Sunday, May 11, 2008

Things My Mother Taught Me

My mom taught me a tremendous amount, and I am extremely grateful for her unfailing love and her wisdom. Of course, we all learn a great deal about life from our mothers. And it's odd sometimes just which little pieces of wisdom stick, or are particularily impactful. In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I would share some of the style and life advice my mother gave to me that was especially formative.

1. Red and Pink don't go together.
This was the first thing I ever remember my mother offering as advice about what to wear. I remember the moment so clearly -- I was six years old -- and I even remember the two items that I was going to pair together. While there are some who would disagree with this advice, my mom's color bias was the basis of my understanding that some things just don't go with others.

2. Wear a little makeup.
Once I hit my teens, my mother was always urging me to put on a little color. "It'll brighten up your face," she would tell me. Once we even went to a fancy makeup counter together and had our faces done. That was a special day for me, and one I'll always remember. I wore those particular colors for years afterwards.

3. Don't wear too much makeup.
Yes, there were the days I "brightened my face up" just a bit too much. Learning the fine art of just how much makeup to wear took a little bit of time and effort from my mother. Ah, such patience!

4. Do something with your hair.
My hair was always fine and stick straight and had the propensity to fall in my eyes. As a child this never bothered me one bit...but it bothered my mother a great deal. With the persistence belonging to a saint she would comb my hair and put it up so that I looked presentable. Over time, she taught me how to do ponytails and braids and how to curl my hair. I felt like a princess. Today I still prefer to have a wash-and-go kind of style...but I thank my mom for showing me how to "do something" with my locks.

5. Looks are important, but what's inside is what counts.
I was never going to be a beauty pageant winner. Ever. I was just a cute little thing with big brown eyes and buck teeth. And I was very small for my age. When I was really young, this was of no consequence. But the older I got, the more it bothered me. One Christmas, my mom gave me a present -- a t-shirt with the words "Good things come in small packages" on the front in large letters. I loved that shirt, and proudly wore it everywhere. When it started to wear out, I wore it to bed. And when it got too small, I packed it in my memory box. That phrase was the mantra I used to get me through school and life in general. My mom taught me that what was inside me was more important than how tall I might be, or whether or not I was Miss America.

6. Your brain is your best investment.
I'm lucky that I have a brilliant mom. And she encouraged me to learn and learn and read and read. I ended up pretty smart myself...and I owe it to her. She gave me an insatiable passion for intellectual stimulation, and instilled in me the idea that hard work will get you places. This gift I will never lose or outgrow.

These are just a few of the things that I remember Mom taught me. But even for these alone, I cannot thank my mom enough. Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you!

Jennifer Skinner, Wardrobe Planning Expert


Matthew Shields said...

Your Mom sounds like a very intelligent woman. But then wasn't it you who said the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
focus your energy
Matthew Shields

Susan said...

What an awesome mother you have and she is blessed to have a daughter that remembers and recognizes the lessons taught.

Lisa M. McLellan said...

I love it Jenn. that made me think of things my mom said to me. My mom also told me to start wearing a little make-up. But then in high school, I'd fake sick by coming down in the morning without makeup and she'd say "Oh God, you look like hell, do you feel ok?" hahhaha gotta love her! Your Mom sounds great! Thanks for the memories.

Lisa McLellan

S Chambers said...

The lessons we learn from our parents is invaluable. We grow to appreciate it. Your Mother sounds wise Jenn.

You are a lucky girl.

Ok, lucky woman.

Steve Chambers

Tim Birch said...

"Pour your purse between your ears and no man can ever rob you." Franklin.

I will have to collect some of my Mom's lessons together. Being male I am sure they will be connected to eating or cleaning. ( I am not a pig!no matter what the Drill Sgt says!)

'TimBirch –Can it be better?

Yann Vernier said...

Brilliant advice. Your mum is a very wise woman.

Yann Vernier - Personal Coach

drpeter said...

You have a good mom.

Dr Helton, making your skin beautiful without surgery, nationally renowned Cosmetic Dermatologist

Scott Bel said...

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Scott A Bell

Sheridan Randolph said...

What a great quote from B. Franklin. I'd say she was on target about the 'brain', but don't forget to monetize!


Aaron said...

Since this is Mother's Day post (sorry I'm late), I'll add something along with the theme: my mom taught me to iron and do laundry, things EVERYONE should know.


April Braswell said...

ummm, well, I disagree about point #1. Just see my website.

Tee hee. Small amounts I DO wear together.

From my mother? "Oh April, surely one's own initials are enough?"

And she was right! of course.

All the best,

April Braswell - Online Dating Coach, Romance Coach