1. Katja says...

    “Life is sad without tomatoes”, my mum always says, and she’s so right!

  2. Tierney says...

    My mom always says, “you are fully empowered”. This touches just about everything in life– you are empowered to choose how you feel, how your react, how you treat others. It also means taking responsibility for your actions and life choices. Sometimes I feel frustrated when I come to her feeling down because someone said something that hurt my feelings, or I want to whine about my day, and she responds with this instead of sympathy. But I know she’s preparing me to stand on my own two feet and live my life to the fullest.

    A happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms and mother figures out there!

  3. My mom always advices me to go back to bed whenever I plan to watch movie at late night even she wants me to wake earlier but I start sleeping at 3.am bt I love her n want her to do all this always as this all shows her care ….

  4. VVeronika says...

    Oh I loved this!! Especially that I didn’t like The Goldfinch :-) Now I feel much better about not finishing it. I felt kind of a pressure, as its famous and won prizes … but it just didn’t work for me.

    • Tierney says...

      I didn’t care for it, either!

  5. Abby says...

    Always and forever, whenever I found myself spiraling into anxiety late at night, my mom would advise me to go to bed. “Everything looks better in the morning with a good night’s sleep,” she’d say. And she’s right! Now I find myself advising the same thing to my husband, my sister…and my mom still reminds me of this whenever I call in a panic.

  6. Ela says...

    My mom’s advice: never leave the house without lipstick.

    Her quick go-to look was–and still is–bright coral lipstick and big black movie star sunglasses.

  7. Meg says...

    “It’ll look brighter in the morning.”

    This is STILL the truest mom phrase. No matter how bad of a day it is or what terrible thing happened, my mom has assured me without fail that it will be just a little better the next morning. And she’s always right.

  8. Jona Dela Cruz Hilario says...

    The goldfinch is also the book I could not finish.

  9. Martha Patterson says...

    My mom often said, “Your ship will come in someday”…and various variations of it…she was right!
    My grandmother shared her fix it when she was feeling depressed….go buy a new bra! Keep in mind, she was born in 1913 and dies when she was 94!

  10. Rebecca says...

    My wonderful mum has never ever left us without a properly made up bed. It was the one thing she always did before she left me or my brother at university; whenever we move into a new house now, my mum always makes sure we have a properly made bed with clean sheets before she goes. It’s such a wonderful thing to sink into at the end of a long day and the clean smell of freshly laundered sheets at that time always feels like a big reassuring hug from my mum.

  11. Riley says...

    Mine always said, “take a shower and then see if you feel better.” She was so right.

  12. My mom’s two most important pieces of advice are:
    “you have to flip your own switch” –meaning, only you can make you happy again. It might sound frustrating, but now I realize how much power it gave me to control my own feelings.
    When I faced a decision where I didn’t know what to do: “There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ decisions. Just decisions and consequences. You won’t know if it’s bad or good for a long while.” I can’t tell you how helpful this advice has been in my life, how it helped me make decisions instead of just waiting for life to happen to me or agonizing over every choice. Having the perspective of time makes me realize how wise her advice is. A decision which seems wrong now can be the best one you ever make.

    • Elizabeth says...

      Tawnya, I just wanted to thank you for posting this. I have a hard relationship with my mom, who’s a narcissist and hardwired me to feel constantly guilty and responsible for the feelings and experiences of those around me. I’m only now figuring out how to deal with this, and that it will be a lifelong process for me. This mother’s day I thought of your mom’s words many times and they were very comforting.

  13. I grew up in an Asian household and my mother taught me that trick of measuring your rice water with the tip of your finger. Most Asian families do this – I live alone now and this has been my default rice-cooking technique for my entire life. Only at 21 did I learn the use of the rice measuring cup. Who needs it?

    The most sacred of my mother’s advice is the ways she taught me to be resourceful.

  14. Claire says...

    “I’m not letting you out of this car until you yell f%@k really loudly. Here, I’ll demonstrate. F%@K!!!”

