Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What My Mama Taught Me

Mother's Day was celebrated 2 days ago. Every year there would be articles in the newspapers about mothers and I notice that the  stories of how a mother single-handedly brings up her kids would always be highlighted while the stories of ordinary mothers would often be overlooked. 

So today I am going to write about an ordinary, unassuming lady who has had a great influence over my life and some of the important things that she taught me:

My Mother Taught Me Colour Coordination.
The earliest thing I can remember my mom teaching me is that colours must match and not clash.  When I was about 3 years old, I had a large selection of coloured ribbons for my hair and whenever we went out on a Sunday as a family, she would dress me and then ask me to choose a ribbon that would match my outfit. If the colour did not match I would have to keep trying until I selected one that did. I remember one time when I was older and I chose a pair of shoes that did not match my outfit, because I wanted comfort rather than style. Needless to say, she convinced me to wear the matching pair of shoes instead. Today, shopping for clothes is such a breeze for me because I can visualize what accessories will match the piece I'm buying or which top will match the pants/skirt that has caught me eye.

My Mother Taught Me To Always Look Presentable.
My mom takes very good care of her skin and till today she looks at least 10 years younger than her 76 years. She also always had make up on, more make up for the office and less make up at home because she believes in always looking presentable. She had this philospohy : "If you're the lady of the house then don't go around looking like the maid"! My mom allowed me to wear make up when I was 15, in fact she ordered me to by saying, "You look pale. Go put on some blusher before you go out!" I guess that was her way of saying that I had permission to use make up, as in those days parents had this funny habit of saying things indirectly unless they were scolding the child. Today I have my own collection of make up and face creams, and I see the wisdom in my mom teaching me about skin care. I teach my children about proper proper skin care when they reach puberty and have to deal with pimples and oily faces. As for make up, I tell my daughter that at 15, she looks good as she is.

My Mother Taught Me About Self-Worth.

The one important thing that my mother instilled in me is that I must always have a proper sense of self-respect. People will respect us when we respect ourselves. This has helped me in my choice of friends and eventually led me to a right choice of husband. She was always very particular about good manners, mine and my friends'. If I was going out with a boy, my mom would not allow him to just honk at the gate and expect me to come out. She would want the guy to come in and say 'Hello' to her before we went out together. I told my daughter that this is how it will be for her too :)

My Mother Taught Me About Staying Within Budget.

My parents ran a business together and my mom was blessed with the finer things in life for a good number of years. However, when the economic downturn came, she knew how to cut back on her spending by using things that were cheaper but not necessarily of less quality, as in household, skin care and  make up products. Instead of having tailor-made clothes she would buy them off the rack and we would eat out less often. Now that I have my own household to run, this lesson is deeply ingrained in me and I always watch the prices of goods that I buy, whether it is good value for money or just an indulgence that I can do without.

Of course, there are so many more things that my mom taught me. Like most mothers my mom is not perfect and there are some things that I should not learn from her, like forgetting where she parked her car when we went to the shopping mall, haha! But I know that she always wants the best for me and as a mom myself I can truly appreciate all that she has done for me.

Love you, mom.

Happy Mother's Day!

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