Mums are absolute winners. They take you on for at least a few decades, stop you from putting your fingers in any sockets and keep you in a well-fed, relatively hygienic state (most of the time). But not only do they do the essential things; our mums have gone above and beyond to guide us through the highs and lows of life and advise us the best they can. So, as it’s Mothers’ Day and all, we at Liberti decided it was high time we celebrated the wise and wonderful women to whom we owe so much, and asked our readers to name one thing they’ve learnt from their mums.
1. My mum taught me to listen and be kind to people. I learnt from her as long as the house is clean, it doesn’t have to look like a show room – life’s too short to worry about a bit of dust. I didn’t learn her cooking skills however.
Fiona, 48, Restorative Justice Advisor
2. I think among many things, the best thing my mum taught me is how to get a good bargain. Her playing ground is Kolkata, India, and she can even get discounts from shops with fixed prices.
JanéAlam, 26, Events and Ambassador PR Officer
3. My mum taught me never to give people negative labels. Time after time as a child, I can remember complaining to her, “Reb is sooooooo annoying!” and she would patiently reply, “No, your sister might be doing an annoying thing, but she isn’t annoying.” Patiently but relentlessly, Mum taught us to see people for who they are, instead of defining them by their mistakes, and whilst it drove me mad through my childhood, I’ve come to realise how profoundly important that message is. I now work with children and young people and I’m constantly echoing mum’s message; you might have done a bad thing, but you are not a bad person.
Anna, 25, Primary Teacher and Pioneer
Alice, 25, Editorial Assistant
5. My mum taught me what it looks like to put your children’s happiness before your own.
Hayley, 21, Social Worker
6. Amongst many other things, my mum taught me to respect authority (especially teachers) and has the saying, “If you can’t be good then be careful,” which applies to most of life!
Nick, 25, Primary School Teacher
7. My mum taught me to look after other people from when I was a very young child.
Carole, 73, Retired
Cleo, 25, Sales and Magazine Subscriptions
9. One of my lasting memories was being about six or seven years old and I’d done something naughty. I think it may have involved taking and eating chocolate that I shouldn’t have touched. I went to my mum and confessed and she got very angry with me. I cried and said she’d always told me to be honest but how could I tell her things if she would shout at me. I went to my room in tears feeling very hard done by. Not long after my mum came to see me and apologised for shouting at me and said I was right; she shouldn’t have shouted at me when I was trying to do the right thing. It really shocked me that she, my mother, would apologise to me, the child. It taught me a lot about mutual respect regardless of the apparent hierarchy involved, that it’s not a weakness to apologise to someone and an honest apology can go a long way to restoring relationships.
Beccy, 34, Property Administrator & MSc Student
10. How to cook, not to mix your drinks, and to ditch guys who get offended in arguments.
Georgie, 19, Student
11. My wonderful Mum taught me what it meant to be a follower of Jesus. She’s always been a great example of spiritual disciplines.
Victoria, 44, Bus Driver
Karen, 56, Pastoral Team Leader
13. My mum’s catchphrase was always, “Hold yourself to be of worth.” The older I get, the more I realise how every human being needs to hear those words. And my mother-in-law taught me the power of completely selfless generosity. Whether it was time or gifts or acts of service, there was nothing she wasn’t willing to give to others.
Chloe, 26, Publishing Assistant and Deputy Editor
14. My mum is able to feel every ounce of joy and sadness on behalf of the people she loves. When something amazing happens to us, she is as excited, elated and unable to stop buzzing about it as though it happened to her. If we are going through something really tough, she cries about it, loses sleep because of it and fervently prays for it. But she doesn’t just do that on behalf of her children, she does it on behalf of many others she loves, or anyone she feels God has put on her heart in that way. So I guess my mum has taught me how important and beautiful it is to be willing to open up your heart, to make it vulnerable to pain and to care deeply about the people who have been brought into your life.
Naomi, 24, Primary School Teacher
15. My mum taught me to look beyond my own emotions. She used to drive me mad when I fell out with my friends as she’d always stop to look at how they felt and what their perspective was. I just wanted her to take my side but instead she taught me to think about everything from both sides. She taught me to be loyal and committed and that there’s always room for one more at the table.
Bekah, 41, Director of Mission and Editor
Emily, 26, Health and Wellness Coordinator
17. My mum taught me that you should always do what you believe to be the right thing regardless of what other people are doing. That way if you end up doing the wrong thing you can apologise, mean it and learn from it, and that’s OK because you were trying to do good. She also taught me that less eye-liner can be more and that you shouldn’t eat beans out of the tin.