    For context:
    My mom drove me to high school most mornings as it was on the way to her office. One morning, I was recounting a recent experience in which I’d felt really uncomfortable due to the way a creepy guy had been looking at me in public. I was already running late for school and vividly remember that anxious feeling of wanting to get out of the car and run to class. But she refused to let me go until I’d screamed f%@k at the top of my lungs.

    (She was also the type of mother to chastise us with, “language!” if my brother or I swore, making this experience all the more memorable!)

    • Sarz says...

      I love this! I’m about to head off to a shift at my restaurant, and I’m not terribly thrilled at the prospect. I’m going to consider your mum’s advice before I exit the car. :p

  15. CandiceZ says...

    You never know how long you have –
    My mom started saying this and explained this to me when I was a toddler and she said she told me she loved me so often because if she never came back she’d want me to know it, as we never know how long we have.

    I think about this every day, especially now that I have little people of my own.

    Love my Marmie ❤️

  16. Abesha1 says...

    “Always make your bed when you get up, that way at least you know you did one thing right and it’ll feel so nice to get into it later.”

    “You’ll figure it out.”

  17. Becca says...

    Don’t drink anything you didn’t pour yourself, hahaha. She was maybe a little paranoid in the middle school/high school years!

  18. Claire says...

    Speaking as someone who forced themselves to finish The Goldfinch, DON’T DO IT

    • amy says...

      Hahahahaha yes! Same!

      So odd though, bc The Secret History Is my all-time favorite novel. I still recommend that one, even if you hated goldfinch!

    • Kristin says...

      Yes totally agree! I finished it because I felt like I had to and I was miserable!

  19. This made me smile because I bought my mama fresh sheets for Mother’s Day this year! She’s always wanted linen sheets but has never thought she’s worth the splurge. Can’t wait for her to enjoy her nice fresh sheets!

    • Kari says...

      What a wonderful gift idea! My mom and I have had that conversation too (aka me going on “omg mom you haaaave to get some linen sheets!!!”). I’ll remember this for the next gift occasion!

  20. Sarah says...

    Don’t put anything in your mind (tv shows, scary movies, books etc.) that you don’t want to stay. Once in there, it’s there forever!

    Thanks, Mom. This is legitimately good advice I still continue to live by as much as possible.

  21. Erin says...

    Just wanted to say thank you for a post you did last year about mother’s day being difficult for some. I still think about that post and read the comments several times, as I have a strained relationship with my mother. That post and those comments were very healing for me and I still think of them often.

  22. Emily L says...

    I’m wondering if anyone has advice for someone who just lost a mother this Mother’s Day? My mother-in-law died 3 weeks ago (no, not from COVID, people still die regardless of the pandemic) and my husband is not looking forward to all the Mother’s Day messages out there.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so sorry, emily xo

    • Meg says...

      Oh Emily, I feel you on this.
      My father succumbed to cancer on Father’s Day a few years ago (real funny, Dad!) and every year when the advertisements ramp up I get sad. There is a particular pain in a holiday everyone is celebrating that brings up tough feelings for you personally.
      My advice, and it may be too soon this year, is this: Lean in to your feelings about your loved one. In other words: embrace your grief. That includes permission to brood, cry, take a walk, look at pictures, eat something they would have loved OR stay in your PJs and rewatch The Great British BakeOff and do nothing.
      Last year I made chicken and dumplings for my family…not a usual meal for us, but it was fun to honor my dad in that way.
      Also talking to a friend who has a lost a parent is helpful too. Especially if it is someone you can cry and laugh with. Grief is surprising like that, you might find yourselves hysterically laughing and then sobbing the next minute. Let yourself and your husband feel your feelings.
      Sending big love to you and your husband and family. Go easy on yourselves. Also, you are allowed to ignore this holiday!

    • Martha Patterson says...

      Dealing with the same thing, as my husband lost his mom in September. I got a card for him, and sent notes and small gifts to his siblings, knowing that Mothers Day will be a little different this year. Did the same for my mom and aunt the first Mothers Day after my grandma died…sent them flowers.

