What Have You Learned From Your Mom?

Mother’s Day is two weeks away, so I’d love to ask: What has your mom taught you?

Here are ten things I’ve learned from my mom:
* Always be on time when picking someone up at the airport; it means a lot to people.
* There’s something life affirming about a gin & tonic before dinner.
* If someone has cooked a meal, wait until they start eating before you take your first bite.
* Clear nail polish looks surprisingly beautiful.
* If people are rude to you, it’s usually because they’re having a bad day, so be empathetic and don’t take things personally.
* Sprinkle sea salt on top of cookies before baking them in the oven.
* Nothing is better than reading a really good book, except maybe having your hair played with when you’re falling asleep.
* Talk to kids like they’re adults. They’re smart and will love it.
* Everyone is secretly a big nerd.
* You’re never alone.

A supporter of Cup of Jo and of all things love, the fragrance Coach Love, a warm woody floral, has re-launched their beautiful Facebook app to celebrate moms this Mother’s Day. You can share what you love about your mom, along with a photo. It’s a sweet way to recognize moms together. Post yours on Facebook, if you’d like.

So, I’m curious: What has your mom taught you? How to choose a lipstick? How to roast a chicken? How to ask for a raise? How to be a kind person? I’d love to hear their words of wisdom…
(This post is sponsored by Coach Love. All words and ideas are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Cup of Jo possible)

  1. Thanks for this post. I am in Egypt and using this post to get my Secondary students for English language inspired. We are studying a unit on Family and relationships this week, and this list is a perfect addition. (had to remove the mention of alcohol for our FB page, being in Egypt and also the page is for students)
    I am looking forward to seeing their lists.

  2. Jo, I love your mom’s wisdom. My favorite lesson from my mom (that I’ve been thinking of so much since my son learned the word BORED) is that creative people don’t get bored :)

  3. My mum taught me that putting on lipstick will always make you feel good

  4. My mom taught me the importance of being a gracious host and always making people feel at home in your home.

  5. SP says...

    Starting at a very young age, my mom taught me how to manage my money. Now that I am getting married I understand its so I can maintain my own independence and security.

  6. lessons from my mom:

    – any time is an acceptable time for a tea break
    – you can never have too many books
    – never apologize for your feelings
    – chocolate goes a long way towards curing what ails yous
    – perfection is overrated

  7. My mom taught me that you can fix any mistake in handwriting by turning “e’s” into “a’s” or “L’s” into “t’s” with a little finesse.

  8. i love all these words of wisdom! so inspiring:)

  9. @mo, good eye! he is my uncle, and he was visiting us when this photos was taken :)

  10. – ALWAYS say “please” and “thank you”;
    – ALWAYS take a gift to your hosts when traveling;
    – In this world, nobody owes you anything – life is a gift and we must be thankful;
    – Persevere on the things you truly desire;
    – Your dignity is one of the sacred things you’ll have in life, so keep it sacred;
    – Be hospitable and open your house to friends and family;
    – Trust in God with those you love the most, for He cares for them a lot.

    Miss my momma.

  11. I wrote about how inspiring my mother is recently, here {} I’ve definitely learned by example from her.

  12. My mom taught me the importance of saying thank you. When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to leave a friends birthday party until I told their mom thank you for inviting me. It was so painful at the time. But now I’m free with my gratitude and appreciation all thanks to her.

  13. mo says...

    Who is the shirtless guy in the picture? It doesn’t look like your dad, from other pics you have posted. haha… had to ask!

  14. What a good post! Makes me miss my mom.

    Her most important advice to me was, “Remember, people change.” She had given it to me when I was struggling with friendships as a teenager, and the context was that someday those friends will likely grow, or “change”, into their best selves and we may re-connect again. But if we had to part ways for good, that was okay too, because people do change and grow apart. Oddly, I was very comforted by that. She used to follow it up with encouragement to always be MY best, to remain unwavering in my convictions and never compromise myself, as that would surely lead me to the most fulfilling relationships; it has :) I think the advice applies to all stages of our lives, and I’ll always remember it.

    Some others:

    1) I can complete a task in the same amount of time as,or faster than, the minutes I spend worrying about it.
    2) Never leave the house without earrings
    3) There’s nothing like a good hamburger
    4) Treat myself to pedicures
    5) Quit worrying so much!

  15. 1) Never let anyone take away your dignity (this can mean many things)
    2) When it comes to health concerns – “if it is nothing, it will get better. If it is something, it won’t.” Comes in handy when you have young children.

