Respect for life. Independence. Family values. Life-altering fashion tips. What do all of these things have in common? They’re lessons we learned from our moms!
From the time you first stepped into your kindergarten classroom to the moment you received your college diploma, you’ve had more teachers than you can probably remember. There’s no denying the impact every educator has had on your life and the lives of countless others. But this time of year, it’s appropriate to pay tribute to the first teacher you ever had.
In honor of Mother’s Day, members of the Babble community came together to share the most important tips, tricks, and secrets our moms have taught us over the years. Through the good times and the bad (including those infamously horrible teenage years), one thing will always remain the same — moms are our closest, best, and longest lasting teachers.
Check out these 15 funny and inspiring lessons we learned from our mamas. Happy Mother’s Day!
—Caitlin Morton and Caitlin Palmer
image-3575 1 of 16
What’s important 2 of 16It's hard for me to pinpoint a singular lesson that my mom has taught me. She isn't really one for sayings (though she is favorable to "I'm not a nag, I'm a motivational speaker"). Instead my mom has instilled in me the values that I consider incredibly important; she's taught me to be kind, to have a sense of humor, and to care for all things. I always find it difficult to boil down the things you've learned from those close to you into a neat, concise paragraph; all I know is that I've learned, and continue to learn, a lot, and I love her so much. Happy Mother's Day, mom!
—Aaron Bernstein, Operations Coordinator
The importance of family 3 of 16The greatest lesson I learned from my mom? The importance of family. She taught my sisters and me that while friends may come and go, your family will always be there for you with arms wide open and without judgment. Her unconditional love is something to be admired. That and her killer shopping skills.
—Jennifer Gimbel, Associate Editor
How to take a compliment 4 of 16Never dispute a compliment paid to you ("You like these jeans? Omg, they're so old"). Simply smile and give a genuine, "Thank you."
—Aela Mass, Pregnancy Blogger
The magical powers of books 5 of 16My mom was the one who introduced me to the magical and transportive powers of books. So many of our joint experiences have hinged on our love of reading — we marveled at "The Very Quiet Cricket" 20 years ago, named our family cat after Anne Shirley, and continue to cry over the fate of Severus Snape to this very day. I completely owe her for the childlike imagination I have retained as a grown-up.
—Caitlin Morton, Editorial and Social Media Intern
That she will ALWAYS be there 6 of 16Your mom is always your best friend. My mom used to always say this to me when I was a pre-teen/teen and would have big fights with friends, and my silly teenage self would brush that line off (even though I did always come to her when I was sad). Only as an adult, as I've come to her with much more serious problems, did I realize the truth in her words. If you can't cry to your mama, who can you go to? Now I actually seek out her advice. (She was also right about being the best mom in the world.)
—Alexandra Martell, Blogger Development Lead
Right and wrong 7 of 16Always stand your ground and stick up for what you know is right.
—Danielle Elwood, Toddler Blogger
The little things and big things 8 of 16My mom taught me the importance of friendships, the multiples of 3 up to 39, to "just say no" to tube tops, and that patience is a virtue (still working on that last one). Oh, and that the way to ANYONE'S heart is through their stomach. Seriously, you should come over for dinner.
—Andrea Roxas, Editor
All about beauty 9 of 16My mom taught me all the important girl stuff: that my "bronze" make-up look was too dark for my skin (it was), that I would regret the tattoo and belly-button piercing (I do) and that SPF 8 is not an appropriate defense against the Mexican sun unless you want your nose to swell to the size of a porpoise (I've destroyed all photos from that trip). Love you, Mom!
—Andrea Zimmerman, Senior Manager of Blogs and Social Media
How to find love 10 of 16My mom once told me that "maybe means no." And I never, ever forgot it. Critics would say that it led me to look for faults in the women I dated; but it also led to me waiting 'til I was 36 to marry the perfect woman for me.
—John Cave Osborne, Babble Voices Blogger
Photo credit: iStock
Look for the best in others and yourself 11 of 16The biggest thing my mother taught me is compassion. She's very patient with people, willing to overlook their flaws and celebrate their attributes. All of her friends are so different and yet she's loved equally by all of them. I rarely hear her speak negatively of anyone without providing some benefit of the doubt. In my younger years, I considered this trait of hers a weakness, making her vulnerable to manipulation. Now I understand that in forgiving others, we forgive ourselves.
—Dara Pettinelli, Senior Manager of Editorial
The ultimate motivation 12 of 16My mom has given me such influential advice through the years that it's hard to pick the best piece. But one thing she always told me growing up is, "If you want something bad enough, you'll get it." I know that's a simple idea, but it's what I've always kept in mind — and it's been a huge motivator in my life.
—Mindy Carstensen, Editorial Assistant
Be confident 13 of 16I never realized how little self-esteem my mother had until one day, when she was praising me and my sisters for being such strong women. My mom shies away and hates confrontation, but she encouraged and bolstered my own confidence in a way that's mysterious to me. How could this woman teach me something she didn't know personally? In some ways, she had to, as she raised three girls who identified as "black" because of the world we were going to come up against. This lesson came with the caveat, "You must be strong and stand up for yourself," even when she behaved just the opposite. It was a powerful lesson.
—Kelly Wickham, Babble Voices Blogger
Help others whenever possible 14 of 16Some of my earliest memories of my mom involve her helping people. If an elderly person needed assistance crossing a street, my mom was there to lend the crook of her arm. If a person in my apartment building was sick and out of groceries, my mom would shop for them. My mother isn't just a kind person — she is generous with her kindness. I am nowhere near her level of awesome-ness, but she has taught me the joy of helping others. Every day I try do that at Love That Max, my inspirational blog for parents of kids with special needs. My mom is proud of me for that, but she'd still like me to help more little old ladies across the street!
—Ellen Seidman, Babble Voices Blogger
Photo is of Ellen's mother and daughter
Push yourself to greatness 15 of 16My mom enrolled me in everything, often without my consent: piano lessons, acting lessons, swimming lessons, gymnastics, basketball, math classes, you name it. She wasn't a Tiger Mom, but she certainly pushed my sister and I to our limits, wanting us to channel our inner greatness and be the best we could be. At the time, it really sucked having to perform with an acting troupe at the mall and engaging in multiplication competitions when other kids were watching cartoons, but I appreciate it now and I know I'll probably be the exact same way with my kids (God bless them.)
—Valerie Lai, Integrated Program Manager
A family motto 16 of 16When we were little my mom used to tell us not to wear underwear at night. So we made up the adage, "His mother taught him ... to air out his bottom."
—Kacy Faulconer, Entertainment Blogger
What is the best lesson your mother ever taught you? Let us know in the comments section!
Photo credit: Veer