Throughout our lives, our mothers are often vessels of infinite wisdom and insight. From practical advice on how not to overpluck our eyebrows, to support on dealing with heartbreak, they’re there with a sage word and open arms to help us tackle whatever life throws at us.
Even as we get older, it’s often their words that ring true in our heads, and we are all prone to moments when we realise, “Oh god, she was right after all.” The best kind of mums, in other words, rock our worlds – and are perennially present the other side of a crisis, big or small, to dust us off with comforting words (and hugs. All the hugs). Even those who have sadly lost their mums, or mother figures, often hold their words close forever.
To mark Mother’s Day on (27 March) this weekend, Stylist asked six women to share the most important life lesson they’ve learned from their mum. Here’s what they said.
“Never change for anyone”
“My mum has always been my go-to person for advice, whether that be fashion, friendships or relationships. If I had to pick the best lesson I’ve learnt from my mum, it would be about never changing for anyone and being totally myself. We live in a society where people have unrealistic expectations of themselves, often caused by unattainable lives portrayed on social media. She has encouraged me to exceed my personal expectations, not anyone else’s. She is my biggest cheerleader and always reminds me that I am exceptional in my own right.”
“Take responsibility for your part in the story”
“Honesty was one of the most important things to my mum. I am so honest that I even go back to shops if they undercharge me. If I’d lie about something and then admitted it, she would applaud me for the honesty and not give me any punishment (like once when I admitted stealing money off her for a riding lesson). The other one is taking responsibility. If I tried to get out of trouble by blaming my friends she would say: ‘They are not my responsibility but you are. You did it, you were there, I am talking to you and no one else. Take responsibility for your part in the story.’”
“When in doubt, just smile and let out your warmest laugh”
“My mama is the most fabulous creature in the world! An ageless beauty (thanks to her Japanese skin), she lights up every room. The best lessons I’ve learnt from my mum… Get a good Shiseido skincare routine, a deep plum nail varnish makes for the most sophisticated toes, if in a rush always opt for a flash of eyeliner, you are always enough and when in doubt just smile and let out your warmest laugh! Most of all, my mum has taught me to be the most inspirational, hardworking, loving mother in the world to my own baby girl.”
“Let go and let life be”
“My mum always taught me that you can still be kind after bad things happen to you. I know that sounds so simple, but my mum’s had the worst happen from losing her brother when she was only a teenager to experiencing a serious car accident a few years ago. And yet, she’s still the kindest and most patient person I know, with a continuous outpouring of generosity that I’ve yet to see in another person. She accepts life for what it is, a mixture of good and bad, and for someone (me) who suffers from chronic anxiety, that’s the best lesson… to let go and let life be.”
“My mum taught me that when I fall in love to make sure it is someone who loves me unconditionally. Looks will only last so long and if anything was ever to happen, like an accident or for me to be without an arm or leg, that they would still love me and be there as my support.”
“The importance of skincare and napping”
“My mother taught me two very important things. One, that sunscreen is the holy grail of skincare, even indoors. It doesn’t matter if I’ve drawn the curtains for an afternoon nap to ghost the sun, I must laminate my skin in the pink goodness of protection. Two, that every big decision in life must be preceded by a long, sound nap.”
Images: courtesy of contributors