  23. Emily says...

    So glad I quit the goldfinch and every other book that wasn’t making me feel more alive. Thanks mom!

    • Maria says...

      Oh my god, i came to say the same thing. I quit that book as I couldn’t see a reason why i should get depressed when reading.

  24. Olivia says...

    My mom is a force brimming with wisdom. Some of my faves:
    -Jumping jacks and vitamin D are good for what ails you.
    -Almost anything is interesting if you ask the right questions.
    -Never stop dating your spouse. (40+ years in, she and my dad still treat each other like boyfriend and girlfriend in all the best ways.)

    • Sarz says...

      As a member of the Those Who Have Lost Their Mother or Have a Strained Relationship With Theirs Club, may I say that yours sounds absolutely charming. Have you considered loaning her out? XD

    • Olivia says...

      Sarz, she’d be down for that! SendiMy love on what I’m sure is a complicated day. Xx

  25. Ellie says...

    My mom’s go-to advice, no matter the situation, is, “why don’t you have a glass of water?” Haha!

    • Julia says...

      Mine too! :)

    • Sadie says...

      Mine too. I hate it.

  26. Maureen says...

    Ignore the naysayers. As someone who focuses too much on other people liking me, this has been a good one :)

  27. Christina says...

    ”Det blir inte roligare ” – It will not get more pleasant. As in, do that boring task immediately, it will not get better.
    I always disliked that advice as a child, but oh how right she was.

    • Olivia says...

      Is that Swedish? My first thought was, “That’s such good advice.” Then when I popped it into translate and saw that it was Swedish, it seemed fitting. My Mormor definitely embraced the “No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” philosophy — which I of course pass along to my daughters. For better or worse, my 3yo now views rainstorms as perfect outdoor weather.

    • Christina says...

      Yes, it is Swedish :-)!
      And your grandmother was perfectly right. Were we to wait for ”nice” weather we wouldn’t get outdoors much, ever!

  28. Jen says...

    “the Holy Spirit goes to bed at midnight/the devil comes out at midnight” — apparently nothing righteous happens in the wee hours. Ha!
    “Who says what’s in style? You or Hollywood?” – annoyed me so much when I was a teen but have long since realized she was telling me not to do something just because everyone else was.

    I already know what my daughter will say in a couple decades — “You probably just need to drink more water” as a cure for anything that ails you. Ha!

  29. NICOLE says...

    Ha. I washed the sheets yesterday and this morning I woke up and said, “Why is it that fresh sheets feel so nice?” Mom was right!

  30. Elly says...

    As a preteen/teen I felt a LOT of guilt over not wanting to finish books I wasn’t enjoying and would make myself power through them. My grandmother was actually the one who gave me the “life’s too short” spiel and I took it to heart. She’s a big reader and I realized there was nothing weak or bad about not finishing a book — it just gives you more time to read books you actually enjoy!

  31. ” The easiest path is to tell the truth”
    “Every cloud does have a silver lining”!
    “Look people in the eye when you are talking to them”

  32. Toni says...

    My favorite classic (grand)mom advice: take a shower, get dressed, and put on your lipstick. Nothing makes me feel better than looking like my normal self right now. Plus it’s a huge confidence boost when colleagues comment on zoom calls that I look great when in reality I just look like normal me, just not in pajamas.

  33. Julia says...

    Wear something ironed.

  34. Maura says...

    “Get outside!”

    • Olivia says...

      Yes!

  35. Carly says...

    Don’t touch your eyebrows! Meaning don’t pluck/tweeze beyond the very errant hair. Great advice as a teen growing up in the early 2000’s! This isn’t advice but she also used to say ‘there’s no calories if you eat it over the sink’ and I still think of that when I’m snacking there :)

  36. Lana says...

    “Tan fat’s better than white fat.” Lol! My mom, who had always been on the heavy side, used to wear bikinis to the beach when we were kids and she would always say this. Still makes me and my sister laugh.

  37. Theresa says...

    “The world is a different place when you are tired”

    “Do the best you can with the time you have” – this got me through a lot of panic filled nights during my university and grad school.