  16. 1) Always bring a gift (flowers, dessert, wine) when going to someone’s house for a party or dinner.
    2) Don’t be a brand snob or afraid to appear frugal. Ask for a student/military/etc. discount, use coupons, buy generic brands, shop at the dollar store. It’s all the same.
    3) Hand wash dishes. It’s more time consuming, but the dishes always look (and feel) cleaner.
    4) If you want to eat out, opt for lunch. It’s usually cheaper.
    5) Singing along in the car is the best way to pass the time.

  17. Oh gosh, I feel that my mom taught me SOOO much. Here are a few things that come to mind:

    1) How to cook the most delicious meals.
    2) The power of cleanliness to your well-being and peace of mind. :)
    3) Standing up straight does wonders for your posture and overall femininity.
    4) Don’t take things personally, especially when people say things against you. Those are just things.
    5) Let the guy do the chasing.

  18. 1) There’s no degree of bad mood that can’t be cured by shopping and good food.

    2) A hot bath before bed is essential for good sleep.

    3) Family comes first.

    4) Reliability and timeliness are two qualities that you can’t be without if you want to be successful.

    5) Creature comforts are always necessary.

    6) When all else fails, drink hot tea.

    7) Sugar in moderation (I always had to ask if I could have sweets when I was young)


    Jules of Canines & Couture

  19. The most valuable lesson my mom taught me that when I find myself in a conflict, to remember there are always at least three sides to the story: my side, your side and the truth. Everybody filters experiences through their own unique lens, there is no “right” and “wrong”

    And some others:

    -To stick up for myself because letting people walk all over me is like telling them I’m not worth the being treated well.

    -An apology means you will do your best not to make the same mistake. If you’re not going to put in the effort, you’re not sorry.

    -An apology with the above meaning attached is a powerful thing.

    -Don’t take yourself seriously, embrace your quirks, life is way more fun that way.

    -If a stranger ever tries to grab you, poke them in the eyes as hard as you can!

    -Your family will always be there for you, if you go through tough times, push them away, or hurt them, they will still be waiting for you when you are ready.

    And so much more. :)

  20. 10 Things I Have Learned From my Mother

    1. Don’t be a picky eater. Eat what you are given and always give thanks.

    2. Be kind.

    3. Relax.

    4. Stand up straight.

    5. Say your prayers.

    6. Garlic, cilantro, red peppers, and onion always make food taste better.

    7. Classic pieces are worth splurging on because they will never go out of style.

    8. Always say I love you.

    9. Be a friend to everyone.

    10.Don’t be afraid to try new things and go on new adventures!

  21. My mother has been deceased for 16 years – almost half of my life. I learned about shopping and gardening for therapy, but I also learned it’s OK not to sweat how you look, sometimes you have to get down on the floor with your kids and play…and foremost, you must take care of yourself.

  22. My mum has taught me forgiveness…strength of character…and self validation. This I learnt from being in the presence of her practising these every waking day.

  23. My mum has taught me forgiveness…strength of character…and self validation. This I learnt from being in the presence of her practising these every waking day.

  24. -There aren’t many feelings that can’t be made better by an english muffin with jam and English Breakfast tea
    -Devotion for Joni Mitchell
    -Omelets are an every-meal food
    -Don’t listen to the naysayers, coffee is good for you
    -Just because you’re not a student anymore doesn’t give you a pass to stop learning
    -Previous Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

  25. Mom taught me to:

    *Be kind, not just polite, to strangers.
    *Meditation will calm you and make you a better person.
    *It is OK to be different in any way you are different, embrace it and never hide it.
    *Pursue your goals.
    *It’s never too late an you are never too old to learn something new.

    and oh so many more… I think my mom taught me, really, the essence of being me, and I love her.

  26. Oh, I just love this! I might have to create a list of my own. The two that come to mind…the importance of being independent & the importance of a thank-you note. Also she always says, “this too shall pass.” I actually designed a “10 things I love about you” Mother’s Day card this year ( and while I’ve already written hers, I might need to do a separate one of things she has specifically taught me :) Thanks for the great idea!

  27. Hello all!
    Mami taught me:

    When in doubt, opt for a v-neck top and A-line bottom (for blouse and skirt, or dress). You will look pretty, chic, and classic. A fat-day will not be an excuse for a bad attitude and a missed outing with family and friends.

