A Few Things I’ve Learned from Mom

Because it’s Mother’s Day, and my mom knows everything, I figured I should share some pieces of her wisdom.

1. Check the weather before you leave the house.
Don’t get dressed without knowing what’s happening outside. Especially if you’re going to be out and about all day, it’s important to know what the weather is like right that second and what it will be like in 5 hours. Remember: A sunny day isn’t always warm. Sometimes rain can be freezing, and other times it rains when it’s 80 degrees and 1 bajillion percent humid. Looking out the window and using other people as a reference can be a mistake — they might not have checked the weather themselves.

2. Research the parking situation before you get to the restaurant.
This obviously also applies to venues other than restaurants. Having grown up and gone to college in a busy city, I’ve got plenty of experience with terrible parking lots. Sometimes they’re too small, sometimes they’re full of people who apparently never learned how to park correctly, and sometimes there isn’t a parking lot at all. All of those realizations are ten times worse when you’re in the car, at the place, trying to figure it out in the moment. If you know the parking situation ahead of time, you can plan for it, and avoid the stress once you get there (or you can pick somewhere else altogether).
*** Also, while you’re checking on parking, check the menu. It’s always good to be prepared!

3. Spend the money it takes to buy good bras.
Having the appropriate undergarments for an outfit is crucial. There’s nothing like a visible panty line or bra strap to take a sweet sundress and make it trashy. Sure, bras can be expensive; remember that you’re worth it. Sometimes the best and most appropriate underwear isn’t the prettiest, but that’s a sacrifice you should be willing to make in order to look fabulous in your outerwear. And they might seem antiquated, but slips should be used! Overly sheer skirts and dresses, no matter how pretty, are a no-no. Wearing a slip can solve many problems and save you from many embarrassing moments.

4. Write “thank you” notes.
Sure, simply saying “thanks” is important and, in many cases, sufficient. But a “thank you” note is never unwelcome. Sending a quick “thank you” email is an easy way to let someone know that you really appreciated their thoughtfulness. Sending a short and sweet “thank you” note via snail mail is my preferred method; there’s nothing like receiving note in the mail to get some warm fuzzies going. Always remember: People don’t have to do nice things for you. They’re going above and beyond, and the least you can do is acknowledge their effort and the effect it had on you.

5. Do what you can when you can.
It’s really that simple. It’s good to take a rest, but remember that your time is valuable and useful. Don’t forget that five minutes of productivity is still productive. If you can help your friend out, you should. And the laundry will have to be done at some point, so you might as well get it going.

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