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‘Don’t screw up!’ and other advice from moms

From dating tips to words of encouragement, readers share wise words from their mothers.
/ Source: TODAY

This Mother's Day, remember your mother's wise words! TODAY viewers and readers share the special moments and advice their mothers gave them — read the best of readers' treasured life lessons:

If he will cheat with you on his wife, he will find another woman to cheat on you with. Don't trust him any further than you can throw him.—Anonymous , Checotah, OK

The best advice my mom gave me came when I started dating. She very simply told me "If you date someone you don't want to bring home and introduce to your family, then you probably shouldn't be dating them at all." How true dear 'ol mom's word were! Even though mom has been gone for 26 years, I can still hear those words as I repeat the same thing to my 21 year old daughter.—Susan Sisk, Timonium, MD

In my early twenties I was in a failing relationship. I told my mom "He isn't making me happy!". My mother said wisely, "He isn't supposed to make you happy, but only add to your happiness — when you are happy with yourself, only then you can you expect happiness from someone else."—Margaret Caldwell, Gilbert, AZ

My dearest mother taught me a simple but invaluable truth, "If you don't want to do your husband's laundry for the rest of his/your life, don't do it once." The same wisdom can work in many different areas.—Jennie Allen, Cornwall, VT

My mother said "It's better to eat soup with the one you love then to eat steak with someone that you do not". How very true that has been.—Anonymous , Elwood, NE

Never sugarcoat things — unless you want to be a politician." Also, that no matter what happens in life, you always have family to fall back on; family is a constant safety net — and that has stuck with me even now that I'm all grown up and in the navy, making my own way thousands of miles from home. —Billy Ryan

My mother use to tell me that memories are like a bag of potatoes. You toss out the bad ones so they won't ruin the good ones. Then she would look at me and ask which ones I would throw away — the good ones or the rotten ones. Every time I clean out my vegetable bin I hear her voice telling me this. It is a reminder to clean out my rotten memories and not to hang on to them. --Rhiannon Waits, Pensacola, FL

My Mother taught me the fine art of making rice pudding. It may not seem like a big deal to you but to me and my sisters and brother, it is a link to our dear Mother who passed away ten years ago... What have I gained from knowing that I could make rice pudding as well as she? That I could carry on after her death. That she is still with me no matter the time or distance, that someday we will meet again. So each time I stand at the stove, stirring the milk and rice till it is just right — a process that takes no less than an hour and a half — I smile and reflect about a mother who gave so much of herself to the five daughters and one son who adored her.—Patricia Gonzalez, Churchville, MD

"Always protect your reputation." As a single mother of two teenage daughters, I always explain to them the importance of protecting their reputation. Without a clean reputation and integrity in your life, it will wipe you of who you truly are. Reputation for me is, my entire identity. We see a lot of teenagers posting inappropriate pictures in MySpace for example, and don't realize that this will haunt them down the road. —Anonymous , Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

"When live gets hard, you need to walk slowly and think every step you make and look your best." This Spanish saying was given to my mom by my grandmother, who was an orphan... The saying basically means that during hard times, you need to feel good and look good — and it does not mean spending money. She looked good and put together and I still remember her few dresses. Walk slowly means analyzing the next step, without getting desperate and calm down. —Anonymous , Crawfordville, FL

My mom taught me that laughter is the best medicine for everything, especially a marriage. If you can't laugh together, you will miss out on all the joys and the wonderful journey God has laid out for you. I will always remember this and after three years of marriage I must admit —my mom was right.—Christine Martin, Durham, NC

My mother always said to me; "Who cares what other people think about you? In the end, does it really matter as long as you are truly happy with yourself? Because that's the hardest accomplishment of all." And she is completely right.—Anonymous , Centerport, NY

She said "Never write anything that would embarrass you if it appeared on the front page of the local newspaper." That single line has saved me many times.—Jonny Schulz, Monroeville, NJ

When I was a freshman in college my mom said to me, "Don't you screw up!" followed by a much softer, "I love you sweetie." We both reflect and laugh about that conversation six years later. I didn't screw up Mom!—Jessie De La Rosa, Albuquerque, NM

About dating she said, "Go through all four seasons with a man before making a long-term commitment — as we all have a way of dealing better or worse as the seasons change." She also said, "Make sure he loves you more than you love him." In other words, don't make compromises for him because if he truly loves you for who you are, he won't want you to change or compromise your beliefs.—Anonymous , Springfield, OR

"You are not your child's friend, you are the mom. They will love you again after they are 25 years old."—Sarah Adams

We were cleaning the floors of [my sister's] apartment, I was going over the center of the floor with a mop, while my mother was on her knees scraping the dirt from the corners. With little progress that I could see, I asked my mother why she was spending so much time on so little space. Without hesitation she said "Take care of the corners, and the rest of the floor will take care of itself." Now, I don't know if she intended it the way I understood it, but I took that as a basic philosophy for life: Mind the details and the big picture will always come out well. It has served me well for decades.—Daryl Wallace

This may sound silly, but the talent I learned from my mom was picking up things with my toes. I started out picking up pens, quarters, keys, then graduated to remote controls, sippy cups, etc. You wouldn't believe how much this helped when I was pregnant!—Stephanie Ybarra, Maple Valley, WA

"What's not in your head, is in your feet." [My mother] said that every time we forgot something and had to walk back to get it, especially from our bedroom which was upstairs!—Jean Hrbek, NY

The best advice my mother ever gave me was to give a potential date a chance. Just after I turned 26, I ended a relationship with a man that I truly thought was the love of my life. A few weeks later, I ended up meeting a man who was a client. I had a rule never to date a client, and at that point, I did not want to date anyone...  When I mentioned the client to my mother, she suggested I should think about having dinner with him. When I happened to run into him one afternoon when I was out with my mother, she mentioned it again with the words "one dinner won't hurt you. See what happens". I finally decided to go to dinner with the intention that the meal would satisfy my mother and would prove that dating a client was a bad idea. Instead, after many dinners, I married the guy. Without my mother's encouragement, her push for me to see beyond the past and the possibilities for the future, I would not have found such a good match. It has also helped me to push myself in so many other directions in my life, trying things that I might not otherwise. It doesn't hurt to see what will happen.—Anonymous , Green Bay, WI