Life Skills from Our Mothers

Life Skills from Mothers

Life Skills and Tips from Mothers -

Has your mother taught you life skills that remain with you even as an adult? From the age of 0 to 7 our parents and environment are the predominant influences in life. We all remember some of the quotes, life skills, tips and reminders that our mothers have passed on to us. Even my mother-in-law said some things which I will always remember. As a sixteen year old watching movies on television with her she would remind me during the sad or scary scenes "Don't worry they all go home at 5 o'clock".

My Mum has given me a lot of  life skills and tips that she probably doesn't even realise she has passed on. I am hoping that I have passed some tips and good life skills on to my daughters also. It is so rewarding to see what wonderful Mums they are with their children.

Some of the tips, traits and life skills from my wonderful and much loved Mum are:

Tip 1 - Never Use Soap on your Face

I mention this in my book. I remember Mum showing me how a cake of soap left on a wooden windowsill  had taken the paint off. It was probably during my teenage years when she showed me this and I still remember it to this day. It is a good tip as using soap causes dehydration and dryness. Most skin types have a pH balance of 5.5 and most soap pH ranges fro 8-10. I have found even facial cleansing bars and specifically formulated bars still have a drying effect on the skin. Once you find a good facial cleanser you will know that it is not drying because your skin will not feel tight and dry after cleansing.

Tip 2 - Care for your Cuticles

Push your cuticles back with a towel each  time you dry your hands after washing  and after showering. This is when the cuticles are nice and soft. Pushing the cuticles back is such a good habit to get into and will pay off time-wise when maintaining your nails.

Tip 3 - Never Skip Breakfast

Always eat breakfast. I used to be the only person  who ate breakfast when I was sharing accommodation. Some of my flatmates were nurses as one of the houses I rented was close to a hospital. They would skip breakfast and eat unhealthy food such as pastries at the hospital cafeteria. If you skip breakfast the metabolism slows down and the body grabs hold of those unhealthy sugary carbohydrates to store as fat resources. These girls would eat donuts and pastries which was not good protein especially when working in a busy job such as nursing. Even the word “breakfast” stands for "breaking" the "fast" of 6 or 7 hours sleeping and not eating.

Tip 4 - See the Good Side

My Mum can always see the good in people. She said once that she doesn't believe that "bad" people are all bad through and through.

Tip 5 - Yummy Curry

My Mum spent some time living in India when she was younger and has always been able to make a great curry. Another Indian dish I remember her making was a yummy dessert made with vermicelli, saffron, cream and I think sultanas. I have found a similar recipe here.

Tip 6 - Proper English

Mum has always been a stickler for spelling and good grammar. This was also because she worked as a proof-reader for newspapers in New Zealand. She still pulls me up on grammar which I appreciate.  To be honest I didn't know there were different ways to use the words "elder" and "eldest" until she pointed it out to me on a Facebook post. I never mind her correcting me. Always learning.

Tip 7 - Be kind to other people

Mum is always kind to others. She is always thinking about other people and has a lot of empathy. It is a trait that I love about her. I  believe empathy is a skill. It's an ability to to understand the other's situation, perceptions and feelings from their point of view.

Tip 8 - Be Brave

Mum emigrated from England on a.boat all by herself in her twenties to New Zealand and has had an interesting life working in radio and newspapers as well as raising a family. She has since written an article about this experience in New Zealand Memories Magazine (issue 89, April/May 2011)

Tip 9 - Stay Young At Heart

Mum said once  she feels younger inside than her actual age. She may disagree now - she did say it though! I know how she feels as the years creep up on you which is why it is so important to make the most of each year.

Tip 10 - Darn It

Mum didn’t teach me how to darn socks – she did darn my husband's socks when she came to stay sometimes and he found a pair recently that she had darned. That is a skill I wasn't really keen to learn. I knew the word "darn" though and use it to describe "mending" when I wrote the "three D's" section of my Wardrobe Organising Workbook.

Tip 11 - Support Loved Ones

Mum is always good at keeping in touch and taking an interest in the lives of people she cares about and loves. I am lucky to have a wonderful family including stepbrothers and stepsisters who look after Mum in New Zealand by keeping in touch with her, visiting and helping out. They call in to see her on Saturdays. It is comforting to know that they do this when we are living across the Tasman. Even at her age she sends cards and gifts to her great grandchildren. They know her as "GG" for "Great Granny" and are quite used to chatting to her online.

Tip 12 - Know How to Have a Laugh

Mum has a wonderful sense of humour and has a good laugh.This is something else I really love about her. If you can laugh you can get through a lot of the trials and tribulations in life.

Tip 13 - Appreciate Good Literature and Movies

Mum loves good movies and we quite often talk about television shows that we have seen.  She loves music shows and plays. It is so good to have this in common that we can talk about. Mum was my inspiration for writing and still is my inspiration. I was lucky enough to have her help with proofreading my book.

Tip 14 - Be Switched On With Technology

Mum has always been great at  "having a go" at things. Being able to use technology is something which has been wonderful for communication with us, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My younger daughter said that this is something she has seen in me also. So this is thank you to my Mum. Learning how to use a computer, an ipad and mobile phone is something a lot of older people may not be willing or able to learn. I appreciate this as it has made life so much easier living in different countries.

Tip 15 - Making Time

Mum always makes time for us. My  grandchildren have some lovely photographs and memories with her on visits to New Zealand and when she has visited Australia.

Remembering the tips and ideas that our Mums have shared is a wonderful way to understand ourselves. It is often this influence that we carry through the generations, sometimes with variations and our own personal additions.

I have dedicated my book "B Styled for Life - Living With Sass and Style Over 50" to my Mum as well as to my sister, daughters and other women who are all special in their own unique way. Whether a woman is a Mum, daughter, sister or friend there are special skills  we all have. The best thing we can do is pass on the gift of "possibility". This can be done by sharing a little piece of ourselves with tips and knowledge from our own backgrounds, upbringing and experiences.

Moana Robinson is a Personal Stylist and Life Coach and can be contacted on [email protected]

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