    Don’t highlight your hair with sun-in (oops, lesson learned in 8th grade). Your hair is _____________ for a reason. Hairstylists and colorists exist for a reason if you are unhappy with your natural color.

    Be a good listener even if it annoys you. You never know when someone needs to vent or cry; maybe they do a good job of hiding their problems, or maybe they don’t have a good support system.

    Don’t be afraid to be independent, especially if your spouse is lazy and a homebody. Don’t sacrifice your moments of happiness and opportunities for learning because someone is lame.

    Cheese is delicious with honey or jam.

    And this gem, which has both helped and traumatized me: “If you have a problem, do something about it.” My mom said this to me in 5th grade. It’s become my mantra and an inside joke between us… but I take it too seriously. Thank god Mom is there to talk me through it!

  28. I have a wonderful mother who, sadly, I pushed away from most of my childhood. Our personalities clashed quite a bit while I was growing up but it doesn’t mean she wasn’t an amazing mother! Being a mother now myself, I have such a different view of the person she was and is. She taught me…

    *Give everything you chose to do 100% effort.
    *If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.
    *Don’t give your kids everything they want whenever they want it, but chose special moments to indulge in gift giving.
    *Put 10% of every paycheck in to savings. (Wish this lesson would have stuck!)
    *My love for antiques and British cinema!

    Thank you for this post! I hope that my daughter will grow up being able to list such beautiful and inspiring lessons that I have taught her!

  29. My mom has taught me so much. Here are a few things:

    Go to bed if you’re feeling anxious or blue. Things always look better in the morning. (Apparently her parents taught her that!)

    Hold yourself to high standards, but not too high. Give yourself a break sometimes.

    If you’re not sure whether or not to buy something, sleep on it. It will most likely be there tomorrow.

    And I became a teacher because she’s a teacher, and she has taught me nearly everything I know about being a teacher. I couldn’t do it without her.

    Such a great idea for a post!

  30. Great advice from your mama!

    From a very early age my mother always said “network and moisturize”… two valuable pieces of advice I must say :)

  31. wow, i love these bits from you mom. i think we all have lots to learn from our moms (and others’ moms too!).

    my mom taught me to take care of people and be a thoughtful friend. she’s taught me how to cook, especially without a recipe. she taught me from a young age to respect my elders, look up to them. and she’s taught me to be confident and independent, but also a supportive and loving partner.

    this is one of my favorite posts you’ve done, happy early mothers’ day!

  32. My mamma taught me things that are truly important in life: love, family, friendship and respect for yourself and the others.
    She taught me to be strong and facing the life without regrets.
    She taught me to speak with a smile, find happiness in small things. Never gossip about others.
    She taught me to cook, enjoying everyday cooking, the love for plants and never stay still.
    I miss her so much and everyday I discover that all the positive in me comes from her.
    I am writing a book about her, my childhood and the time we shared in our kitchen. She died two years ago.

  33. My mom taught me to appreciate the classics- like the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel, how to build a sizable vintage post card collection, and how to play all of her childhood games that we re-found in my grandparents’ basement (the original Spirograph was one of our favorite toys). She also told me from an early age that, no matter where I went to college (local or otherwise), she wanted me to experience life in the dorms and being on my own (since she stayed at home when she went to college). Her advice propelled me out of my small-town comfort zone, and the age of 18, I moved to NYC to attend NYU. It’s now been 10 years, and I’m still here. Best decision I ever made, and I must credit her influence!

  34. My mom died on my 17th birthday, and you’d be amazed as to how much I am still learning from her each day almost 9 years later. It’s a nightmare to lose a loved one on a day so special as your birthday, but in a way I feel an even stronger connection to her because of it.
    She taught me to never talk mean of someone, how to walk away from negativity, to have patience (I always admired her patience in any trying situation), how to get the smoothest knees when shaving, and a love for Paul Simon.

  35. My mom taught me to always make my bed in the morning. The house is instantly put together. She always taught me that when a meal is ready and the cook calls you to the table, you go right away. It’s disrespectful to keep him/her waiting.
    Thank for this post! Love it.

  36. “* If people are rude to you, it’s usually because they’re having a bad day, so be empathetic and don’t take things personally.”

    I love that and have been working to be more conscious of it myself.

    My mom has taught me to be a pro at tv marathons <3

  37. Joanna,

    I am a religious reader of your blog and I wish we could write a list of what you have taught us! You are an inspiration and thank you for bringing beautiful thoughts into our lives.


