15 Times Mom Was Totally Right After All
We've all ignored Those Calls. Sometimes, you don't want to explain how to setup the DVR for the 100th time or explain why grandkids are taking a while. Maybe she called 14 times in a row to tell you that she checked the weather and it looks like rain ... so you need to driveextracarefully. Well, buck up: Daughters with pushy moms are more successful down the line than those whose moms nagged less — because mother reallydoesknow best.
Remember when your mom side-eyed your new friend who talked back to her? She probably had a point. In elementary school, Nicky's mom disliked one of her pals. "She would always tell me that this girl was a bad influence and to stay away," says Nicky, 30. Nicky didn't listen, and years later they had a huge falling out. "I was wrecked for months," she says. Now, Nicky keeps her standards high — and makes sure she trusts her instincts.
Your mom might be thelastperson on Earth you want to hear from when it comes to your love life, but whether you want to think about it or not, she's been there, done that. "My mom has a sixth sense about romantic stuff," says Hannah, 27. "The biggest thing she taught me was the 'decency test:' If a guy isn't decent when you reject him or when he rejects you, he's absolutely not worth your time."
We're constantly putting our opinions in writing on social media. Sometimes, you may want to think twice. "The year after college, I wrote a blog detailing my drunken adventures and sexual conquests, thinking only my friends would read my posts, but not really caring if anyone else did," says Gina, an editor in her 30s. "I shamed nemeses in thinly-veiled aliases, i.e. Don for my ex Jon. I thought I was being honest and free, but I was just foolish, careless and just plain stupid. Ten years later (and now sober), I am still learning the consequences of my lack of discretion. The posts have been long deleted, but I still have them saved offline — and refuse to read them out of fear I will die from humiliation." Lesson learned.
Before you think about ramming some metal through your body, think carefully about that body part in five or 50 years. "When I was 13, I wanted a belly button piercing — badly," says Andrea, 29. "At my school, only the really cool girls had them. My mom said absolutely not ... I think about it now and realize she was right. I did not need to be piercing my stomach or wearing cropped shirts to show it off as a child." When she thinks about having kids someday, Andrea says, in a similar situation, "I hope I would be as strong as my mom was: to tell them there are more important things than how you look."
You used to gag when your mom forced you to swallow those last few broccoli bites, but now, admit it: You just paid for a green juice and have a Pinterest board with chia seed recipes. "As a kid, my mom didn't let me eat any processed food or red meat," recalls Boston-based writer Rose. Surrounded by kids popping Lunchables, she "hated it and resented being different." As an adult, Rose is a vegetarian who makes an effort to prioritize her health. While the rest of us had to learn the hard way that we could no longer pound fried foods like we did in college, she's thankful that she developed healthy eating habits early, and will never know the pain of a pizza hangover.
When 34-year-old Kira started spending all of her time in high school with her boyfriend — and seeing less and less of her friends, her mom sat her down for a much-needed reality check. She started by encouraging some independence, but hit on something that most of could still stand to learn:No one's going to take care of you and your needs like you will. Make sure you're always looking out for number one. "I thought it was weird then, but now I totally get it," she says, and she's seen it play out in her adult life. "Now, as I've advocated for my own promotions or even just to speak my mind, I know that no one else can do it for me."
We're not trying to start a fight in your marriage, but remember that having your own money means you can control your life. "Even though my parents were happily married, my mom didn't feel like she had independence," says Louise, whose mom never earned her own income. In fact, during a rare fight between her parents, Louise's mom called her and announced that she would need to come live with Louise, across the country. When Louise asked when she would be arriving, she said, "Just as soon as Dad buys me a ticket!" They made up, but the message was clear. So after 30 happily married years, Louise, 62, still has a separate bank account and a career. And don't call her pessimistic: "Having that security confirms for me that my marriage exists because I want it to, and not because it has to."
Mansplaining is OUT. Over 30 years ago, after Dorothy introduced her now-husband to her parents, her mom called her with just one question. (You know that debrief call — where the truthreallycomes out.) "Does he listen?" Mom was really asking: "'Does he value your opinion?'" says Dorothy, now in her sixties. "After decades of marriage, I know how important it is. My husband would never make decisions for us without taking my side into account. It's not just that he hears me speak, he gives what I have to say weight and importance." #goals.
Yes, even that rowdy little class clown. "When I was a kid, my mom would always tell me to be nice to the students in my class even if I didn't like them, because you never knew how they'd turn out," says Jennie, 24. "She had a larger point, which is that you never really know about people, and it's worth it to give them the benefit of the doubt." And Jennie's mom knows from experience: "She and my dad were in the same first grade class. It's a good thing they gave each other the chance to grow into the people they became — they're still so in love decades later."
You can still have a healthy partnership without tossing your independence in the dumpster behind McDonald's. That means having a social life outside your significant other, keeping some cash of your own (see No. 8) and getting yourself places — without help. "My mother said, 'Whether or not you can afford to have a car, have a license because driving is freedom.' At first it made no sense — I grew up in New York City," says Diane, a professor from Brooklyn. Years later, she realized that her mom was totally right. "Driving lets you rent a moving van and leave a bad situation, help out if someone needs to go to the hospital or just join friends on a road trip."
Learning how to handle arguments can save you from a lifetime of dodging calls from friends who hurt your feelings until they give up. Woman up and try this: "My mom taught me to talk using 'I' statements," says Vermont native Jackie. "That means that instead of saying to someone, 'You're being a jerk!' you say, 'I feel upset.' You talk about how you'refeeling, instead of what the other person isbeing." Jackie rolled her eyes at this as a kid — it sounded too touchy-feely. "But it's made my communication skills way better."
Fact: Momslooovecommenting on their offspring's outfit choices. But sometimes it's for a good reason: feeling comfortable in your body. "My mom has always been really concerned about shoes," says Alya, from San Antonio. "Every time the seasons change, she'll call and ask me if I have the appropriate shoes and will panic if things aren't waterproof, durable, comfortable and professional (it's a tall order for a single shoe)." Alya says her mom's obsession with this mythical show crystallized for her once she started in the working world. "As an adult, I find myself thinking about shoes all the time — the right ones make me feel complete, like I'm put together and have good foundation to stand on." Bonus: You'll never get caught in the rain.
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