It’s been a while since I presented my mother with sticky home-made cards that shed macaroni and glitter. With three offspring of my own, these days Mother’s Day is more about me. From this great vantage point, I now realize my mother was right all along. What’s more, I’ll bet yours was, too.
Here are some things mothers say that are right on the money.
“Don’t sit out in the sun all day long.”
She may have droned on about getting heatstroke and prickly heat. But she was also protecting you against sunburn, skin cancer, cataracts, and premature wrinkles.
That’s what mothers do. They protect their young.
“Pick up your clothes.”
Your mum thought it was slovenly and untidy, but you had to learn for yourself, didn’t you? Maybe you couldn’t find your wallet, you tripped arse over tit on a pile of shirts, or the cat threw up on your best jeans. You get around to using hangers eventually.
“You’re wearing far too much make-up.”
The stuff you applied with a trowel didn’t look nearly as good in real life as it did in your bedroom mirror. But it’s even less flattering when you’re 50. Your mum just wanted you to ditch the panda eyes before you looked totally ridiculous.
“Wash your hands.”
Hands look a lot better when they’re clean, but that’s not the real point. Washing your mitts often is the single best thing you can do to prevent common infections like colds and even flu.
“Remember to say Please and Thank you.”
Kids who mind their manners reflect well on their parents, but that’s not the whole story. They also become adults that people like being around – whether it’s at work or socially – and like doing things for.
“No TV till you finish your homework.”
That was so unfair, as no doubt you pointed out. But your mum wanted you to learn a few more important life skills, like concentration, perseverance, and becoming a completer-finisher. More on Belbin team roles here.
“Sit up straight.”
You were determined to slouch like the archetypal sullen adolescent. But your mother hoped you’d reap the benefits of good posture:
- Less stress on vertebrae and ligaments, so less back pain
- Spine less likely to become fixed in the wrong position
- Better breathing
- Looking younger and slimmer.
There’s more info from BackCare.
“Turn down that noise.”
Maybe she was just after a bit of peace and quiet, but it was the best advice for your ears too. Noise exposure is a major cause of permanent hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is often gradual, and it’s cumulative. That ringing in your ears after a gig? It means the hair cells of your cochlea are already damaged.
So go on. If you’ve got a mother, make a fuss of her on Mother’s Day, and, while you’re at it, throw in the rest of the year as well. She won’t be around forever.
Note for US readers: In the UK, Mother’s Day is today, March 6, and its correct name is Mothering Sunday. And falling arse over tit is a very common expression.
I’m taking a little break to edit my novel, so this blog will be back in a couple in a couple of weeks. See you then.