April 30

15 Momisms I Wish I’d Paid Attention To Sooner.

Life Management

Moms are smart people! They’ve lived life to the full and gained a lot of wisdom along the way. If we’re lucky, they pass a little of that wisdom along to us in the form of “momisms” – pithy phrases and oft-repeated reminders of how to live with intelligence and grace. Here are 15 momisms from my own wonderful mom. Maybe you’ll recognize them – or even learn a thing or two!

1. Never close your mind.

I love how open-minded my mom is! She’s taught me that an open mind is a doorway to love and understanding. We don’t have to agree with people, we don’t have to like the choices they make, and we certainly don’t have to follow their path – but the least we can do is hear them out, listen to their point of view, and see if there is some way to connect with them. Never close your mind; keep it open to all life has to offer.

2. Feel free to change your mind.

It’s not a sign of weakness to change your mind; it’s a sign that you’re learning, that you’re gaining some wisdom along the way. Believe strongly and act fearlessly, but don’t be afraid to change your mind; a different path or a different process might be the smartest way forward.

3. Bloom where you are planted.

The soil your roots are buried in may be rocky and depleted and the mud you’re currently slopping your way through may feel like you’ll always be in the dark…but it’s not true. In time, you’ll break through and bloom. The key? Keep leaning towards the sunshine.

4. Never carry a handbag that costs more in dollars than you can easily and always carry as extra cash in your wallet.

It’s understandable: we want to look like we’ve got it altogether, but it’s much smarter to actually have it all together. Be honest with yourself and only buy what you can afford. It’s a simple truth, but one that merits repeating.

5. Tip generously.

Waiting on other people is hard and often thankless work. It’s also work that many of us wouldn’t want to do or wouldn’t do well. Be kind to the person serving you. Let your waiter or waitress know how much you appreciate them; tip generously. (I love that my mom taught me this!)

6. Yes, you can.

Self-doubt is normal, but this simple momism – “yes, you can” – has pushed me past it many times. Sometimes, the difference between success and failure is just knowing that someone believes in you. How many times has your mom pushed you just a little bit harder, a little bit further than you thought you could go? It’s that little bit that makes all the difference. (Thanks mom.)

7. Help others.


8. There’s a difference between your needs and your wants.

Learn to identify it. Act on it. Repeat.

9. There are three things every kid needs to learn.

How to read (thank you, mom, for hours and hours of Cubby Bear and Curious George), how to swim, (I was not the easiest of students) and how to be kind to others (I think I’m doing all right with this one, mom). There is so much more that mom taught me and that I’ve learned along the way, but that “how to be kind to others?” That’s the key.

10. Everybody sugars their tea differently.

We are all unique and we all take pleasure in and value our personal uniqueness; that’s a perfectly normal and healthy attitude, but it’s also important to remember that no one is better or worse than you; we are all just different one from another. Value your uniqueness but honor the other guy too. (Got it mom!)

11. Keep your heart open to love.

Bad things may happen to you along the way, but love, especially self-love, will see you through – and there is always a way through. You may not see it today, you may not see it tomorrow, but if you’ll keep your heart open to love, love will show itself and the way will be made clear.

12. Patience is a virtue.

There are loads of times when this momism has been repeated to me (and no doubt will be many more times) – and, wow, do I hate hearing it – why can’t I just have what I want right now! In some ways, we stay children, don’t we? Thank goodness for our moms who keep reminding us, all along the way, that “to everything, there is a season.”

13. Put some money aside for a rainy day.

It’s a guarantee: at some point, financial skies will get cloudy. Your rainy-day fund will help you stay calm and peaceful during the storm.

14. Just get on with it.

I usually heard (and occasionally still do) this momism when I was complaining about something or other. In case you don’t already know, it’s not smart to complain to your mother about anything…at least not to my mother. She’ll listen, very quietly, very attentively, and you will think that she completely understands your whining, sniveling, point of view and is going to take your side, when, wham(!), she lays it on you: quit your complaining and just get on with it. (If you are about to complain to my mom, remember that you have been forewarned!).

15. Listen to your mother; she knows best.

Having argued this point many times in my life, and often to my chagrin, I can completely attest to the truth of this momism. You may disagree with your mom, but at least listen to what she has to say. Mine has proven herself quietly brilliant more times than I can count. Listen to your mother; she really does know best.

I’m lucky, I know; my life has been full of wonderful momisms. I’m thankful for every one of them. Mom’s words of wisdom have helped me through numerous scrapes – physical, financial, emotional – you name it. They’ve kept me from leaping over ledges into too-risky territory that would have left me scarred, they have supported me when life didn’t feel so worthwhile, and they have given me hope over and over and over again. Life is full of wisdom to be learned, but none better than the momisms we are blessed to be guided by.

What’s your favorite momism?



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