16 Things Your Mom Taught You That Should Be Definitive Girl Code

by Charlotte Phillips

For those of us lucky to have amazing mothers, we have received countless words of wisdom over the years.

Some are trivial, some are very significant.

Some we listened to wholeheartedly, some we laughed at, others we ignored and wish we hadn’t.

Mothers are in the unique position of being just like us... with the benefit of time and experience, and with only your best interests at heart.

Your mom may not always be right, and your mom is only human. But, she’s been around longer than you, and your DNA is 50 percent hers.

Really, we’d all be stupid to ignore our moms.

Here are some of the things you know your mom has said, that you know (deep down) to be true. Put them in your Girl Code, share them with your friends and go call your mom.

1. Don’t pick your nails.

Just don’t. Short, ragged fingernails are not a good look, and nor are bleeding, bitten cuticles. Keep them groomed, always. Bear in mind your mom only wants you to look your best, and details matter.

2. Family is everything.

Phone your grandparents. Stay on top of your siblings’ exams and big events. Keep your cousins updated on your dating life.

Your family has known you forever, and has seen the most intimate, raw version of yourself. They'll be there when friends aren’t, and they’re your link to both before and after. Don’t take it for granted, and do make the effort.

3. Stay out of the sun.

You may look great with a tan after four days of sunbathing, but when you’re 60, you’ll wish you listened to this sound advice. Leather skin is not a good look.

Your mom is the one who plies you with sun-cream and sun hats, and the one whom you watch move to lie in the shade at 11 am.

4. Don’t get food guilt.

Food is for enjoying. It’s should be nutritious, enjoyable and shared with friends and family. Your mom has always told you that moderation is key, and while you can’t necessarily stick to this at Sunday brunch, you know she’s right. Eat the bread, skip dessert. Eat the pasta, say no to the chocolate truffles.

5. Look after your body.

You only get one. Your mom looks pretty amazing now, and that’s because she exercises, eats right and looks after herself. Try and make it to the gym, and if not, just go for a walk. With her.

6. You can’t change people.

Your mom has witnessed your worst moments in life, and was there to get you through huge fights with your dad, messy breakups and friendship rifts. Her advice?

You can’t always change the people you love. The onus is on you to adjust your approach to them. Work on your relationship, not the person.

7. Live and let live.

It’s easy to be judgmental, but your mom has seen over the years that judging someone else’s life choices doesn’t make you any happier or more right.

You should expose yourself to as many people, from as many different walks of life, as possible. The world is a case of "to each their own."

8. Holding on to anger only hurts you.

Having a fight with someone in which you’re convinced you’re right often results in a total inability to apologize, to relent, or even to forgive.

But holding on to anger long after the real heat has dissipated is only self-destructive, and your mom would hate you to make the same mistakes she did. Forgiving is hard, but ultimately more fruitful than a lifetime of resentment

9. Men are visual.

So, wear the dress, not the jeans. If your face is looking less than its best, wear a low-cut top to distract and draw their eyes downwards.

No, your mom has never told you to whore yourself out. She’s just learned from years of dating experience that looking sexy never goes amiss.

10. We live in a shallow world.

Which is not a good thing, but it’s not changing anytime soon. To deny that is to deny yourself countless chances.

Your mom is aware that it’s important to look good, and so many opportunities, from boyfriends to jobs, are more likely to come your way when you make an effort with your appearance.

11. Allow yourself to cry.

Sometimes, you get overwhelmed, and your mom has seen the stress that comes with school, moving apartments and breakups.

Her advice to you is to simply let it out. Acknowledge your feelings, let them physically manifest in the form of a truly liberating cry, and then move on.

12. Don’t pick your spots.

You know she’s right on this . When have you ever, ever looked better after attacking your face? But if you do, you know she’ll have the best creams with which to do damage control.

13. Start an anti-aging regimen now.

Your mom looks at you and sees a beautiful, young, glowing girl with great skin and no wrinkles. But she’s aware that the ravages of time are not always kind, and prevention is the best cure.

14. Get enough sleep.

When you phone your mom on a Thursday at 10 pm, saying you can't be bothered to go to the bar, she’s the first to tell you to skip it.

Sleep is hugely important, but we often get FOMO and push ourselves to go to places we really don’t want to be at. Your mom knows few social events are likely to be life-changing, and you’ll be happier in bed. Solo.

15. Don’t compare yourself to other people.

Your mom has partaken in countless conversations where you bemoan your thighs, hips, hair and so on. She has the wisdom to know no one notices these things half as much as you do. And the sooner you get over it, the better. There will always be someone prettier, skinnier and smarter than you. That’s life.

16. Get educated.

Maybe your mom has some regrets of her own, or maybe she’s seen how many doors a solid education will open. Go to the best school available to you, and go to every lecture possible. Learn things you don’t “need.” Go and hear speakers from every walk of life. Stay in school. Go to grad school.

Whatever you do in later life, you’ll have been exposed to the most incredible ideas and have heard outlooks from all over the world. The power of education is such that your world is blown wide open.

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