As I’ve gotten older I’ve realised the phrase “Mum knows best” is actually pretty accurate, but it’s taken me a great many years of adulting to appreciate just how right she always is.
I cringe thinking about how bratty I was as a teen. Once I even ran away and left a passive aggressive note saying that I’d had enough of living at home and no-one would ever see me again. I always was a tad dramatic. 15-year-old me packed up a bag with dream matte mousse, cargo pants in three colours, hair gel – obvs, and a few cutout tops (those tacky ones that looked like they’d been half eaten by some sort of animal). Walking to the bus stop, I felt extremely smug, oh yes. I’d show them.
It turns out running away is expensive, my plan didn’t stretch further than the arsey note I’d left pinned to the fridge, I had about a tenner and I probably should have packed a warmer jacket. I didn’t run very far. I just hopped on a bus to my Nonna’s (grandmas) in West London – where mum came and collected me the next day asking me if I’d had a lovely time and wondering what I’d like for dinner… oh the embarrassment.
It’s only when you get a little bit older, that you truly appreciate everything your mum has done for you over the years. All that free life advice, those lifts home at ridiculous times of the evening, the comforting hugs over that idiot boy, not to mention all of those french plaits! Here are just some of the things I’ve learnt from mummy dearest…
1. You can solve any problem with a cup of tea
I feel like this is true of many a British household. If there is ever any sort of issue at home, no matter the scale, it will get resolved eventually, but the first step is to pop that kettle on. BF dumped you, failed an exam, broken your arm? – you guessed it, it’s time for a cuppa.
This is still so true as when I had my phone stolen last month and was bawling my eyes out at my hair appointment, mums advice was to get a sugary cup of tea down me and calm the F down, it was, after all, just a phone. Solid advice Sarah.
2. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all
My priorities as a teen were to get the last word and generally get my own way at whatever cost. But I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen my mum lose it – the most cutting one-liner she ever delivered was “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed” … *shudders*.
While I do have a pretty short fuse and want to yell when angry (circa 1999) I have learnt that it is often more dignifying to stay quiet and formulate a measured response rather than screaming something in anger and then regretting it. Life throws up tough situations and people that know how to push your buttons, but if you can resist the urge to yell back or throw a shoe, it is generally for the best.
3. Fashion doesn’t always come first
The first time we ever went skiing mum and Mark told me I needed to wear sensible shoes – aka ones with grip. Of course, I just rolled my eyes and whacked on a pair of Nikes. Sensible shoes? As if.
Little did I know that I’d just earnt myself a one-way ticket to Slipsville, as I landed flat on my bum quicker than you could say Apres. Did they say I told you so? Nope. They just watched me slide around on my butt, sulking and cursing for the majority of the week. I’m painting a pretty bleak picture of me as a teen here by the way, but hey at least I grew out of it!
4. Organisation is key
Another thing I’ve learnt from my mum is that in order to reach full adult status, one must be organised. You must own at least one drawer or cupboard in your house filled with plastic bags. Just in case. You must also create a “man drawer” containing everything from batteries, odd wires, paracetamol, a selection of pens, lightbulbs and any letters that need to be kept ‘in a safe place’. Personally, I feel as if I’ve totally exceeded expectations with both of these things. I have also learnt never to run out of cheese, and to create a dairy shrine or dedicated drawer in the fridge. Again, nailed it.
5. Hard work and persistence pays off
I learnt from a young age that if I didn’t clear my plate (including veggies) that I wouldn’t get a dessert. Mumma didn’t raise no quitter and I’m sure there is some sort of correlation here between my determination for dessert and how much I resembled a large boiled egg as a child, but we’ll leave that for another day. In all seriousness, she has taught me that nothing is impossible and that hard work pays off and I’m actually starting to see that in every aspect of my life, from my career to blogging to the gym!
With all this wisdom it’s easy to skip over the funnies and mums do come out with some absolute crackers: Don’t sit so close to the TV your eyes will go square, what? Eating your crusts will make your hair curl?! Oh and my personal favourite… Don’t cross your eyes, if the wind blows you’ll get stuck that way. Explains a lot cheers mum!
Despite point blank ignoring her advice on blue eyeliner and never matching my foundation to my neck (clearly I was visually challenged between the ages of 13-17) this is a big thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you do.
Thank you for all the good advice, the roast potatoes, all the hugs, your sunny demeanour and for teaching me how to apply eyeliner without looking like a badger. You’re the best and I love you lots! xo