My mum was a big believer in making my brother and I wash the dinner dishes before going to bed. As a teenager this drove me absolutely crazy, and when I first moved out of home I reveled in the pure freedom of leaving my dirty dishes sitting on the kitchen sink and going to bed.
Fast forward to several years ago when I was a working mum with three teenage boys, and ‘dishes before bed’ became my mantra – they don’t like it any more than I used to, but their time will come.
What about the advice that it’s disrespectful to be late when you’re expected somewhere at a specific time; be it work, dinner, or even a party. I could never see the problem, I figured that at least we turned up, so better late than never. I had no idea why my mum was so strict on us being on time.
Now when we go to family dinners, I’m frustrated by my brother in-law and his wife who are always late. It drives me crazy and I hear myself reminding my boys that it’s “disrespectful to be late” while we’re sitting in a restaurant waiting for them to turn up.
There’s so many little things that my mother taught me;
- Never wash your whites with colours. My son learnt the reason for me telling him that when his white socks all came out pink.
- If you’re running late, ring and tell someone or leave a message – my boys know it’s not worth upsetting their mother to not let me know where they are and when they’re coming home.
- Never go to bed on an argument – and this one came with further reinforcement that grandma used to always say this too.
- Make sure you wear clean underwear; in case you’re in an accident– you can imagine how much my teenage boys love this one
- She showed me how to hold onto the cuff of my long sleeves before I put a jacket on, so the sleeve didn’t get all bunched up.
- She taught me how to cook healthy wholesome meals and mused about young co-workers who couldn’t even boil an egg.
And some of the golden lessons didn’t need words but came through her example
- Be fair, be honest, and be considerate.
- Never give up. Showing up is half the battle. Perseverance will take you the rest of the way.
- Develop a good work ethic. It makes a difference.
- Be self-sufficient.
- Get organised.
- Keep your promises.
- Mind your manners.
- How to be a loving parent
My mum wasn’t perfect – none of us are, but probably the greatest thing she ever taught me was that I could do anything I put my mind to – she taught me to believe in the impossible. I hope that my boys appreciate the little lessons on life as much as I appreciated mine. I know I smile when my mum’s words slip from my lips.
What was the best thing your mum taught you?
This is an original World Moms Blog post by Inspiration to Dream of Adelaide, South Australia. Fiona can be found writing or reading in every spare moment that isn’t filled up with work, her three boys, her gorgeous grandson and of course with a bit of spare time thrown in for hubby as well.
Photo credit to the author