Ask the Readers: What Is the Best Lesson You Learned From Your Mom?

By Ashley Jacobs on 6 May 2014 55 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Liz, Pam, and Susan for winning this week's contest!

We learn so much from the people who raised us — for better or worse! With Mother's Day just around the corner, let's talk about the things we learned from mom.

What is the best lesson you learned from your mom? Is it something you appreciated at the time, or did you resist as children do? Do you make it a point to pass on the lesson to your kids — or anyone else?

Tell us about the best lesson you learned from your mom and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

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Good Luck!

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55 discussions

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

I learned to never get into credit card debt! I have stuck to that rule, luckily.

Guest's picture

She taught me that "fit" is more beautiful than "skinny". That being said, I'm skinny... but working to become fit.

Guest's picture

One of my mother's favorite sayings was "Waste not, want not." I didn't understand it at the time, but now it's words I live by.

Guest's picture

Start saving for retirement early on. I remember hearing this from my mom for the first time when I was about 10 years old, and when I finally got my first full-time job at 23, I was finally in a position where I could start putting a little money away into a retirement account each month. I'm excited to see compound interest work its magic!

Guest's picture

The best lesson I learned from my Mom is to always share with others, no matter how much or how little you have.

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Joann Barnett

When I was young, Mom worked 6 1/2 days a week, kept her house clean, kept her 3 children clean, and cooked a new meal every night because our dad didn't like left-overs. When I grew up, I also became a working mom, but I was totally overwhelmed with 3 children, a house I couldn't keep clean, and I even had a husband who not only shared chores but also liked left-overs. In exasperation I asked my Mom how she had done all that she had done when we were young and she simply said, "Because no one told me I couldn't." I actually believe if someone had told her she "couldn't do it all," she wouldn't have heard them because she would have been too busy "getting it all done." At 74 years of age, she still doesn't listen to the naysayers. I love that about you, Mom.

Guest's picture

My mom taught me to slow down and enjoy life. It's taken me many years to appreciate this!

Guest's picture

I never learned any lessons from my mom. I've learned more from strangers on the street.

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Tiffany Sparks

The best lesson I learned from my mom is to never let anyone else take away your hopes and dreams. Always follow your heart.

Guest's picture

Friendships are worth the investment.

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I learned from my Mom to save for a rainy day

Donna Freedman's picture

To stretch every dollar -- hard -- even when times are good. Not only does this keep your frugality in top form, it allows you to use more of your income for future goals.

Guest's picture

I learned how to be independent and take care of myself, not relying on others for financial well-being.

Guest's picture

My mom taught me by example to always show kindness to others. No matter how much we had, she was always concerned about other people, too. In her thoughts and actions, she showed that you never have too little to share.

Guest's picture

My mom taught me to laugh about the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm still learning this lesson but it definitely takes the sting out of most unpleasant situations!

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I learned how to be creative and how to embrace my ideas!

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Ryan Jones

To help everyone out when you are asked by them to do so.

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Nicole Dziedzic

The best lesson I learned from my mom is, appreciate time. All the moments in life go by so quickly, she taught me to just relax and enjoy every moment with a smile.

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Ernest S.

I learned to always be appreciative for what you have, because there are always those who are in need. Even when things are tough, it's important to remember how much we actually have (e.g., security, food, shelter, etc.).

Guest's picture

My mom taught be to always look on the bright side and make sure to enjoy the good things in life.

Guest's picture

My mom had me when she was 18 and was diagnosed with cancer at 21. She died at 29. In those years of fighting a losing battle, she managed to teach my brother and I that we can do and learn just about anything. She made matching dresses for us, she played the piano beautifully, she baked cookies and just about anything for friends and neighbors. She played bridge and took an interior design correspondence course. She taught my brother and I how to be people of integrity. But most of all she taught us to love. She persevered to allow us to not only know her but be able to have the life skills to live a life without her.

Guest's picture

The best lesson I've learned from my mom so far is to not worry about what other people might think of you. She's always encouraged me and my siblings to focus on what we think is right because you never know why someone else is doing something. Or even if the might change their mind completely down the line.

