Monday, September 13, 2010

Life Lessons with My Momma

Yesterday was my Mom 40-something-ish birthday. I'm not being smart trying to hide her age like she's bothered by being old, I just don't know how old she is. Older than 46, younger than 50.

Today's post is going to be a homage to her, of sorts.


  • Scott toilet paper is the only toilet paper you should ever buy.
Every once in a while I stray from the preferred brand, looking for something softer, a better sale. But those brands never last as long and always clog up the toilet. Oh momma, you are wise.

  • Don't talk about bombs in the airport.
This piece of advice was left for me on a piece of paper positioned strategically so it would be the first thing I saw upon opening my carry-on before one of my trans-atlantic flights. This was before 9/11 but after the bombing of several airports in France and Germany. After reading this it took all of my might not to talk about bombs in the airport. I did, however, show everybody that note. And we all thought about bombs and my mom for the rest of the morning, I'm sure.

  • Make your bed every morning, it's a good start for your day.
Organization of the mind and of your surroundings is very important to my mom. Starting your day by straightening up the place you spent all night making a mess of is an excellent way to start your day on the right foot.

  • Shower at night, then sleep-in in the morning.
I don't sleep-in anymore, but I always shower at night (when I actually shower at all...). I feel like it cleanses your body from the yuckiness of the day and you're all clean when you get in your jammies. When I was a teenager, however, I slept in until 8 minutes before my bus would come, get up, brush my teeth, grab my bag and run out the door. I didn't eat breakfast until I was in college. If I hadn't showered at night then, I would have never showered.

  • Do as I say, not as I do.
My parents have made mistakes in their lives and I'm sure they'll continue to do so, just like all of us do as human beings. My mom wanted us to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them.

She also didn't want us to swear. Which she did, fairly often. My mom has a dirty mouth.

  • Think about what you're going to say before you say it.
There are soooo many times I wish I would have listened to this piece of advice more often. I can't even begin to count how many times she told me this while I was growing up. I had a big dumb mouth and got myself and others into a lot of trouble with it. I lost friends, hurt feelings, took advantage of others. I work really hard now at giving all of my thoughts and spontaneous actions a hard once over before I act on them. Being a more thoughtful person is something I really aspire to.

  • Breastfeed your baby, no matter how hard it is.
My mom had five children and nursed four of us. My brother Joshua was born at 26 weeks gestation, before she had produced enough milk for him. She gets teary eyed just talking about her inability to nurse him. When I had problems nursing Rosey, my first child, she told me to stick to it and I did. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done and one of my greatest accomplishments so far in my life. I was able to give my babies all of their food, helped them grow and excel right from my own body. And that brings me to my last piece of advice via my mom:

  • If it's not at least a little bit hard, it's not worth doing.
My mom spoiled us rotten, so this very important lesson didn't really make sense until I was a parent and homemaker. Easy tasks come and go and usually don't teach you a lesson or have any lasting value. Breastfeeding, learning to be a better mother to my children, partner to Jeremiah and daughter to my parents have been my hardest life lessons so far. And as my mom would say, "Some things just suck, so get it done and you won't have to do it again for awhile."

Things that my mother taught me that are not true:

  • Tom Cruise is hot.
  • Patrick Swayze is hot.
  • The Other Sister, Radio and I Am Sam are the best movies of all time.
  • My pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are gross.
  • It's smart to vote straight ticket Democrat (or straight ticket anything for that matter).
  • It's ok to be a fair weather Steeler fan. (We should all bleed Black and Gold all season long!)
  • Lifetime movies are awesome.


liz woodbury said...

your momma's a wise, wise woman. except for that part about tom cruise and patrick swayze, i mean. but don't you know how old she was when she had you?

sassylassy666 said...

your momma is a funny lady, which is where you must have got your funny bone from. Tom Cruise before weirdness: cute - after weirdness: not so cute. Patrick Swayze is an individual taste thing. Keep following most of her advice, especially thinking twice before you act/speak. Very helpful.

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Uh...Patrick Swayze was hot. You had to be the right age when Dirty Dancing came out! should know how old your mother is. Just find out what year she was born and memorize it. It will come in handy on the big birthdays. I'm older than your mom, I know these things!

Ms. Moon said...

Yep. Your mama's wise. Happy birthday to her! And I agree with the straight Dem ticket. I mean- if someone wants to self-identify as a Republican, I don't think I want to vote for them. But that's just me.
And hotness is extremely subjective.

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

awww, your mom has great advice.

except that tom cruise part. she lost me there.

Missy said...

Happy Birthday to your Wise Mother!

Blasé said...

"Tom Cruise is Hot"


diane said...

Tom Cruise is psycho.
I love your mom's advice, and agree with her. I am about 10 years her senior as of yesterday, when I celebrated my birthday too. So happy birthday to you mom! from a fellow Virgo.

otherworldlyone said...

Happy Birthday to your mom! :)

I think 'do as I say, not as I do' is a lesson most parents attempt to convey. But children are obsessed with what is "fair" and that hardly sounds fair, does it? I'm trying to avoid that phrase with my daughter, even though I know it may be unavoidable.

Sigh. My mother LOVES Lifetime.

steff said...

all i know is patrick swayze was TOTALLY hot when i was like 7. i was also 7 so my judgement of "hot" was definitely questionable.
im all about showering at night for both the sleep-in late reasons and for the fact that if i don't do something to flatten my hair before the day starts my hair will dry in a way that makes it look like i got caught in a frizzy windstorm.

Nikki said...

Oh this is great advice. I love how their crushes never waiver. I wonder if I will be telling my kids that Justin Timberlake is hot when I'm a Mom.

My Mom stopped aging at 52 in my eyes..and head.

Mwa said...

How can you not know how old she is??? Good advice, though.

Jeanne said...

Your mom gave you a lot of the same advice I gave my daughter.

And at least one of those things on your 'untrue' list is actually true.

mylittlebecky said...

awwww, happy momma's birthday! good lessons :)

Lora said...

Love this. your mama sounds like my kind of lady.

bitethebedbugs said...

Your mom is a wise one. I especially like the making the bed lesson and the shower at night one. I have also started setting out my clothes. It seems to help me in the morning when I am bleary and standing starting at the clothing options in my closet.