I talked with my daughters on Mother’s Day over the phone. I still share how fortunate we are now. It wasn’t that long ago that distance phone calls were so expensive. Calling cards were amazing! Now we can talk across the country for the same rate as if they lived in town. I read articles about letters and advice from mothers in the newspaper and thought about what advice or concepts stood the test of time from both my husband, Steve, and I.
1) You are an honest person or your not. Tell the truth even if there are consequences. Always pay the right amount. You can never get burned for telling the truth and people will value your word.
2) Don’t force it. If it doesn’t go easy, something may be wrong. This advice works for jobs, mechanical items, doors, plans and relationships.
3) If you drop something, keep looking. It didn’t go into a different dimension. Usually with hard contacts but true for earrings and anything that is dropped in a car. ( I actually found a hard contact in the bathroom on the vent and vitamin on the kitchen floor before Carson ate it using this advice. )
1) If you think about it, do it. Thank you notes, replacing something, buying stamps, medication refills, getting gas, phone call to friend or family. You won’t have to keep thinking about doing the action.
2) Have it before you need it. We always keep a list of things that are getting low. I hated as a kid when we ran out of toilet paper, milk, etc. just because the item was not replaced when it was getting low and we had to wait until someone could go to the store. Until I was in college, the closest store was a 1/2 hour trip. Be proactive not reactive.
3)Have a place to put your keys and your mail. Nothing is worse than running around looking for keys as your leave or having to go through stacks of mail to find a bill or invitation. Now that we have a recycling can, much of the mail never enters the house.
General advice from Steve and I that works:
1) Always keep a clean kitchen because you don’t want to wake up to a mess after a dinner party or starting to cook after a long day and you have clean the counters/wash an item needed for cooking.
2)Have good tools. Works for projects or cooking. A bulletin board by the door to hold your keys and messages is a great tool. Everyone in our family have bulletin boards to write messages or post information we will need leaving the house.
3) Praise in public, correct in private. Also let things go. Adults know when they made an error, no need to keep harping on it.
4) When you are asked to do something, say I will get back to you. Get back but don’t’ be pressured to say yes. If you say no, don’t be pressured to make an excuse. Just say, “No, but thank you for asking me.” (I really get pressured to take on more volunteer activity and sometimes no is not acceptable. I have to use the broken record. )
5) When someone asks you a rude question, be polite and deflect. Rude questions like: “When are you going to have children? ” “Do you think you will ever get married?” “How tall are you?” “Are you concerned about your weight and health issues?” “Don’t you wish your daughters lived in town?”
Gee, that is an interesting question. Why do you ask? Usually the person is nervous and wants to show interest and was told to ask something about another person. When they say something about them, “I wish I was tall”, ” I love having grandchildren” etc. you can change the subject back to them or joke. “Airplane seats were made for you!” “Health is a concern, isn’t it? What is your strategy?”
6) Let someone say at least 3 sentences when they bring up something or you ask a question. I learned this strategy through sales training. Listening builds trust. Talking too much shuts down dialog and causes frustration.
It is so annoying when someone asks, ” How was blank or what do you do about blank?” and you respond. I really enjoyed blank or I do blank and you want to give an example.” Before you can give your example, the person responds, “I remember when I did/my friend did/I read about and they take over the conversation. It shuts down the conversation. Instead listen to the next 3 sentences and ask another question about what the speaker just said. “Oh, you really enjoyed the desert. What surprised you the most?” I wish I shared with my mom before she died. She never let me finish a thought. She had been shy most of her life and would never say anything and then swing the other way. 🙂
7)My mom always said, “You can never get back time. If you can pay for something to be done, do it! Do something else you enjoy.” Jenni shared that not only the activity but the before and after time is important too.
8)Keep a paper calendar for sharing as a family or as a back up for your phone. It is a real time saver. It is so much easier to plan and flip pages than scrolling.
9) Take time to get organized. Have a partner to help go through things and help make decisions about where things go. Beth recently was home and Steve helped her go through items from college and high school. (1 hour to sort) Items to be stored have a place. We helped dispose of trash, recycling and donations. The entire process took 4 hours to complete.
Please share advice you found helpful.