As a 26-year-old single gal, I occasionally have difficulty imagining what the next decade of my life might hold: finally meeting a man I love, marrying him, and eventually having children. My mom married my dad at 25, welcomed me at 27 and for the last few decades, spent her life making sure I had the best, most loving life ever. From being my personal cheerleader to my European drinking buddy, I’m amazed every single day by the strength, love and wit that my mom effortlessly brings to my world. If you’re lucky like me, your mom holds a pretty big piece of your heart and and a pretty big chunk of data in your phone plan. (And when you’re doing reading this, check out why grandparents are the best people in the entire world.)
So without further ado, your mom is the most important woman in your life because…
1. She encourages you to always carry lipstick, gum and a pen.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl and when I declared this to my mom she said, “You better put a pen in your purse, then!” As I got older, she also suggested I always carry gum (you never know who you’ll talk to) and lipstick (you never know who you’ll want to impress). All three of these things are with me as I type this.
2. She reminds you that awful men ain’t worth pissin’ on if they’re on fire.
When my seventh grade boyfriend broke up with me outside of gym class because it “just wasn’t working” – devastation at age twelve – I called my mom to pick me up from school. After a big hug, a chocolate fudge brownie sundae and a Shania Twain sing-along, she shared with me a Southern phrase that I repeat after every terrible date: “He ain’t worth pissin’ on if he was on fire.” Amen, mama.
3. She’ll kindly let you know if you’ve put on a few.
My mom’s never told me to aim for a super-thin figure (probably because I was rockin’ C-cups at 10 years old), but she also wants me to be healthy. So if I put on a few more pounds than my 5’4” frame can carry, she’ll come up with a polite way of letting me know. (“Why don’t we do a cleanse together, sweetie?”)
4. She never counts the bottles of wine.
When I decided I was going to do a 10-day European trip on my own, my mom couldn’t bare the idea so she joined me. Six days into our trip, we tried to count how many bottles of wine we had consumed. We both couldn’t remember so she eloquently reminded me that “Sometimes, my love, it’s better not to count and just to enjoy.”
5. Lying to her is damn near impossible.
When I excitedly call her after a really amazing date and then three days later act like I don’t care that he hasn’t returned my texts, she’s the first to call me out. I don’t know how mothers can pick up intution from hundreds of miles away but they do. (And thank God they do.)
6. She curbs your ungrateful behavior.
When I’m having a hard time being grateful for what I have, she’s the first one to remind me just how big the world is and just how good I have it. Or if I’m feeling antsy and in need of an adventure, she buys me a passport holder and tells me to just book the freakin’ trip.
7. She advises you that if he makes you choose, he isn’t worth sticking around for.
My mom has few regrets in her life and one of them was not finishing her Bachelor’s Degree because her boyfriend told her if she finished school, he’d break up with her. In every relationship when a guy has asked me to do something wildly unfair, she reminds me to stick to my guns and that anyone who makes you choose isn’t someone you want to invest one more second on.
8. She says the best thing about life is that it always changes (and she’s right).
Anytime I’m having a tough time or bad luck seems to be chasing me, I can easily slip into a pit of happily-never-after. But even when she doesn’t say it out loud, her calming life motto echoes in my head: the best thing about life is that it always changes. Always.
9. She’s the only reason your childhood clothes fit and didn’t have stains.
I wish back-to-school shopping lasted forever. Even though my mom can’t always be there to help me shop for an important outfit, I still send her selfies of what I’m considering. I can always count on her to be honest, make recommendations and most importantly, show me how to set the washer and dryer so my delicates won’t shrink.
10. Her opinion will ALWAYS matter to you.
Sometimes I don’t always agree or get frustrated with my mom’s well-meaning advice, but I always care about her opinion. Even when I don’t want to consider it, I still value her wisdom.
11. There’s no such thing as too late, too long or too pathetic.
I’ve called my mom drunk in a taxi at 2 a.m. sobbing and she’s picked up. I’ve kept her on the phone for hours at a time analyzing (in excruciatingly painful detail) if a guy is into me or not. I’ve sent her incredibly insane/embarrassing/incoherent text messages and voicemails and shealways responds. And listens. Patiently.
12. She warns you to test-drive it before you marry it.
Sorry to out you mom, but I’ll never forget your advice when we finally talked about sex as adults. You told me not to put a ring on it until I made sure I liked it. Duly noted.
13. She doesn’t lie about what it’s like to age.
Other than “Don’t give up on love!” and “You’re wonderfu!” the third best piece of advice my mom has given to me is “Moisturize every single day! And don’t forget your neck! Aging isn’t for sissies.”
14. She wants you to do the things she didn’t get to do.
All good parents want to give their children more than what they had. So when I worry about taking a risk or wonder how I’m going to navigate a tough conversation, my mom’s the loudest, most enthusiastic voice in my cheering section encouraging me to go after what I want.
15. She reminds you to dream.
It’s easy to get caught up in the annoying adult stresses: Rent? Ugh. Dating? The worst. Saving money? Oops. But as your mother will tell you, dreaming about what the future holds is a good way to make the impossible seem well, possible.
16. Even when you give up on yourself, she won’t.
And she never, ever will.