  38. Don’t worry about money
    Help people as much as you can
    Forget about people’s opinion on you
    It’s okay to cry

  39. ..oh yeah, and this; always use creme on your hands and neck as these are the places to first give away your true age ;)

  40. My mom has learned me so much throughout the years! And especially now, as an (almost) grown-up.. (30 later this year *ehrm*) I realize just how much!
    Like for example; always (ALWAYS!) get your name on the contract/lease when moving in with a boyfriend – no matter how much in love you might be!
    or this advice which she actually just repeated in a mail to me ten minutes ago; “No one can tell how long you took to do the job, all they can see is the result” – so true, right!? (We were emailing about me doing some renovation in my living room)..
    Other than that she has always supported me in all my life dreams.. Couldn’t do it without her! Love you mom! <3

  41. Greates advice my mom ever gave me: “You already have a NO, but you can get a YES!”

  42. my mum taught me how to drill holes into walls, how to fix electric devices when they break and she taught me that you can be self-sufficient as a woman. she is really a cut-the-crap and hands-on-knees type of person, who basically showed me how things work in the world. but she also taught me when I came home drunk as a 16-year old, that when you had too much red wine, you need to lie very still with your back against the wall to stop the room from spinning. ♥

  43. Hi Joanna

    Your posts today are so lovely. I hope to be a mother in the not too distant future and I like reading your blog because I hope I can be a good mother too, like you and like your mom and like your readers too. It was my greatest fear that I would become my own mother but I’ve now, at last come to a place where I’m not so afraid that I’ll do unto others (my potential children) what was done unto me (your previous post about small children and safety and security really struck a chord). Your words today are a little bittersweet I guess. I hope to be the mother I never had. Thank you for showing me it might be possible. It’s all inside really. x

    • Hi Mary
      Thanks for posting this comment. I sometimes feel I’m the only one who didn’t/doesn’t have a good relationship with my Mom. It makes me sad. But you are so right, we will be even better Moms because of it.
      Kate x

    • Ah Kate, thank you for replying! You’ve in turn made me feel less alone in the world. Hope we both go onto be great mothers. xx

  44. My mom is an entrepreneur just like me (or should I say vice versa). I’ve learned a lot from my mom. Not that much about cooking (my mom is a terrible cook), but mostly about life itself.
    These are the most important ones:
    * You can have anything you want, just prepare to work hard.
    * Be honest to both yourself and the others.
    * It’s totally ok to be just ordinary, for my mom I’m always special.

    My mom is the best!

  45. – Always listen to what people tell you, don’t just take what you want to hear
    – Learn to sew, or buy clothes that won’t fall apart
    – Know what you wan’t and don’t be afraid to ask for it
    – A cluttered room is a cluttered mind
    – Plain seltzer water is an underestimated beverage

  46. My mom has taught me so many things, but for some reason, this one sticks out right now: She always told me when I accidentally overslept or my alarm didn’t go off, that God must have known I needed more sleep. Maybe I could believe it because I never overslept for something crucial (like an interview), but it always helped me not feel guilty for something that was an accident. :)

  47. My mom, the best mom in the World, taught me too many things to count. My favorite:

    *It’s ok to have a do nothing day.
    *Stand up for other people.
    *You can be right without other people having to know that you’re right.
    *Popcorn and Pepsi will fix any problem.
    *You determine what type of day you have.
    *Turn common tasks/chores/errands into mini adventures.
    *Always say “thank you”
    * Refer to all people as “friend.”
    *You are your thoughts.
    *You’re stronger than you could ever imagine.

  48. In the workforce: write things on a calendar as soon as they happen, to always sign up for email lists, and to be proactive if you really want a certain job or volunteer position.
    In the kitchen: if the ingredients are high-quality than the food will be good, don’t over-mix, and if the food is done right it shouldn’t have to have a lot of bells and whistles (we only eat plain pancakes, cheese pizza, and vanilla ice cream but it’s all damn good).

  49. This is absolutely lovely!

  50. To hang tshirts under the arms when they are drying to make the not stretch out of shape

    Flowers by a bedside for a guest make them feel like a princess

    When deciding, make a list of the pros and cons. Always.

    To walk away from a bad situation until the emotion is gone. Then talk.

  51. A few things that I think of on a daily basis…

    In response to a compliment, always just say “thank you.” … In other words, resist the urge to bad mouth yourself!

    If you wait til all your ducks are in a row, all you might end up with is a row of ducks… In other words, go for it!

