Sex & Relationships

Moms (really do) know best!

Listen up: Readers share the best advice their mothers ever gave them

You can count on three things in life: moms will always give advice, kids will always believe they know it all, and eventually, we will always realize our moms were right all along. Luckily, the cycle gets shorter as we age, and the advice just becomes more valuable with time.

Like so many of you who submitted your mothers’ best advice to Chatelaine.com, I, too, have found my life is richer now that I listen to my mom. She always tells me that even when times get tough, I need to do the little things that make me happy. This year, that advice helped me through the end of a relationship that wasn’t working, while keeping my sanity – and my belief in love – intact.

Whether you’re navigating relationships, dealing with disappointments or figuring out how to live life to the fullest, we can all learn from the sage wisdom shared here. And because I didn’t say it enough growing up, thanks for all the great advice, Mom.

“I secretly fell in love and married at 18. My mother’s advice on my wedding day seemed harsh, but it served me well. She said, ‘Today you will become a wife. This is your choice, just remember this.’ Thirty years later, I am a happily married woman, mother of four and grandmother of three. I’ve had such a wonderful life because I learned my mother’s simple rule: ‘You can’t just quit when life doesn’t go your way.’”

– Noreen Fellinger, Wawa, Ont.

My mom used to say to me and my teenage friends: ‘Girls, anyone can have a boyfriend – if they’re willing to settle.’

– Stephanie Benay Dexter, High River, Alta.


“I was helping to harvest potatoes in our community when a neighbouring family kept crowding in – which meant fewer potatoes and less money for us. I was young and angry and I wanted to tell the family exactly where to go. My mother said, ‘Why make unnecessary enemies?’ To create a lasting tension because of a stupid potato field would have been petty and immature. Since then, her advice has helped me re-examine how I deal with all the situations I face.”

– Heather McIsaac, Florenceville, N.B.

My mom has a wonderful way of calming me down when I’m stressed about work. She says, ‘Tell them to stuff it.’ I never do, of course, but it makes me feel better.

– Marisa Latini, Toronto


“My mother once told me that if the recipe ingredients are good and you’re patient, you can never go wrong. She saved at least one cheesecake with that advice (she topped it with strawberries and nobody noticed the sunken part in the middle). One day, I realized her advice applied to people. Feeling smug, I called to tell her I’d discovered the metaphorical value as well. I could hear her smiling through the phone. ‘But of course, dear!’ she said.”

– Shula Klinger, Richmond, B.C.


“When I had my first child, a demanding and colicky baby girl, my mother gave me the one golden rule I live by: ‘Don’t worry about anything your kids won’t be doing when they’re 17. If you must worry, worry about teaching them please and thank you – the most valuable words they’ll ever need to know.’ “

– Alison Goldman, Toronto