Although there are many people in this world, there’s no one who holds a place in our lives quite like our moms do. Whether she’s your greatest supporter or your toughest critic, the relationship with your mom is incomparable to anyone else — and comes with the ups and downs that make it that way. Regardless of if she happens to be your best friend or someone you wish you spoke to more, the role of our mothers shapes our lives and the expectations we set for ourselves.
In regards to my own experience, my mom is the best person I know — she found everything I lost as a child and continues to comfort me whenever I feel lost as an adult. While I’ve always had a close relationship with her, her transition from being my childhood heroine to a human being has made me appreciate her sacrifices and guidance on a whole new level. Throughout her years of offering me advice, here are the nine things she was completely right about.
1. Self-confidence is key
Who would’ve thought that my middle school crush inviting another girl to the 8th grade dance was the beginning of a riveting life lesson? My mom — which is probably why she told me that his choice had no reflection on my worth. Even though I shrugged off her comment in my teens, I now look back in my 20s and stick by this concept.
The truth about something not working out the way you wish is that it doesn’t correlate to you not being good enough. Instead, it indicates the opportunity might not have been right for you. Life is full of rejection, and the key to not letting it destroy you is to be confident in yourself — to face the bump in the road with determination instead of self-doubt.
2. The friend who wasn’t your friend
Maybe it was the fact that this specific friend was never genuinely happy for me or that she only hung out with me when it seemed convenient, but my mom warned me about her, and it took years of her hurting my feelings to finally accept it. Although I’m not sure whether it’s my mom’s intuition or her wisdom that explains her knowledge, she never fails to have an answer for everything and an accurate judge of character for everyone.
While we might wonder why we so quickly refuse to accept the advice from our moms, it’s not surprising to assume that they probably knew we wouldn’t. It’s their duty to mentor us — even if we don’t always understand their perspective. After all, how would we learn our own lessons if we weren’t given the freedom to make our own decisions?
3. Your curfew will save your life
If I’m ever out too late, I can’t help but hear my mom’s voice calling from the kitchen as she reminds me that it’s important to be home early-ish to get enough sleep. As annoying as this statement was at every point in my life, it’s now one I don’t have to be told twice.
Whereas we tend to label our mom’s advice as overprotective, it becomes more and more apparent (as we grow older) that her remarks are actually filled with experience. Overall, sleep is for the people who want to function in the morning, and your mom trying to enforce this habit in you at a young age meant she (once again) always knows best.
4. Forgiveness is a strength
My friend taking credit for my idea at work was infuriating, and my mom telling me to forgive him was incomprehensible. How could I forgive someone for doing something so blatantly wrong? I honestly couldn’t at the time — and let the bitterness stake claim to my thoughts and interfere with my trust in other coworkers.
Our reactions to situations aren’t always ideal, but our approach to them can be. While holding on to how upset you are with someone will fuel you, letting go of the toxic feeling will free you. Do yourself (and your mind) a favor by accepting that life happens and that forgiving people is an essential part of it.
5. Life is unfair — work hard anyway
The process of growing up and finding your path is difficult, but your mom’s response to your struggles shows that sometimes the tough love is the best love. This lesson was clear to me when I majored in a college subject for five years to only realize I didn’t have any use for it when I changed my career path. While the epiphany that life can be unjust comes with experience, my mom’s encouraging words to start somewhere and never stop fighting for what I cared about is how I started writing for The Everygirl and why my newfound happiness has become so apparent.
6. Your ex was wrong for you
This probably goes hand-in-hand with how my mom has the ability to read someone by simply meeting them, but she called this one from the start. After years of dating my ex (and my mom continuously questioning me on why we were still dating), I discovered this person was wrong for me and that my world didn’t end because the relationship did. As painful as this breakup was, my mom was the first person to comfort me when it ended — and the last person to mention she was right all along.
While your mom not approving of someone you’re dating may come off as a personal attack, it’s more so a genuine concern. Although you may not appreciate her honesty, remind yourself it comes from her wanting the best for you — even if you’re not sure what you want for yourself.
7. Skincare is an investment
From nighttime routines to sheet masks, the process of skincare was a typical routine for your mom before it became a trend everywhere else — which shows just how timeless she really is. In my experience, the question of whether or not I applied sunscreen was my mom’s coined phrase while growing up — and the reason for why I couldn’t forget this in my current morning routine if I tried.
Even though I didn’t understand the importance of investing in my skin at 16 years old, I now recognize that I can’t stay young forever (sigh) and that the chance of dark spots and wrinkles is real and happening. Despite the fact that I originally took care of my skin to stop my mom from yelling at me, I’m now thankful for the habit that’s protecting my appearance and health.
8. The importance of checking your bank account
Who would my mom be without her constant lecturing to budget? Even though sitting through her telling me to stop biting my nails (so I wouldn’t have to pay to get them done) wasn’t something I looked forward to in my early 20s, I can’t thank her enough — because my days of having $3.72 in my bank account are long gone (it’s adult of me, I know).
By this point, we should assume that every piece of “unnecessary” advice your mom gave you was actually the secret to surviving as an adult. Even though you might still have your online shopping splurges, your level of responsibility when handling money is finally something your mom (and bank account) can be proud of.
9. Everything will fall into place
During the lowest points of my life, the reassurances from my mom always seemed to come right before my major breakthroughs. Regardless of how sticky the situation seemed to be, she never showed her panic or worry — call it a mom trait, but she saw my abilities (before I could) and believed in them (even more than I did).
Although your moments of running head first into brick walls and experiencing lengths of time where you’ll feel the world caving in aren’t over, you’ll survive — and your mom will be cheering you on as you do so.
What lessons did you learn from your own mother? Share them with us in the comments below!
This article originally appeared on The Everygirl on November 2, 2017.