Wise Words from My Mom

In honor of Mother’s Day this year, I’d like to share a few tips I learned from my Mom and why she really does know best.  These direct quotes are literally her words of wisdom.


  1. “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” – This saying has been framed in my home since before I was born.  In our house, my Mom was the one who made sure every minute detail ran smoothly.  She was the CEO and our home was a Fortune 500 company.  It’s not easy doing what she does every day, which is why it’s important to make sure she is happy at all times.  When someone is managing your schedule, cooking your meals, and keeping everything nice, it pays to make sure that person is in a good mood.  She can make your life perfect or perfectly hellish – don’t test her.  Also, if you respect your Mom, respect will become second nature and you’ll find yourself treating everyone as they should be treated.
  2. “G-d don’t love ugly” – This is my Mom’s way of saying it’s always better to be nice.  Those gossip-y, vindictive bullies who make middle school terrible will get theirs in the end.
  3. “She’s mad; she’ll get glad” – Some people take a little longer to get on board with an idea, but they’ll realize in the end that they need to put on a smile and move on.  This is what my Mom said, for example, about a girl who was upset I got engaged too soon after her.  It’s also what she said when a family friend didn’t like that I was dating outside of our religion.  It’s my Mom’s way of saying these are not things to stress about and it’s not their position to care so they need to get over it.  More importantly, she means that they’ll get it eventually so keep on doin what you’re doin.  In other words, haters gonna hate.
  4. “Beauty is pain” – My Mom adopted this one from my Grandma.  Like any true Southern woman, she feels it’s important to look the part.  That means wearing the shoes even if they pinch your toes, giving up that third slice of pizza to make sure you can zip your dress, and wax, shave, or pluck on a regular basis.  Perhaps it sounds shallow, but it’s a rule I’ve followed for years and never regretted it.  You’ll be happy later when you receive so many complaints, and you’ll feel better about yourself when you see how good you look in pictures.  Nobody ever said beauty was easy, but plenty of people say it’s worth it so suck it up.  This doesn’t mean you have to spend tons of money on clothes or starve yourself skinny; just put in the extra effort to exude your best self.  In turn, you’ll radiate confidence and happiness.
  5. “Never show up empty-handed” – My Mom is a wonderful hostess, but she’s also a perfect guest.  She taught me from a young age that it’s important to show up with a token of thanks anytime someone opens their home to you, whether it’s for a dinner party or a long weekend.  They’ve gone to a lot of trouble to make you feel comfortable so it’s important to offer your appreciation.
  6. “Always have a pen in your purse because lord knows your father’s gonna need one” – The same goes for kleenex.  Your husband will always ask for these things but will never have them himself.  I’ve only been married for a year but can tell you this is entirely true.  Also, from someone who has recently taken a slew of international flights, I can confirm that airlines no longer carry pens.  I can’t tell you the kind of satisfaction you’ll feel as everyone looks helpless when it’s time to fill out that customs form and you’re completely prepared.
  7. “SBTO” – This stands for “Shoulders Back, Tits Out” and it’s how you should be walking.  Everyone looks better with proper posture (and it’s better for your back) so my mom would always holler this as I walked out the door.