6 Reasons Your Mom Was Right

When you’re a kid, you love and respect your mom, but she’s kind of a buzzkill. She says “no” a lot, lectures you, gives you unsolicited advice, and says annoying things like, “You’ll understand when you’re older.”

My mother still says that (and it’s still a little annoying), but there is one thing I’ve come to understand with age: Her advice was usually solid.

How many times in your adult life have you looked back and thought, “Mom was right about this?” Or heard yourself give your children the same advice your mom once gave you? Yes, time has a way of revealing what our adolescent brains were too stubborn (or too clueless) to admit: Mom deserved more credit than you gave her.

But what made your mom so smart?

1. She had life experience.

No matter how clever or well-prepared you are, there are some things you can only learn on the job — that’s true at work and in life. Mom had been there, done that, tried this, failed at that, and picked up some good life lessons along the way. As my mother often said about her grandmother, “You don’t live that long without learning some things.”

2. She had made her own mistakes.

Despite what she might have wanted you to believe, your mom wasn’t a saint. She was young once, too. She made some bad decisions, kissed a few frogs, suffered the consequences, and learned from those experiences. She just didn’t want you to make the same mistakes that she did, whether that was smoking cigarettes, skipping college, or overloading the washing machine.

3. She knew you better than you thought.

Feeling misunderstood by one’s parents is a time-honored rite of passage into adulthood. Still, your mom understood you better than you realized. She even understood feeling misunderstood. More importantly, she knew you — your personality, your passions, your patterns, your strengths and weaknesses — because even though she didn’t actually have eyes in the back of her head, she’d been watching you since the day you were born. So, it’s not terribly surprising that she knew before you did when you were dating the wrong person or that basketball wasn’t going to be your sport.

4. Her brain was fully developed.

Admit it: There were times, even back then, when you knew your mom was right — that you shouldn’t jump off the roof with an umbrella like Mary Poppins, go to that unsupervised party where there would be teenage drinking, or drive over the speed limit. But you did it anyway, partly out of curiosity, partly out of spite, and partly because your brain still had some growing to do.

5. She loved you.

Your mom wasn’t perfect (no one is), and she wasn’t always right, but she had your best interests in mind. She wanted you to be successful, happy, and safe because she loved you, plain and simple, and it’s human nature to protect what we love.

6. She had already figured out that her mom was right.

Some of your mom’s best lines came straight from her mother, which came from her mother — classic “momisms” like, “There’s no use crying over spilled milk,” “Life isn’t fair,” or “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” Even if the advice is old and cliche, it holds up. A lot changes from generation to generation, but some truths always remain. Mom just figured them out earlier than you.