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Mother’s Day: The best advice your mom gave you

Caitlin McCormack
Shine On
May 11, 2012
three generations of women family
three generations of women family

She nursed you through illness, shuttled you to soccer practice and swim lessons, chaperoned your school field trips, mended broken hearts and saw you off after high school. Mothers do a lot for their children, probably the most important of which is giving advice — whether welcome at the time or not.

We recently asked readers to share with us the most important life lesson their mom taught them, and the responses were overwhelming. I lost my own mother much too soon, but through that experience she taught me something dear that I've carried with me ever since: life is short, live today with no regrets, do what makes you happy and don't wait for tomorrow to tell those you love how you feel.

From the practical to the outlandish, here's what Yahoo! readers say is the best advice their mom gave them. (Note that responses have been edited for clarity, length and grammar.)

The Good

Surprisingly, or maybe not, a majority of readers say mom's most important lesson was a simple one: always wear clean underwear in case you get into an accident. Other simple reflections included:

"Always wear clean underwear, you never know when you might be in a car accident." Yahoo! users Dave, C, Patriciat, GUIDO, Stew, Buford

"If you didn't have bad days, you wouldn't know what good ones were." Yahoo! user Krs2

"Always wash your hands coming out of the bathroom." Yahoo! user Burning Rubber

"Communication is the key to a healthy marriage." Yahoo! user Megan

"Many years ago, my mother visited her Grandmother. Her Grandmother said, I'm afraid of dieing Monique. My mother responded, do you remember when you were born? Her Grandmother responded no. My mother added, you will not remember dieing ether." Yahoo! user Iwan

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". Yahoo! user Bev

"My mom taught me the importance of not going into debt. Always pay cash, if you have to put it on credit you can't afford to have it!! It is better to save up for it!!" Yahoo! user Jasmine

"Do the best that you can, because if you don't succeed, there'll at least be no regrets." Yahoo! user Sang Vi

"When anything goes wrong, look within YOU...! Don't play the blame game!" Yahoo! user Chantelle M

"Live in the NOW! Don't save anything for a special occasion or special day - use it NOW because today is as special as you are." Yahoo! user True Blue

"It's not important what you did in the past; it's only important who you are now" Yahoo! user Quartertoeight

"Put things away while they are in your hand. (That way you never have a messy home)" Yahoo! user Alisa

"When someone else is acting like a child that is exactly the time I expect you to act like a grown-up. Doesn't matter how old either of you are, or who is right or wrong, a good person does the right thing and makes peace." Nomorehate

"Never go to bed angry, start each day as if it is the first." Yahoo! user Marilyn

"If you have nothing nice to say than it's best to say nothing at all...you never know when you might say something you may never be able to take back..." Yahoo! user Ioana

"Stand up and step out, and when you fall down, you can cry but stand up and continue walking." Yahoo! user Arlene

"Choose your battles wisely, and know that you can't win them all." Yahoo! user Jennifer

"To be kind and help others every time we can." Ruby A Hiltz-Sorrell, via Yahoo! Canada's Facebook page

"1 - Always wear clean underwear when you go on a trip, because you just never know. 2 - She had the ability to put me on the moon, and apparently I'd be the first one there bearing my last name and 3 - sometimes you got to suck it up, be strong, and just do what has to be done." Jennifer Olmstead via Yahoo! Canada's Facebook page

"My aunt was like a second mom, and from her I learned that you should have a wide ranging group of friends; ideally including a hairdresser, an Avon lady, a vet, a butcher, a chiropractor, someone with a truck or tractor, and a local cop." Tracy Vetzal Mainwaring via Yahoo! Canada's Facebook page

"To become a responsible person, help the poor, and have faith in GOD!" @ kuldeepjhun, via Yahoo! Canada Shine's Twitter

The Less-Than-Perfect

Not everyone finds motherhood easy and these stories are just a few of those whose mothers taught them lessons through less-than-perfect parenting.

"My mother didn't teach me anything. I'm married and have two kids and still she says I should not be happy in doing whatever in life I'm doing. But at the end I pray that she someday feels what I feel for her and call me and say she loves me." An Anyonymous Yahoo! user

"I learned that not every woman was meant to be a mother. My mother didn't treat me very well while I was growing up but tried to be nice when I was much older. Better late than never." Yahoo! user ...MoreIQthanU

"Love yourself enough to marry the right person the first time. This is something I wish my mother had taught me." An Anonymous Yahoo! user

"My mother was an alcoholic and died at the young age of 49 — I was 19. I loved and still love my mother, despite all the torment I had growing up. I learned what not to do from my mother. I thank my mother for giving me life!" Yahoo! user Allie

"Unfortunately I have no really good memories. My mother did her duty and no more." Yahoo! user Diana

"My mother wasn't exactly a good role model...She did teach me what not to do..." Yahoo! user Roxanne

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