    When you save everything, you value nothing… In other words, don’t be a pack rat (like your father ;)

  52. To work hard, to give selflessly and to make a mean shepherd’s pie.

    Of course there’s so much more! So hard to sum those lessons into just a few sentences. It’s so inspiring to think how much we have learned from our mothers and how much we hope to be an inspiration to our own daughters.

    xoxo Paris Bee Kids Blog

  53. Always send thank you notes!!!! This I know people do do anymore, especially if it’s something small, but I am a firm believer in ty notes. It takes two seconds people…

  54. This post is bittersweet. My mother taught me far more harm than good, but as the mother of two (and one on the way this summer), I am so encouraged by the good relationships and memories I read here. I can’t relate as a daughter — I can’t comprehend what it feels like to think of my mother this way — but I am so hopeful that I can give my daughter this sort of wholeness, a sense of place in family and the world.

    Thank you for this, Joanna!

    • I feel the same way!

  55. My mom is a riot. I’ve always grown up wanting to be more like her; we are complete opposites! She’s outgoing and vivacious and I’m an introvert and non-showy; the less attention, the more comfortable I am. My mom has taught me many life lessons. The most important: Never be a pushover because “You’re MY daughter, and my daughter? She’s strong just like her mother.” Also: Always ask, never assume. These two have changed my world! I love my momma so, so incredibly.

  56. My mom passed away when I was 15 but one thing she taught me that will always stick with me is “Never show up early for a party, you’ll look like a nerd!”

    Haha, I always loved that and I still live by it eight years later.

  57. My mom taught me what unconditional love is. No matter what, I will always love my mother with all my heart.

  58. so many things…but the most recent and most impactful has been to make your life easier.

  59. My Mom taught me how to be poised and elegant but to also know when to be silly and give them hell!

  60. Some things my mother meant to teach me, like it’s better to be too polite than not polite enough – people will always correct you if they want to be less formal. (“Hello Mr./Ms. So-And-So” “Please, call me Judy!”)

    Some things she taught me inadvertently, like not to judge people. As an old-fashioned devout Catholic with a rather closed-minded outlook, she is always quick to judge (and often shame) those with different values (including her family). I always hated the guilt I felt for my different life choices/priorities or the choices of others, and I felt did those things did not define myself or them as “bad” people. As a result, I strive to make sure I keep an open mind to those with different ideals than myself.

    On a side note, in addition to being on time to pick people up from the airport, as an Angeleno I always think it’s great when whoever is picking me up from LAX parks their car and comes to meet me at the gate. It’s less chaotic than being picked up curb side, and makes for a nice welcome home treat :)

  61. My mom taught me how to stay in contact with my friends and family. We moved to CA (from NY) when I was 8, and my mom stressed the importance of maintaining my friendships. This is something that I have carried with me. I am happy to say that even after 17 years, I still have the same group of friends – who I see every time I am out there. People are amazed when I tell them I’ve known my closest friend since we were in diapers!

  62. My mom taught me to take responsibility for my own choices and actions – “Once you’re 18, you can’t keep blaming your parents.”

    She also taught me that not everyone is blessed with natural smarts and talents, and to appreciate what comes naturally to me. She struggled with dyslexia growing up, back when they didn’t really know what it was, and it’s made me much more sympathetic to my special educational needs students.

    Most importantly, she taught me unconditional love. Even though she hasn’t been thrilled with some of my life choices, and sometimes isn’t afraid to tell me how she feels about them, I’ve never felt like she hasn’t loved me or been proud of me despite temporary setbacks.

  63. oh my goodness, where to even begin…

    -how to be a good hostess
    -how to cook
    -good manners, and how important it is to have good manners (related – good posture!)
    -how to build a wardrobe out of classic, timeless items
    -that it’s important to experience living alone, even if for a short time
    -that there is nothing worth watching on tv between the hours of 9am and 6pm
    -you don’t adopt (or buy) a pet unless you’re going to keep it FOREVER! pets are not temporary.
    -to never rush to judge someone or someone’s actions…there is almost always something you don’t know about them or why they do what they do.

    that barely scratches the surface, but i think most importantly is that she has taught me most of these things by example instead of “this is how you do this” kind of teaching. i think things stick with someone (at least, they do with me) when taught that way.