    I love my mom!

  38. V says...

    The 20 minute nap. Honestly, I will never understand. It takes me 20 minutes to fall asleep!

    • Kari says...

      Ha! Yes, my mom believes a 20 minute nap can fix anything! Always her suggestion, “Why don’t you go lie down for 20 minutes? Have a little rest.”

  39. Adel says...

    Wait, I loved the Goldfinch-Literally my fav book! am I in the minority here??

    • Marni says...

      I read it three times! What can i say…i just love it :)

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      Haha I liked it too, but it is one of the super long books that everyone raves about that one might feel they had to slog through even if they didn’t enjoy. Actually the first time I tried to read it I didn’t finish it but came back to it years later on a long holiday and it was perfect.
      I made an active choice to stop reading “a little life” on the other hand because while it was obviously very good, it was just upsetting me so much it wasnt worth it. :)

    • AP says...

      omg pure torture! Hated every minute and I regret how much time I spent reading it

    • Adel says...

      Sounds like a polarizing book- love it or hate it

    • Laura says...

      Me too! Loooooved it.

    • Wendela says...

      I liked it a lot, too! That was my first thought when I saw this, and I was surprised so many people here said they didn’t like the book.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m in the love camp! Read it from the library and recently bought my own copy – something about it made me want to actually have it physically. I find myself thinking about parts of it frequently. I think it is a real Marmite read clearly 📚

    • Beth says...

      I loved it, want to reread it, and am raising my hand to say feel personally victimized by this cartoon. (I am joking but I do love the book!)

  40. Laura says...

    “Don’t let other people live rent free in your head”

    • Adel says...

      Omg- my mother always says that!

  41. Kiana says...

    “The lazy works twice”
    . It’s a way of saying, do something right the first time because if you half ass it, you’ll just have to do it over again.
    I now say this to my kids all the time (and my husband).

  42. Elise says...

    Outsource what you can if it gives you a little bit more joy in the day. Maybe someone to come and do the weeding in the garden every couple of weeks or a cleaner once a month.

    A luxury, yes, but resentment is down 80% in our household!

  43. Erin says...

    Ha, my mom’s version of “a big salad” is “When it’s too hot to cook, you should eat a big plate of fruit and cottage cheese.” Sometimes when I was a kid and it was really hot, we ate this dinner in our basement. The house didn’t have air conditioning. Good times!

    • Amelie says...

      We used to eat that when I was a kid but I did not know anyone else who ate that ! 🙂

  44. Austeja says...

    GO. FOR. A. WALK = a cure for everything, from insomnia to global economic collapse.

  45. Rebecca says...

    “Be kind, be careful, be classy”

  46. Julie says...

    Also shout out to my dad — “it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” I heard this one over and over during my childhood!

  47. frankie says...

    Fresh. Sheets!

  48. Julie says...

    “You’re just tired.” I hated hearing it as a kid but as an adult I realize how right she was!

  49. CEW says...

    Not from my mother, but from Julie Bogart’s book The Brave Learner… I don’t have the exact wording, but she talked about how if you’re taking care of your children, they’re NOT going to be “grateful” to you for every little thing you do. Kids that are abused or neglected are grateful for every scrap of kindness they’re given. Kids that are loved and loved and loved are going to take that love for granted. As they should.

    This isn’t to say you don’t raise children to be thankful, appreciative, and aware of the good in their lives. But you can’t stand there feeling sorry for yourself when your kid doesn’t thank you for every sacrifice you’ve ever made. Just…relax.

  50. Nancy says...

    “This too shall pass.” It always annoyed me when I was younger, but now that I’m in my 50’s, it’s my personal mantra.

  51. Monika says...

    My mom’s advice is really precious to me now that she’s no longer here to give it herself. She always said ‘don’t talk to small children like their idiots. They’re humans too.’ She also said ‘always trust your gut, it’s never wrong.’ I hated this piece of advice when I was younger because I knew she was right! English was her second language, and though her English was awesome, sometimes she’d get the pronunciation or words wrong, and it made for lovely advice all the same; ‘ don’t let the bustards get you down!’ Mother’s Day is a bittersweet for me, but I like these quiet moments where I can remember what a fantastic mom and human she was.

