Above: My mom and I at my Granny’s house. I was three, and she was forty. (FORTY!)
I know you probably have a really wonderful mother, too, but I know I have the BEST mother. She has a reputation for being everyone’s mom, whether she’s known them for 10 years of 10 minutes. She’ll always tell you what’s on her mind. The older I get, the more I realize I am turning into her, and I’m pretty proud of that fact. (Neal often catches me in the act of turning into my mother, thus calls me “little Lynn.”)
So, in celebration of Mother’s Day this weekend, I thought I would share 20 life and parenting lessons that everyone can learn from my mother. (You’ll want to take notes, I’m certain of this.)
1. You should always apply perfume by spritzing one spray on your wrist, and then dabbing it on the back of your neck. Otherwise, you’ll give everyone a headache.
2. Never feel obligated to clean your plate if you’re not hungry. There are two kinds of “waste.” The kind that goes into the garbage can, and your actual waist. Either way, your food goes to one of them.
3. If you can’t change your situation, change your attitude. Your bad mood is nobody else’s fault but your own.
4. When your children are being badly behaved, you should threaten that you’ll put bugs in their food when they’re not looking.
5. You should make sure you are educated on how to prevent a toilet from overflowing, as they often do in life. This will save you a lot of embarrassment.
6. You can do hard things. The only one stopping you is yourself.
7. You should always load the silverware face up, or else it won’t get properly cleaned.
8. Learn how to cook. There is no excuse. Don’t be lazy. All it is is following directions. What, you don’t love your family enough?
9. Spoil your children, but don’t spoil them rotten. When your children object to this, you can respond with, “Well yes I have the money to buy you that, but I’m not going to. I love you too much.” They will look back and appreciate this as adults.
10. Never go anywhere without your own bottle of water. You can never be too hydrated.
11. Let your kids learn lessons on their own. For example, when they refuse to get dressed for school, put them in the mini van in their pajamas anyway, and start driving. (“How about that–why, I do have some spare school clothes right here! How lucky for you!”)
12. Don’t take your children out to eat in restaurants until they’re ready to behave properly. In certain cases, this could take 10 years.
13. When your small children do ridiculous things like curse over “god damned toothpaste” in the grocery store, you have permission to laugh.
14. You should call farts “foofs”–this makes them sound less gross.
15. Always keep $20 in a secret compartment in your wallet, just in case of emergency. You never know when you’ll need cash! (NO, the bar does not count as an emergency!)
16. Make your children eat whatever you’re eating for dinner. If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat it. This ensures they won’t grow up annoying and picky.
17. Trust your children, but don’t trust anyone else. This is why you should secretly follow them in the mini van when they go on a run and also make them call you from their friends’ land lines, and put their mothers on the phone when they have sleepovers on Saturday night.
18. Educate your children that a TV dinner, 6 pizza rolls, and a Doctor Pepper is not an acceptable after school snack. (You know, once you get cellulite, it’s VERY hard to get rid of it.)
19. You are NOT your child’s friend. You are their parent. Confusing the two will immediately result in bad parenting.
20. Never ever ever let a day go by without your children knowing how much you love them.
What are some of the best life lessons you’ve learned from your mother?