Things My Mother Taught Me

Monday Author:  Susanne Skinner

My mother taught me WISDOM: When you are my age, you’ll understand.

Things My Mother Taught Me, wisdom, parentingMom’s life lessons are more than a single blog post. From the small but important course corrections to major behavior adjustments, her words embody the kind of wisdom that comes with age.

I’m at a point in my life where knowing mom is right settles on me like a favorite flannel shirt. I hear the clever sayings, reprimands, and future-predicting admonitions with appreciation for who she was and how they shaped me.

My mother’s teachings are timeless: My younger self never fully understood their value; but my older self is forever grateful.

What Other People Think of You is None of Your Business

Such a hard lesson to learn. We want everyone to like us; The last thing we want is to stand out.

I give too much credence to the opinions of others. I’m unlikely to change, so I use this mantra as a reminder that everyone has opinions, including me, and we are all unique.

You are not designed for everyone to like you, what others think of youMom taught me not to let others determine my worth. Like so many lessons, the value of this one came later. Everyone wants a seat at the cool kids’ table. Nobody wants to be different.

Happiness derives from knowing what is important to you, but not many of us figure that out when we are young. Even as adults, we allow the opinions and emotions of others to govern our thinking, making it easy to lose sight of what we want in life.

Mom’s reminder that the only thing that matters is what you think about you and what other people think of you is none of your business is a classic.  #momnailedit

Your mind is your greatest friend if you control it. But your mind is your greatest enemy if it controls you.

Let it Go

This is perhaps the most poignant lesson. I did not learn it because my mother modeled it, I learned it because she could not do it. Mom held on to old hurts and perceived slights with an iron fist. No matter how many years passed, the offense and the offender remained fresh in her mind.

Let Things Go, You will find that it's necessary to let things go simply for the reason that they are heavyI learned from her and did the same, until the weight of it became too much to drag around. It is impossible to move forward in life while holding on to old baggage, and as we age it is very nearly impossible to let it go.

Freeing yourself of resentment, anger and thoughts of getting even releases you from the control of the person who hurt you. It does not mean you will forget what happened. It means choosing not to let it define you. In the process, you may discover that compassion and forgiveness offer a high road to peace and understanding.

Because I Said So

This is the logic of every mother. It’s rooted in ancient mom wisdom and is a legacy phrase you recall the minute you become a parent.

Because I said so is such a powerful lesson I devoted an entire blog to the phrase.  These words are the nemesis of every child that wants a reason. No child finds this answer credible while every parent stakes their authority on these four words.

It is a fine answer for just about any situation requiring the word ‘no.’ It bears up well under repetition, has sound judgment behind it, and with a tweak or two, works well for most requests being denied.

It is the secret code phrase of parenting.

You Can Do Hard Things

Though she never spoke the words, my mother prepared me for success as well as unhappy endings. My mom demonstrated her ability to accept things she did not bargain for. She met these situations head on, making the best of them. Remembering these moments, I see how human and fragile she was.

She taught me to pursue my dreams and to question authority (as long as it wasn’t hers) if it felt wrong. Her words echo throughout the stages of my life, encouraging me to stand up for and believe in myself.

You can do hard things, mother, mom, things my mother taught meDespite the steel backbone my sisters and I inherited, Mom expected me to handle setbacks with grace. I understand what it means to accept disappointment from the way she lived her life.

When I feel overwhelmed or discouraged, I hear her words—actually more of a mantra—telling me to set my mind to what is possible rather than what is impossible. It is the hardest half of the battle. The thing that separates people who succeed from those who don’t is mindset.

Decide you can to the hard thing—whatever it is—by putting one foot in front of the other until you reach your goal. Inertia is the enemy of success. Hard things are good teachers.

 Mom was right.  I am older, and I understand.




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About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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