Mothers! We can argue with them, rebel against them, wonder if they have eyes in the back of their heads and how they seem to have better information than the best detectives. But no matter what, they are our strongest support system and our go-to persons in any crisis.
We celebrate mothers every day and more so on Mother’s Day. They have been beacons in all our lives, guiding us in good and troubled times. We learn a lot from our mothers. So we thought we’d ask mothers what they had learned from their moms. Most of the mothers we spoke with started with saying they learned everything and then actually were happy to sit down and think about it and tell us. The responses we got ranged from serious life skills advice to simpler and fun thoughts. These are some of the life lessons that we have imbibed from our mothers that make our relationship with her so special and make them so wonderful.
Be kind whenever you get the chance. Moms almost universally credited their moms for teaching them to be kind. We do learn our basic values from our parents.
Be polite. Says Anjali Shenoi, now the mother of three-year-old Ananya, “My mother made sure we addressed everyone politely and treated everyone the same. From my school teacher to the neighbor, to our bus driver to the domestic help, we were reprimanded if we slipped up. It was non-negotiable, and I think it has helped me tremendously over the years. I am teaching my child the same now”.
Never make decisions when you are angry. Take a deep breath, count to 10 and so on. This sage advice has helped many moms make better decisions, react better to what happens especially with their kids, and has been overall on the top of the list for everyone.
Be your own champion is great advice from our most ardent champion. Rely on yourself. Be your own handy(wo)man. Equip yourself. Many moms thank their mothers for ensuring that they learned how to fix a fuse, change a tire or a bulb or do things that are often considered a man’s domain.
Do not let your skills rust. Vidya R mother of 12-year-old Riti says that she cannot thank her mother enough for insisting that she keep up her skills even when she was on a break after the birth of a daughter. “She insisted that I work at least part-time as soon as I could so that I do not lag in my profession. It was tough initially, but it has been a blessing. It is not just work skills now; I understand why we should stay in touch with all we have gathered so carefully but often give up without a care.”
Be money savvy. Know what you have, earn a living, Credit or debit, know what is happening your financial lives, so you are not caught unawares if and when there is an emergency.
Be the best version of yourself. There is always more to be done. Learning never ends. There is always room for improvement.
Keep your loved ones close. That is what matters most in the long run.
Do not be a perfectionist. Do not expect perfection from those you love. You are perfect the way you are.
“Oh, there was so much to learn from mothers all around me,” says Tripti Rangarajan, mother to 10-year-old Anoushka. I learned from my grandmothers and mother that the child is my primary responsibly. And from my peers that it is important to be your own person. I think it is not difficult to balance both. I learned that necessity is the mother of invention, truly only after I became a mother. That there needs to be a balance between love, patience, and discipline, that nagging doesn’t work and so much more.”
Mothers have kept us sane with their sage advice. And some of the lovely thoughts that we heard tell us how they teach us to live life to the fullest, be silly, enjoy every moment that comes our way. From the very practical ‘never travel without your bathing suit’, to the wise ‘you don't have to be party to every argument you're invited to’, or ‘do something you enjoy as you have to be at it 8 hours a day’, or ‘change what you can’, and ‘listen to advice but you don’t always have to take it’ or to the mundane ‘it cooks faster if you cover it’ ; there were many learnings passed on from mom to other moms. Sometimes they taught them by example, sometimes by letting them make their own mistakes and at times with a touch of sternness.
This Mother’s Day we want to thank all mothers for being who they are and raising us so we could be the best version of ourselves. Happy Mother’s Day! May we continue to learn from all moms!