  64. I find these types of posts depressing, honestly…

    If I really think about it, my mom has taught me how to be the opposite of her. and i’m a pretty great opposite, if I do say so myself. ;-)

    I always brace myself at mother’s day – even though I am a mother – I have also had two children die (which people like to forget/not talk about) – and I have such a hard time when people gush on and on about how fabulous their moms are/were. I am happy for them – sad for me. It just is what it is.

    • i’m with ya, erika. my mom kinda sucks… are we the only ones???

      my mom taught me:

      – to love cats and hate dogs (which i abruptly disagreed with once i had a puppy of my own)
      – how to be super organized, file system for everything
      – to let people have their privacy
      – to follow your dreams… but if they don’t lead to traditional wholesome conservative family values, count yourself disinherited!

    • I guess we ARE the only ones. ;-) LOL.

    • Me three. My mom wasn’t abusive at all, but was not necessarily very motherly and warm. For instance, on my 16th birthday she asked if I wanted fish for dinner … when I was pretty vocal for years that I hated fish.

      She did teach me:
      – how to make a roux (invaluable!)
      – the love of travel
      – incredible grammar (while not listening to WHAT I was saying)
      – that horizontal stripes make you look fat (I was a normal size kid, but somehow everything was gonna make me look fat; hmm, I got fat later)
      – that wearing one color from head to toe will make you look thinner, and anything that breaks that line will make you look fatter
      – that strong, outspoken or successful women are something to be threatened by and avoided! lol

      My mom married a man she later grew to hate, who cheated on her repeatedly but whom she didn’t leave. So her life was kind of depressing. As Erika said above, the kids in my family grew up with her as a model of many qualities to avoid. That said, she was an incredible artist in multiple mediums, and I’m glad that we have lasting tangible things to remember her by.

    • This post is beautiful but also upsets me a bit. My mum is certainly not a bad mum, she is warm and loving and taught me a few nice things, but the more I think about it, the more I can think of negative things she taught me, and how much I want my life to be the opposite of hers.

      My mum taught me
      * how to stay with your husband for 35+ years even if you can’t stand each other. The trick is: buy a big house so each of you can spend his days in his own room.
      * She taught me how to stay with a guy that was clearly bad for me (aggressive, verbally abusive…), because “relationships simply aren’t always plain sailing”.
      * She taught how not to stand up for yourself but to do let your dominant husband make all the decisions in life.
      * She taught me that shutting up and not talking/arguing about a problem will solve it.

      …and then she acts surprised when her children don’t think very highly of marriage.

    • Not the only ones.. I’m in this boat as well. I found this post/the replies to be equally sad and hopeful. Sad for what I’ve missed out/am missing out on. Hopeful that I can take what I’ve learned with my situation and be a better mother to my child than I had myself.

  65. My mom taught me what unconditional love feels like. She has proven to me time and time again that her “fountain” never runs dry when it comes to her children. Totally amazing.

  66. My mother taught me to LIVE FEARLESSLY,

    “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission”, and “you can do anything you want”

    Because of her, I’ve had five incredibly successful careers and look forward to a minimum of three more…. I really can do anything…..

  67. My mom taught me:
    -to forgive others quickly. she never holds a grudge
    -the absolute joy of a simple picnic in the park, complete with fresh bread and cheese, fruit, and of course ginger beer and dark chocolate.
    -how to be an adventurer and world traveler(she grew up in england and traveled the world as a nanny)
    -how to work hard. she almost never sits still
    -to always make time to read
    -to put others first

  68. My mom has taught me to serve crudités at cocktail hour-guests love it, how important exercise is for stress management, to be kind-almost to a fault, that having a career isn’t something you apologize for… Etc!

  69. Oh man, what hasn’t my mom taught me? She was never good at the “buying my first bra, helping me get ready for prom” stuff, but she was an amazing, nurturing, brilliant parent. Among many other things, she taught me that sensitivity and self awareness are gifts, that a glass of red wine at the end of the day is good for your body and soul, that a full table of family and food is the key to success.

  70. My mother taught me to treasure my friends (she’s had the same best friends since she was 17), be nice to my siblings (“one day when you’re sad, you’ll want them more than anyone else”), suffer for fashion (“take off that jacket, it ruins the look!”) and to always stick up for the little guy.

    Oh – and that some days, when it’s really rainy outside, the only thing to do is to take the day off school and read all day long.

