Turns out that mums really do know best by Margaret Scott
In 2004 two monumental things happened in my life. I got married and moved out of home for the first times, and six months later my mother sadly passed away.

There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think of her, especially since I had my own two little girls. However, in recent times, there have been more and more days where I’ve remembered something that she said or did, that I vigorously objected to at the time but that now seem perfectly logical.

So Mammy, just to let you know, you were definitely right about the following:

• It is possible to have too many pets. Four dogs, two cats, a rabbit, two donkeys and a pony all seemed like a good idea at the time. Less so when they all line up to be fed. Twice a day. If the cats could call a truce and stop their middle-of-the-night altercations it would help. It’s not good that one can also open doors, which then enables the dog to noisily tap his way across our bedroom floor. And who’d have thought a rabbit could be so grumpy and ungrateful. I thought of you recently as I picked dandelions for him in the pouring rain under a golf umbrella. We had two rabbits and seven guinea pigs when I was small. How did you do it? And why? No wonder you made me wait 26 years for a pony. My girls will be waiting that long for their own one too.

• On the subject of feeding, I now know that it was not entirely reasonable but also totally practical to have set dinners on set days. Many’s the time I complained about Bacon and Cabbage Wednesday but it’s now time to confess that it’s still alive and well in this house. Oh yes, right there with Leftover Monday, Stir-fry Tuesday, Pasta Thursday and Whatever-you-like-I’m-wrecked Friday. There is no doubt that the ‘what are we having for dinner?’ question is one guaranteed to strike fear into any mother’s heart, only topped by ‘my tummy feels funny’ or the dreaded ‘I had a bad dream, can I come into your bed?’

• Speaking of sleep issues, I remember objecting strongly to going to bed one night, I’d say I was about six or seven. Anyhow, eventually you turned to me and said ‘I don’t care if you’re not tired. You don’t go to bed early for you, you go to bed early for me’. In recent years the fatigue that must have been behind those words has become only too clear to me. I love my children, but sometimes I wonder do I love the silence when they’re finally asleep in bed more.

• Frantic bedtimes aside, at least my girls are still small in that I still know exactly where they are every moment of every day. And I still worry. I never imagined the worry that came with having children. It starts from the moment they exist and I’m starting to doubt that it ever goes away. It now makes perfect sense that I was grounded for most of my teenage years. By today’s standards I was an angel, but it’s tomorrow’s standards that frighten me. To that end I’ve started to warn my two already with the words ‘those years between 12 and 22? Yeah, well don’t go making any plans…’

• You were right to make me read, by the way. And to read well. ‘Anne of Green Gables’, ‘The Secret Garden’. ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ – they were all your suggestions and I now read them to my girls. You even bought me ‘Gone With the Wind’ when I was a teenager and we didn’t know it then, but discovering that heroines could be feisty, determined and ruthless when it came to getting their own way would come in very handy one day.

• Which brings me to one final point. I really need to say thanks for making me enter all those school writing competitions and for sitting up with me, night after night as we tweaked poems into the wee hours. Okay, it took a while for it all to pay off, but I’ve written a book, Mammy, a real live book. One that I think you’d enjoy. But then of course you know all that, I could feel you there with me, into the wee hours as we tweaked it line by line. Well don’t go anywhere, apparently we’ve to do it again.
Taken from: Irish Independent WEEKEND 5 January 2013
‘Between You and Me’ by Margaret Scott is published by Poolbeg Press.

Mothers pass on an average of 41 pearls of wisdom to their children

1. Always try your best
2. If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all
3. Get an education – no-one can take that away from you
4. Eat with your mouth closed
5. If you don’t ask you don’t get
6. Never spend money you don’t have
7. Never take sweets from strangers
8. Smile
9. Never swim on a full stomach
10. Treat people with respect
11. Always wear clean underwear
12. You never get something for nothing
13. I want never gets
14. Save money aside for a rainy day
15. Treat others how you wish to be treated yourself
16. There’s no such word as ‘can’t’
17. Practice makes perfect
18. Mind your p’s and q’s
19. Never stare at people it’s rude
20. Watching too much TV will make your eyes go square
21. Mum knows best
22. Look after your pennies and the pennies will look after you
23. Be true to yourself
24. Always eat breakfast
25. You only get out of life what you put into it
26. Never drink on an empty stomach
27. Courtesy and compassion cost nothing
28. Never leave the house with wet hair
29. Look up things you don’t know the answer to
30. Never go to bed on an argument
31. Receive compliments gracefully
32. Life’s too short to be unhappy
33. Don’t eat cheese before bed
34. Always hold the door open
35. Never give up
36. Manners maketh the man
37. The grass is never greener
38. Give compliments easily
39. Never offer lifts to strangers
40. Always have two months’ rent / mortgage saved
41. Men are very different creatures to women
Taken from:

Check out Leo Babauta’s Advice to His Kids:
– You are Good Enough
– All you need to be happy is within you
– Open your heart
– Most of all, love yourself
Taken from:

Remember to always tell your kids – you is smart, you is kind, you is important!