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There comes a time in everyone’s life when we look back and say: “Yeah. I shouldn’t have done that”, “Damn. My mum was right about this” and yes, I reached this time when I turned 25 and I appreciated all the times my mum was right about so many things. Here are some of the main points, I would like to share with you.
1. “Keep the faith alive.”
My mother always encouraged me to believe – in God, in myself, in love, in the good in people and in the fact that everything will turn out for the best. Of all the things she was right about, this has got to be the best one. She taught me to never leave my faith at the bus stop and go on a journey without it. Instead I should always use it as a map. I have to say, whenever I have done that, it always takes me where I want to be!
2. “Marrying young is one of the best things that can happen to you.”
Thank you mum for being an example and for encouraging me to embrace my role as a wife. Getting me where I am now wasn’t easy, but I love it and in fact it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It also provided a stable foundation for more “best things” to come and it gave me freedom to express my ideas and to make my dreams come true. As John Lennon once said: “A dream you dream alone is just a dream, a dream you dream together is a reality.”
3. “How will you look after a husband and kids if you can’t even water the plants on time?”
Even though I disagreed for the longest time and avoided doing chores as I’d avoid the plague, I have to agree with my mum now, that cleanliness is close to godliness and developing cleaning habits and maintaining a clean and ordered house will take a lot of pressure off a marriage. And as much as watering the plants can’t be put on the same scale as caring for kids, if you can take care of the house, you are also likely to succeed in taking care of the family.
4. “You won’t always be able to pick your husband up when he is down.”
I had high expectations of my marriage as any blushing bride would, but maybe I was flying too high, believing I am in possession of a magic wand in my hands that will make every problem along the way disappear. I learned the hard way that I can’t always be everything my husband needs in his life, no matter how much I wanted to. Why the hard way? Because I got hurt everytime I wanted to pick him up when he is down and I couldn’t. He just needed to pick himself up and solve his problems. And that was OK. It made him a stronger and better head of our household.
5. “Work with your hands.”
Yeah, who wants to knit when they are 15? No one, but I wish I had learned back then, because I love it now. Not only it boosts my self-esteem when I make something myself, but it also gets me blankets and socks.
6. “Friends come and go, family is forever.”
There was a time when I thought I didn’t need a husband and family of my own, because I have the most awesome friends. Well, yeah, but friends come and go, friends get shipped overseas and friends start their own families. What you need is to marry your best friend and be there for each other forever. According to Gloria Stainhem “being married is like having someone permanently in your corner. It feels limitless, not limited”.
7. “If you don’t deny a guy the first he tries to make a move on you, that man will forever NOT respect you. Wait.”
8. “Don’t get drunk.”
Yeah, nothing good awaits you at the bottom of that bottle. I also learned this the hard way, having had more than one embarrassing moments back in my late teens and early twenties. Sorry mum!
9. “Don’t shave, you’ll never be able to stop! Wax instead.”
I am so grateful for this advice! Not only I don’t feel pain anymore, but everything I need removed is reduced by 40%.
10. “Don’t lose yourself in an argument.”
I am, and always have been a very stubborn person. Sometimes I would just not give up until I get my way. She always says that in a marriage a “victory for one person at the other’s expense is actually a loss for both.”
11. “Don’t get a bank loan, live with what you have”
My mum and dad always worked for themselves, but starting a business required some finances they didn’t have. They got a loan and on many occasions struggled with it. She would always say that it is better to live with what you have. It is likely to be enough, rather than be indebted (i.e. a slave) to the bank.
12. Have a single wallet.
Arguments about money are among the 6 marriage-killing issues. The “one wallet” thing is probably the best I have done for my marriage, following my mum’s advice. My parents have always shared a wallet i.e. all the money they make go into a single wallet and it belongs to both of them. When it comes to money, there is no “mine”, or “yours” but “ours”. Now the only thing you have to do is spend it wisely and fairly, thinking about your spouse’s needs.
13. “You won’t be able to eat like that forever.”
I have always been 42 kilos and eating like a pig. Honestly, I have never ever in my life counted calories, until recently, when I started gaining weight. Yep, my mum was right about that.
14. “Don’t date that guy.”
I wish I had listened on a couple of occasions. My mum just felt when something was not the real thing and she was right about most people in my life.
15. “Go after the people who love you, not after those who don’t!”
When I love, I love and I can hold on to friendships for a long time, even though it is plain obvious the person on the other side doesn’t put as much into our relationship. My mum was right about that and thankfully, now that I am married I don’t need to waste it on those people.
16. “You are never alone!”
Like every teenager I started feeling quite lonely and misunderstood when I was 14. I was lonely in high school and I was quite lonely in university. The problem was that I felt this way, for no real reason. I had friends back home, I had family, I had God in my corner always taking care of me and sending me angels. I was never really alone! My loneliness was a lie I kept telling myself. Luckily that void is filled now as well.
17. “Be classy not sassy and slutty.”
Belly buttons and tramp stamps used to be sexy, but these are all outdated now and thank God my mum forbade me to get one until I was 21. When I turned 21 I had already lost interest. The definition of sexy changes and you don’t want to feel embarrassed when you look at your pictures a couple of years from now. Make classy and timeless choices when it comes to your style.
18. “A hungry men is never a pleasant thing to deal with!”
I remember my mother always rushing to finish dinner before dad comes home. When I married I learned there is a reason for this. A hungry man can become a very impatient and cranky creature. Once I was a bit late with dinner – it was cooking in the oven and it just needed another 30 minutes or so, when my husband suggested to run down the street and get some takeaway. I got SO mad! But then again, she was right.
The younger you are, the more you believe everything is in your control. The more responsibilities you have the more you’ll see how many things are happening outside of you and there is little you can do. There is a quote I like a lot: “Fight all your battles on your knees and you will win every time.”
20. “When you have kids you’ll see!”
I can’t count the many times I’ve heard this. I don’t have kids yet, but I am sure I’ll see…