    • Tina, NYC says...

      Monika, your mom sounds amazing and she raised a beautiful person. I can feel it through your words. Sending you a big cosmic hug right now and holding you and your mom’s memory up to the light of the universe.

    • Monika says...

      Tina, what a gorgeous, big-hearted thing to say, thank you so much for your words! I hope you are (and stay) well and safe!

  52. Micah says...

    My mom tells me about fresh sheets every other day…

  53. Anna says...

    “A sorrow shared is a burden halved”. I find myself saying this a lot lately, especially to friends who apologize for sharing their sorrows. There’s something really lovely about sharing a sorrow with a friend, and bearing witness to theirs. It truly does ease the burden.

  54. Katie says...

    “It’s all in the way you look at it.” and “Make sure you send a thank-you note.”

  55. M says...

    There has been only one piece of advice. It has been repeated to me over and over and over again. “Be yourself,” she says.

  56. Rebekah says...

    SO GLAD to see that someone else out there didn’t enjoy The Goldfinch and couldn’t finish it! Haha!

    • Natalie says...

      Same!

    • Emma says...

      I finished it because I’m a fast reader but it definitely definitely should have been 150 pages shorter.

    • Julia says...

      I didn’t finish it. I gave it my best effort, and didn’t even care enough to Google the ending.

  57. Rusty says...

    “Stay out of the cold night air.”
    “Don’t use your teeth” to open things.
    “You’re my good girl” and as the youngest of her 6 daughters, that became a self fulfilling prophecy I’ve lived up to. Ha!

  58. Kari says...

    I’ve moved a lot in the last decade. Moved apartments in the same neighborhood, moved cities, moved countries. Every time I’m moving in someplace new, Mom reminds me, “Always set your bed up first. That way you can just go to bed and call it a night whenever you get tired of unpacking.” Classic mom advice.

    • Frankie says...

      Oh I love this one. I’m lucky that usually when I’ve moved my mom is the one there setting it up, before moving straight on to kitchen dishes and glassware.

  59. Michelle says...

    Put yourself first.

  60. leslie says...

    We call them “crisp sheets” in our house and my kids LOVE crisp sheet day.

  61. LP says...

    If you have a headache, drink some water and take a nap before popping that Advil.

  62. Nicki says...

    Sleep is the best medicine.

  63. Gretchen says...

    I wish I had taken that advice about The Goldfinch.

    My Mom’s advice was to smile — your feelings will follow your actions. Thanks, Mom!

  64. Nicki says...

    There’s a solution to everything.

    Life is a give and take.

    By the time you’re married, you’ll laugh about this.

    (These are loosely translated from German.)

  65. Emily says...

    Me: “Mom, it hurts when I do this.” Mom: “Then don’t do that.”

    • Maddie says...

      Same! Always!

  66. Molly says...

    Don’t expect to be thanked for doing your job.

  67. Holly says...

    “No whining!”
    And, my personal favorite: “It’s OK to cry.” I guess when I was really little I used to try to hold in my tears, so she told me it’s ok to cry, and I haven’t stopped since!

  68. Molly Connolly says...

    My Italian mom’s advice: always rub the extra olive oil that drips from the bottle when cooking on your hands and elbows :)

    • Jane says...

      This is the best advice I have heard in months!

  69. Barbara says...

    Always pack a bathing suit! You never know if you’ll need it, and they take up so little space :-)
    (And also, always bring a sweater… haha)

  70. Andrea says...

    The cardinal sin in our house growing up was putting dirty feet in clean sheets. Each night before bed, I would go to my Mom to get a kiss and a blessing. She’d then send me off with the eternal advice of, “Wash your feet and go to bed.”

  71. My mom’s advice: go outside. Wash your hands. Call your mother. Don’t call me “mother.”

    • Another Olga says...

      Love this!