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Things your mam told you when you were younger that you wish you'd listened to now

She was right all along.

AS THE YEARS roll by, I often remember things my mother told me when I was younger that, if I had listened, would have prevented me from landing in certain situations I wish I hadn’t.

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Yes, the old adage that ‘mother knows best’ really has come back to haunt me in recent years as time and time again I realise, I should have listened to my mother.

*says through gritted teeth* 

At the time, my mam’s nuggets of wisdom felt like demands, constraints around the free and independent person I wanted to be.

However, since then, I’ve realised that experience is a great asset and one I had an unending supply of in my very own home.

But looking back, what are the main pieces of advice we wished we’d listened to, the truly frustrating things that have happened as a result, and the ways we can make it right this time round?

Here are just some of the things our mams told us when we were younger that we really should've listened to. 

'Don’t touch your eyebrows'

We all remember the day we found our mam’s tweezers (or worse, our dad’s razor!) and from the safety of a locked bathroom, mulled over the decision to transform our brows despite our mams' many warnings of the consequences. 

Time and time again, we’d look at those tweezers and consider our options until one day, we locked that door, grabbed the utensils of death and decided to say, ‘F**k the consequences!’ 

Ever since, we’ve messed with waxing, threading and even tattooing in a bid to get some sort of brow game back.

Inevitably, we have been left with the physical scars of our mistakes, all of which could have been avoided if we just listened to our mams.

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'School years are the best years of your life'

How many times were we told to ‘enjoy them, they won’t last forever’ before rolling our eyes, putting on our Dubarrys, and going to school in a huff?

Can you imagine it now?

Finishing every day by 3.30pm, getting two breaks throughout the day, midterms, summer and Christmas holidays, and all the while sat having a laugh with your best friends?

Christ, we’d happily take just one of those perks now.

We didn’t appreciate it then, but we’d sure as hell appreciate it now, just like our mam said.

'Don’t quit piano'

From as young as we can remember, we were heading to classes after school. Whether it was football training, swim lessons or dance class, our schedule was jam-packed and we even had a driver to bring us there.

But there was one class in particular that usually had us rolling our eyes and asking if we could skip - piano (or insert whatever instrument you played here).

Yes, we were learning our scales while we were learning multiplication, and something had to give.

Our mams begged us to keep it up and said that one day we’d appreciate being able to play a tune or two - something we thought would be just as useful as multiplication.

Well over a decade later and we’ve lost count of the amount of times we would have loved to have been able to sit down and 'play a tune or two'.

Mam, you were right.

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'Always throw a few bob in the savings account'

Remember Cyril Squirrel? Bringing your €1 in each week to fill your book before being able to lodge €20 in your Post Office account?

They were the early days of saving money. It was something our mams always told us was a good way to keep a little bit of pocket money aside.

Ever since, they’ve reminded us that we should always pop a little bit of money away just ‘to have’.

We adhered to this throughout secondary school, partially through college and then clearly suffered severe memory loss in our adult years as we struggle to maintain any type of savings.

'Don’t sit so close to the screen'

Curtains closed, pyjamas still on, cushions on the floor, sitting two feet from the telly watching Satitude. Yes, this is what a lot of Saturdays looked like when we were small.

Our mams would yell and scream to open the curtains, go outside and enjoy the fresh air, but at the very least, not to sit so close to the telly.

The same would apply when phones came on the scene and she’d advise to not spend so much time on them.

Fast forward to present day and many of us now rely on glasses to see our screens or get stress headaches from looking at them all because of decades of bad habits.

This is one I think about daily.

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'Don’t bite your nails'

In our defence, we knew this was good advice the first time we heard it.

But over the years, we got used to our hands being slapped away from our mouths, getting scolding looks when we thought we were taking a sneaky nibble and just generally being reminded that it’s a disgusting habit.

We tried and failed to quit and now we understand just how gross this habit is when we see others doing it.

Not just that, but think of all the money we could save on gel nails if we’d just listened to her?

'Don’t go outside with wet hair'

If the thought of the opposite leaves you feeling uncomfortable then chances are you learned the hard way never to go outside with wet hair.

After swimming, a shower, getting caught in the rain, we were warned not to leave without drying our hair in fear of ‘catching our death’.

Just one time is all it takes to learn your lesson, one bad cold or flu and you know, just dry your hair.

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'Leave your hair alone' 

From ironing it flat, straightening it daily to colouring it with dodgy box dyes we're still trying to grow out, our mams warned us repeatedly to stay well clear and embrace our natural hair.

The curls you hated were something they said others would ‘die for’. The red hue you wanted to hide beneath blonde highlights was something they said made you 'unique'.

Every hair decision was met with an opposing argument.

And while we still go against their hair advice from time to time, we’d like to think we’re making those decisions from a place of knowledge now not just rebellion.

'You’ll have plenty of time for boyfriends'

Whether you were in a relationship or not, or whether you were looking for one or not, your mam would often remind you that you have plenty of time for boyfriends.

Early on, it felt like a warning away from mingling with boys in general, but later on, it felt more like an encouragement to enjoy being on our own and learning who we were.

While not everyone dismissed this advice, those who did often realised later the root message our mams were trying to share; the importance of being happy with who you are and not looking to find that happiness through the validation of another person.

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'You'll thank me one day'

We heard this time and time again, in different contexts, made as a sweeping statement about all the things we should listen to.

It was another phrase that usually caused the knee-jerk reaction of an eye-roll but slowly became the new structure of the relationships we now have with our mothers.

Years on, whether it was big things or small, we’ve grown grateful to our mothers in a way that is much deeper than when we were younger.

Rather than being grateful for the spins they gave us, the pocket money, or letting us go out with friends, we’ve grown grateful for the time they gave us.

Time spent allowing us to do the things we loved, helping us to learn to embrace the things we didn't, and sacrificing any spare minute to share advice and guidance to help us through the rest.  

Their lives became about enhancing ours, something they did (mostly) without complaint or need for praise.

The list of things to thank them for is endless, a task nobody could complete in one lifetime.

So now instead, we make the sweeping statement hoping it’s enough.

Mam - for everything, thank you.

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