humor, Life Lessons

Advice from My Mom {And How It Applies to My Franticmommy Life}

advice from mom

Not too long ago, I had the privilege of hanging out with my mom and sister, looking at old pictures and reminiscing about “old times.” It find that, the older I get, the more I appreciate my family. My funny, sometimes annoying, often elusive family…is still da bomb in my book.

Yes. that's me with the insanely SHORT hair.
Yes. that’s me with the insanely SHORT hair.

I also recall (I think my mom may have reminded me) that I was a complete poophead to my parents as a teen and a complete drama queen in my younger years. The “drama queen” mention came up after I mentioned that our 8 year-old daughter was in a hateful drama-queen mood that day and we would all do well on treading lightly and steering clear of the little demon spawn.

That observation was followed by a volley of Comments from the Peanut Gallery that included, “She comes by it honest!” and “The apple didn’t fall from the tree, eh?!”

I know not of what they speak. #denial.

As I shot back a mock-scold at my sister, using her FULL name( including middle name).. I suddenly realize that Oh-my-bloody-hell, I’ve officially become my mother.  Not that it’s all bad because quite honestly, as I reflect back on my adult life and all that I have been through, I can’t help thinking how all those pieces of advice I thought were “dorky” as a teen are now pretty profoundly woven into my life now. Here are a few of the most stand-outee gems of motherly wisdom:

Speak now or forever hold your pee: My beloved grandmother was the originator of this catchy little diddy, and as you can tell it’s spin on this line was; “Speak now or forever hold your peace” that we all have heard spoken as wedding vows. My mom, bless her little heart, kept this one alive for years to come as a customary command to poll me and my sister as to who needed to use the lady’s room before embarking on a family outing. The message in all of this silliness is, speak up. Be heard. If you missed the opp to speak up, you will miss the chance at opportunities {including the option of traveling in dry under-grunders.}

Your Face Will Freeze That Way: If you never had a moment in your childhood when, while hamming it up and mugging some not-so-attractive faces, your parents didn’t mutter that command….you are either B.Sing me or you have Scary Bad Memory Issues. Obviously our faces weren’t going to freeze with our noses pushed up into a pig-snouted look, but it was a three-fold message:

  • 1. Screwing up your face or inverting your eyelids will only get you labeled as cray-cray in adult life.
  • 2. The more you do something, the more it becomes a habit and bad habits are hard to break.
  • 3. Pig-snouted look may have been funny when you were eight, but it is now considered a cultural faux pas and un-politically correct move that may gain you an angry call from Miss Piggy.

Bird of a Feather Flock Together: This was mom’s way of alerting us to the importance of who we chose to keep company with. Hang with riff-raff, you will be considered riff-raff. Keep company with smart people with a good reputation, you yourself will be viewed the same. Not that hanging out in the 4H Chicken Experts group made me a irresistible guy-magnet, but the experience of keeping company with normal folks who didn’t cut, steal or smoke weed obviously helped me in the Big Picture of Life.

Don’t Tell Others What You Don’t Want The World to Know: This is especially true these days with social media. Once you put something “out there” on the WWW…it is “out there” FOREVER. No take-backs or do-overs. Much like personal details and gossip. Once you say hurtful things, it’s hard to take it back. If sharing something private and sensitive, be really careful who you share it with because it is bound to get shared with others regardless. You may think that telling your childhood BFF Suzie about your back hair issues is a “bonding moment,” but once someone plies little Suzie with large doses of Kool-Aid, I promise loose-lips-will-sink-ships.

If You’re Going to Run With the Big Dogs You Better Learn How to Pee in the tall Grass: OK, many this one was from dad. Basically it means; if you are going to tout yourself as an expert in any field, you better have the knowledge and hard work to back it up. Running with the big dogs means walking your talk, backing up your skills with proof and knowing how to play the game. Fronters and fakers are usually quickly discovered and called out and you don’t want to the “that” person. I work very hard to maintain my virtual assistant/blogger/freelance writer status by reading, writing and taking as many courses as I have time for. Thanks, dad.

big dogs

 Can’t Never Did Anything: This was my mom’s stock answer to our childhood wail, “I CAN’T” as in, I can’t tie my shoe, I can’t figure out math, I can’t fix my bike. This was a very effective way of nudging us out of “feeling sorry for myself” mode and into “problem-solver” mode.

Side Note: To this day, I hate the word “can’t.” If I ever feel I can’t do something, I check myself and find a way.

Walk a Mile In Their Shoes: My mom used to say, ” You know that kid at school who is mean? He/she might just be lonely and in need of attention. That lady you think looks funny? She is a human-being just like us who has feelings and emotions. That smelly homeless guy with the sign standing alongside the road could be struggling with things that are only in our worst nightmares.”

Our mom always instilled in us to Treat Others as You Wish to Be Treated and never judge people based on appearance alone. Good stuff.

What sage advice from your mom do you apply to your adult life?

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