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Mama knows best. 

Mother’s Day is almost here and maybe you, like me, are reflecting back on all the advice (unsolicited or not) and guidance your mother gave to you.

Here, I wanted to shared some of those lessons my mom attempted to show me in her own special way. Many of them, left me confused and angry when I was younger. Today, however, I realize more than ever just how valuable those little gems were in shaping who I am, and the woman I’m working to become. I can laugh at these now, but back then they weren’t nearly as funny. Cue the responses below that I thought to myself but didn’t dare speak out loud. I’m sure every mom has uttered at least one or two of these sayings at one point or another, but these 10 were the most common in my household.

1. She taught me how to be patient: “Just you wait until I get home.”

Newsflash: Anticipating punishment is worse than the actual punishment.

2. She taught me how to set boundaries in relationships: “I’m not one of your little friends.”

My mother loved to remind me (quite often, I should add) that she was the parent and not my friend, so mind your manners.

3. She possibly saved me from going blind: “If you keep sitting too close to the TV, you’ll go blind.” Or my personal favorite: “Keep crossing your eyes like that, and they’ll get stuck.”

Even though I know it’s not true, I still maintain a healthy sitting distance from the TV.

4. She was quick to remind me of my genes: “You got that from your daddy.”

All of my positive traits miraculously came from her. The not-so-great ones, however, were courtesy of my father.

5. She somehow explained everything by saying nothing: “Someday, you’ll understand.”

Yeah, still waiting.

Photo: Versie Darrisaw

6. She taught me that things could always get worse: “Stop that crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about.”

But, I’m already crying for a reason.

7. She was the first to instill in me the “look but don’t touch” mentality: “When we get to the store, you better not touch or ask for anything.”

Ahem, why did you bring me on this little shopping excursion, then?

8. She taught me the importance of a smile: “Fix your face, before I fix it for you.”

Translation - If you’re sad and you know it, you better not show it.

9. And how important it was to get eight hours of sleep: “Don’t make me have to come in there.”

Mothers must have super listening powers, because if you even dare to sneak from under the covers, they’ll know.

10. Lastly, she always reminded me of where I came from: “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

Message received.

All silliness and tough love aside, I don’t have enough time or space to thank my mom for everything she’s ever done for me, from allowing me to be my own creative, weird self to sacrificing her own dreams for mine. More than anything she’s ever said, she’s led by example. And the most valuable lesson of all that has stuck with me over the years is that you can accomplish anything, as long as you’re willing to work hard for it. Even while giving me “the look” (you know the one), I admire her for always remaining gracious and poised.

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Mom, you are beautiful, right down to your signature port-wine lipstick and stubborn gray roots. I can only hope to emulate your confidence, conviction, and strength in my own journey. Happy Mother’s Day!