Guest's picture

To read to my children, like she read to me as a child. 2nd~ the Envelope System to save cash for coming expenses such as car insurance or new tires.

Guest's picture

How to be healthy and to care for my body. My Mom made very poor diet choices and never exercised. As a result, she was on disability by age 50. I learned through her mistakes, and I'm the person most healthy in my entire family. I only have one body to live in, so I'm taking the best care of it that I possibly can!

Guest's picture

Look people in the eye, make friends with people who make you laugh, don't worry if you get lost driving somewhere you've never been--why would you know how to get there? My mom's the best.

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Alissa A

I learned the importance of giving back to others.

Guest's picture

The best lesson I learned from Mom was how to be calm, warm, and generous.

Guest's picture

My mom taught me to only spend on whats really important and not on and luxury or extravagant items.

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Don't buy soda at restaurants.

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Kristine R.

She taught me to be nice to EVERYONE not just people I know. Because you never know who the person is that you're talking to!

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Happy Love

I learned a love of books and reading from my mom.

Guest's picture

To always be grateful for the life I'm living, no matter how hard it may seem, I have it better than some.

Guest's picture

My mom taught me many things, but the top three that stick out are:

1) How to have champagne tastes on a beer budget!
2) Appreciate everything you have in your life.
3) Take care of the people in your life.

Love ya, mom!

Guest's picture

Take care of the 'small' issues/things before they become 'big' issues/things.

Guest's picture

We were raised to adhere to the credo "Leave a place better than it was when you got there." When Mom left this world, she had done just that.

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Mom taught me to be self-sufficient, to not depend on a man, or anyone else, to take care of me. Because relationships and marriages end, stuff happens, things change, etc. but the bills still need to be paid.

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Nicole N

My mom always said "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I always thought it was good advice.

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I learned never to sweat the small stuff!

Guest's picture

i learned how/why to be frugal and how/why to be financially independent.

Guest's picture

My mother neglected and abused me, and for extra fun would steal from me and mercilessly belittle me in public.

So, what lesson did I learn from dear ol' mom....... just this:
Never allow yourself to hold on to anger.
Never believe that you don't deserve happiness and joy.
Never think for one moment that you aren't worth loving.
Never allow yourself to be limited or defined by someone else's sickness.

Life is so much better when you fill your heart with love. Happy Mothers Day to all the good moms out there - the world is better for having you here. Peace.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

I learned how to create needed things or wanted things from things that I already owned.

Guest's picture

Be independent and live my own life. Don't rely on others for anything.

Guest's picture

To work hard

Guest's picture

Doctors sometimes know what they are talking about and you should listen to them.

Guest's picture

My mom taught me to be myself, no matter what!

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Susan Smith

My Mom taught me to treat others as you would want to be treated.

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Kathleen S.

My mother was really influenced by the anonymous (sometimes attributed to Ben Franklin) couplet "Count that day lost whose low descending sun/Sees from thy hand no worthy action done." My mother was always doing something productive. From her I learned that I can goof off for a while, but no day should be entirely "wasted." Even after a day at the beach on vacation, I throw in a load of laundry.

Guest's picture

We were taught that it is what is on the inside that counts and not the color of your skin.

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Clever Blonde -Donna G

My Mum taught me to spend quality time with my kids. We read to our kids, played all sorts of games with our kids and let kids be kids. We had a great childhood a d she helped me be a great Mum.

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Amanda Sakovitz

She taught me to never judge others because you dont know their full stories.

Guest's picture

My mother taught me that people will always be worth more than things. That I can't buy myself into feeling happy, but can only feel fulfilled through the people surrounding me.

Guest's picture

Treat others the way you want to be treated

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Tabathia B

I would say forgiveness, because I saw lot of things happening as a child and as a adult I held grudges toward people who treated my mother abominably.

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Thomas Murphy

The best lesson I learned from my mom was to work hard.

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Kenny F

never get into credit card debt!