  71. My mother always taught me to never wear embarrassing underwear because apparently if I was ever in an accident and brought in comatose, having embarrassing underwear was the last thing I’d want! I really liked your mother’s tip of “Talk to kids like they’re adults. They’re smart and will love it.” I’m not a fan of the overdone baby voices I often hear adults use and when have my own kids, I plan to talk to them like they’re adults!

  72. These comments are bringing happy, sweet tears to my eyes! I lost my Mom just over 4 years ago, and so many of these are reminding me of her. I miss her every single moment.

    My Mom taught me…
    A nature hike is the best medicine.
    Shoulders back, chin up!
    Get it on the calendar, and it will happen.
    Never miss the chance to sit on the porch during a thunderstorm (even better with a glass of wine!)
    Always buy something from a child who is raising money for something they love.
    Don’t ever hide your enthusiasm.

  73. Your mom seems awesome.

    Mine taught me the following:
    -Kill them with kindness, everyone needs it.
    -Everyone gets cake for their birthday. No exceptions.
    -Keep it simple.
    -As long as you like it nothing else matters.
    -Always be the best person you can be. And forgive yourself when you’re not.

  74. getting old gray hairs and wrinkles are something to look forward to not be terrified of.

  75. One random piece of advice my mum taught me was to always make sure there is a person in any photo you take of a landmark / site while travelling. When you get home you will want to see *you* in front of the Eiffel Tower, not just the Eiffel Tower!

  76. My mom taught me to never give up and it’s okay to get mad as hell. =)


  77. I love this post, and the things your Mom taught you!
    I, along with a few other commenters can honestly say my Mom is one of my very best friends! It’s almost hard to come up with a list of what she’s taught me, because she’s taught me how to be who I am today! If I had to make a list…
    – How to make family a priority
    – How to make the best brownies
    – How to always get the best deal (she’s the best at this!)
    – How to plan amazing events (big & small!)
    – She showed me what kind of Mom I hope to be one day

  78. My mom taught me to keep my word…if I say I’m going to be somewhere, I better be there. She also taught me nothing I love could be a waste of time if I love it, and that includes passing on a love of the arts. She taught me to be curious and seek answers to my questions, and never discouraged me from asking questions. Oh, and here’s a big one: how not to be a hypochondriac!

  79. She taught me that the man I’m with must be the man of my life. And that it is possible to break up with him, and find another man who will also be the man of my life, for that period he will be my man. Since she told me that (when I was afraid my boyfriend wouldn’t be THE right one), I feel even more in love with him, I cheerish our love without being afraid of making a mistake. And hope I will remember her words if one day this love ends. I know he will have been the man of my life for a long time, and that’s what makes me a happy person!
    (sorry for my mistakes, English is not my first language :)

  80. As a daughter who’s mother is currently in the hospital (and was on Mother’s Day two years ago as well), I’ve come to appreciate the influence and guidance my mom has given me. I gave her a manicure in her hospital bed yesterday and struggled not to cry as I thought about how our roles have reversed. Love your mamas ladies – they’re not here forever!
    I wrote her this ode a couple years ago:
    It barely scratches the surface on how much she has given/taught me, but I had to try!

    – elizabeth

  81. My mom has taught me:

    -How to make homemade apple pie.
    -What temperature meats need to be cooked at.
    -How to make a bed.
    -How to treat others with respect.
    -How to be a wife.

    My mother-in-law has taught me:
    -How to put others first no matter what.
    -How to cook for a million guests.

    Both of them are so cherished!

  82. My mom taught me:

    that it’s important to stay in touch with friends.

    How to pack a suitcase…

    ginger+lemon+honey+hot water= best cure for a cold

    to always have some almonds in my purse for a hungry emergency

    And she constantly reminds me to never underestimate myself. I still do it all the time so she’s still teaching me that one!

  83. love the wait to start eating bit! my mom taught me the same.

  84. Nice post! My mom’s taught me:
    – Be gentle and polite.
    – Always be patient.
    – Study hard before doing outrageous things.

  85. Aw – I think our moms could be friends… they follow the same G&T before dinner belief :)
    Also, it’s lovely to sit and think about all the wonderful things my mother has taught me throughout the years. Thanks for this moment to reflect on that.

  86. My mom taught me it takes two to fight. It took me a long time to embrace this but was so freeing once I did.

  87. My mom taught me that homemade (cookies, cake, brownies, pancakes, etc) always beat out store bought packaged goods :)

    Also to be early to all of my doctor’s appointments.

    And she taught me that I’m smart and creative and to never stop learning.