Amy, 26, PhD Student
18. My mum taught me to respect women.
Subhendu, 20, Student
19. Mum died on Boxing day, since then I’ve thought of little else other than how can I continue to live out her legacy. She left us with so much to try and emulate; how her relationship with Jesus always came first, how she shared her life freely with everyone and how hospitality was always extended without fuss or frills. She never took her relationship with my Dad for granted, she was joyful and positive in all circumstances, she took delight in our achievements (however small), and she embraced hard work and challenge. Truthfully I could go on, but I know I’ll keep trying to live up to the example she was.
Cerys, 47, Special Support Assistant
Satch Satchell, 27, Songwriter
21. Among many of the things I’ve learned from the brilliant woman I call Mum, is what sacrificial love really looks like and how to make it look effortless. I take for granted all too often the things my mum has sacrificed to make sure she was available for us and to love us the best she could. I’ve also learned how to be incredibly stubborn which is perhaps less admirable but comes in handy nonetheless.
Emily, 23, Business Analyst
22. Morbid Jokes. My mum always has a habit of laughing in the face of complete despair. Not in a disrespectful way, just accepting the inevitable human conditions. It taught me not to run from the scary stuff but meet it face on.
Gareth, 27, Drummer
23. My mum was fiercely protective of my right to a good education and a career, something that was denied to her growing up in Italy during WW2 when only her brothers were allowed to stay in school beyond the age of 12. My mum’s experience has taught me to respect and value immigrants, to understand the huge cost of their decision to leave their homeland and to appreciate the challenges they face. She also taught me that girls should climb trees, build dens, get muddy and put up shelves, and that there’s no such thing as a ‘man’s job’.
Pauline, 54, College Tutor
Anna, 29, full-time Netflix Watcher
25. My mum taught me to be considerate of others in day-to-day situations, especially when making arrangements. I am trying to pass this onto my own family.
Fiona, 38, Dance Teacher
26. My mum taught me that the greatest thing you can do is help someone and be there for them. The amount of lives she has touched is phenomenal and she is just so involved in the local community. Whether it is offering a cup of coffee to a young mum who is rushed off her feet or making fabulous costumes for the local school, my mum lives to look after and support people. I hope that I can be as compassionate as she is.
Eleanor, 25, Primary Teacher
27. My mum taught me to say please and thank you, to respect others and to be a caring person.
Mike, 37, Restaurant Team Member
Dolly, 21, Student
29. My mum taught me to fight for your rights. As we are both disabled, my mum would always challenge people who would misuse disabled parking or the priority seating area on a train or bus. When I was younger I would always get embarrassed – I didn’t want to cause a fuss or a scene – but my mum always told me if she didn’t fight for that right for us, people wouldn’t learn and it would keep happening to other disabled people. Someone has to speak up. Now I’m older this is something I actively do and take pride in doing. I’m actually working with businesses and members of the government and parliament in trying to better protect these rights, for everyone.
Lizzie, 21, Full time British Athlete and University Student
30. My mum always taught to make others feel completely safe when I’m with them.
Babu, 20, Student
31. My mother taught me that you have to work for what you want, that life is not a free ride and that having courage, being kind and using your brain are the best ways to make a life for yourself that is not only worth living, but worthwhile for those around you.
Georgia, 25, Chiropractor
32. My Mum taught me to be honest as that’s how trust is built. She taught me the difference between right and wrong and how you should try and be kind to everyone you meet. She taught me how to look after my babies when they were first born and she taught me to knit (unsuccessfully), bake, arrange flowers and make Yorkshire puddings.
Susi, 44, Phlebotomist
Mick, 58, Revenue Supervisor
34. My mom taught me to obey and respect elders, but what I like most is that she taught me to share.
Dipa, 20, Student
35. When I was younger I spent many years worrying that I would inherit schizophrenia from my mother, and of course I still could. But then she taught me to be stubborn and to always fight and now I realise there are plenty of ways in which I’m like her – and that’s fine with me.
Hope, 25, Duty Manager
36. Thinking about her example and sacrifices made for me and my siblings, Mum taught me to care and relate to people of any age, meeting them where they’re at and trying to put others before yourself; to work hard and wholeheartedly at what you do, giving things a go and YOUR best. I’m sure she also passed on the zaniness and my passion (and definitely taught me a few skills) for being creative and crafty along the way. Never quite mastered her white wine chicken though…
Piero, 27, Senior Graphic Designer
37. My Mum taught me how to be a Mum!
Kerry, 36, Project Editor