell you?


Olga Hebert said...

That all sounds so very familiar. As much as my mother valued reading and writing, the thing I remember her saying most often to me personally: "Put down that book and go outside to play!"

DJan said...

You just made me wonder what ARE those p's and q's? Must mean something interesting. My mom used many of those same phrases. I remember her telling me, "you made your bed, you lie in it." :-)

Barbara said...

You are right. My life would have been easier had I listened to my mother's suggestions. I don't know if it would have been any better but I wouldn't have spent as much time "hitting my head against the wall".

Anonymous said...

All good comments, my mother would tell me to 'not spend time worrying about things I can't control'

Anonymous said...

take care of your eyes, teeth, and feet

Tabor said...

The best advice my mother gave me was to not worry about something unless I could something to change it. Worry is useless energy while thinking about solving a problem is better.

Wisewebwoman said...

"Love is a doing, not a feeling"

"Never let the sun go down on your anger"

"Save a match and buy a farm"

Wise words indeed, none of us pay attention at the time, LOL


Pam said...

My mom was a hard working farmer's wife, who also worked off the farm when times were tough. She said the same things your mom did, Tom, but she also reassured us that "everything will work out...you'll see" and she was right. She worked so hard keeping our home spotless, that she also admonished me NOT to kill myself on things that don't last. She was a good mom and I miss her every day!

Dick Klade said...

"Just because the other kids do it doesn't make it right."

Sally Wessely said...

My mother told me the same things that your mother did. I know I told my kids the same, but I'm sure they weren't listening. Neither was I a lot of the time. I do appreciate the wisdom that our parents tried to pass on to us.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

My mother was a working gal who enjoyed smoking and drinking too much and I found myself struggling to make myself work extra hard to manage our immigrant lifestyle since my Dad died very young. He was my hero.

Anonymous said...

I did not have my mother for long she passed young, but my Grandmother was something else living until nearly 92 and she would tell me ladies do this and slobs do that! She put on a dress everyday and fixed her hair and makeup to the day she passed. She ate like a lady and thought like a man, she never let me do anything unladely like and if I wanted to go out with a fellow he had to meet her and know when he would bring me home and she gave me a $5.00 bill to keep in my shoe and money for a phone call just in case..She was the absolute best..She lived until I was nearly out of school one week from my graduation she was watching perry mason and went to god oh, my goodness sakes, I was devastated but my professor said she lives in your heart and mind and she lived longer because of you..I try to treat people lovely as she used to say and try to love them no matter their slippings as she used to say in Spanish, she was a lady til the day she passed and she adored me and tried to live long enough to see me graduate from college, I know I my heart she did! You only get one mom, grandmother (well 2 if you know your dads mom which I did not) and one daddy, after my mom passed I never saw or lived with him again, he took to drink over her passing..so really hold tight to your family when you can!

Jr. Williams said...

Can you explain what retirement benefits are?
retirement gifts for men

Snowbrush said...

"what did your mother tell you?"

That I would "never amount to anything."