  88. How to make a delicious pie (Crisco). How to cut an onion without crying. How to fold bath towels (in thirds). And to say I love you at the end of every phone call.

  89. 1.My mom has taught me to never give up neither let anybody ever put me down
    2.She has taught me that I should always appreciate the good things in life and be thankful for all the wonderful things I have.
    3.She has taught me to have good manners and to be respectful and polite
    4.My mom has taught me that everything happens for a reason and that I should have faith that everything will always turn out fine.
    5.Everything I am is to her and my dad.

    Love my mom SO MUCH!!!

    I cannot imagine my life without her. She always has the perfect answer to everything.

    I needed her since I was a baby and will always need her even when I’m an old lady :)

  90. * Don’t be afraid to say no to people. You might be surprised how quickly they get over it.
    * Show up on time. Better yet, show up early. It shows you care.
    * Do what makes you happy…even if your father and I don’t get it. (Said after watching me play the lead in Shakespeare’s The Tempest…poor guys didn’t have a clue what was going on…haha!)
    * Treat people the way you want to be treated. If you see someone else being picked on, defend them with the same passion and conviction you would use to defend yourself.
    * Peanut butter eaten straight off a spoon is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
    * If you ever do something really stupid, butter up your dad with a box of M&Ms first…trust me on that one. He’ll take the bad news better with candy. ;-)

  91. My mom taught me to…
    (1) be stronger than she was for us (her four children) and
    (2) always dress like you’re about to leave the house – you never know who will be at the door.
    I love her so much…

  92. My mum has taught me:

    1) How to be fair. She always treated her 3 daughters with absolute equality – esp. at xmas time!

    2) How special and homey a pot of Yorkshire tea can be

    3) The 3 steps you take when coming out of the stomach flu. Gatorade, small spoonfuls of canned peach syrup, then dry toast.

    4) Manners, manners manners (& kindness beats all)

    5) Awesome grammar. All those corrections at the dinner table turned me into a grammar snob.

    6) That high school might suck, but college is amazing. She was right.

    7) That she is always there for me

  93. Aww you and Lucy were (are) such cuties! I have to say that since getting married last year, it feels like a whole new realm of perception has opened up and I look at/interact with my mom a little differently. She’s not just a women and a mom, she’s a wife, and it’s been cool to realize that I’m now in that club with her.

  94. My mom taught me: how to wear deodorant (the rest of the world is grateful for that one, too, mom), how to play the piano, how to paint my nails, that Sunday is family day, and that being a rock in a crisis is one of the most valuable qualities a person can have. Love that lady a lot.

  95. My mom passed away almost 9 years ago. I still miss her every day. And I still occasionally absentminded my reach for the phone to call her.

    She taught me so many things. Things that I am still figuring out especially now that I am a mom myself.

    Among them:

    * plants and gardening are healing
    * no one is perfect, and the more perfect they seem, the less they may be.
    * eat small meals often so you don’t get too hungry.
    * don’t apologize for living your life the way you see fit.
    * thunderstorms are more entertaining than TV

    • Hugs to you, Tari. It’s always been a hard time of year for me for this reason too.

  96. Stand up straight and don’t overpluck your eyebrows!

  97. I know how to hang clothes outside on a clothesline in the right order and hung properly with clothes pins. There is a way to do it.

  98. My mom taught me how to cook and bake (most importantly, how to bake the best brownies and chocolate chip cookies), the importance of humor in tough situations, and that worrying will never make you feel better. I can honestly say that she’s my best friend!

  99. *In a marriage, as soon as you’ve realized you’re wrong, apologize.
    *How to keep your sanity while hosting dinner parties/big holidays. (Shortcuts galore!)
    *How to swim and love the beach.
    *Patience and empathy beyond what I naturally have.
    *That my education is the biggest gift in life.
    *How to clean, but also how to know when there are more important things.

  100. i love that my mom always instilled in me that pretty is as pretty does. and that lemon cookies are the best!

  101. ND says...

    This is so sweet! Mine taught me how to write professional-sounding emails, make french toast, and that a guy should take you out to dinner within your first three dates. :)

  102. My mom has taught me:
    -tea and toast is the best remedy for a stomach ache
    -it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed
    -nude nail polish makes your fingers look longer
    -cooking is the best meditation
    -with hard work, you can follow your dreams
    -it’s ok to like trashy tv

    I love my mom!

  103. My mom has taught me to use sunscreen and to take care of my skin. I hope it looks as lovely as hers when I am her age!