Written by Dianne Moniz (nee Crooc)
Moms are undeniably awesome. And as it turns out, they DO know best.
I got married in October 2019 to my better half, Gavin. We had a beautiful and highly emotional wedding, witnessed by our nearest & dearest. Yes, there were lots of tears! The reality of leaving my childhood home only really dawned on me as I ever-so-slowly started to pack up my room. I knew it was inevitable that I would leave my parents and start a family with my new husband, but I thought I had more time at home!
My parents have been married 34 years and were dating for 4 years prior to that. In total, they have been together for 38 years. If you ran into my parents on the street, you would think they were newlyweds! They have kept the spark alive and strong all these years. They have both taught me different things, seeing as their personalities are so different, yet complementary to each other.
I’m sharing a few lessons my mom taught me, which I have used in my married life.
1. Your home is your haven.
Where you reside isn’t only the four walls and roof over your head; it’s a palace of joy. Everything should have a home. A well organized and clean home allows for a clear headspace, even on the days that get you down. When we were younger, my brothers and I thought our mom was so strict when one of the rules of the home was to put things back in their place. We could not have anything just laying around. I only appreciated this rule when I started getting into my merchandising role in the retail industry, where I had to style and organize the store in a very aesthetically pleasing manner. Now, I have the same rule in our home and Gavin is still getting used to it!
2. Trendy doesn’t suit everyone.
In my younger years, I shopped until I dropped - all of my income into everything that was new and trendy. I was very much into loud colours, bold prints and eccentric styles. I was not very keen on art itself, so I used clothes as a way to express myself. Shopping was like my own personal art form. My mom always said to me, “Just because it’s trendy, doesn’t mean it suits you.” I very much disagreed and continued to spend my hard-earned money on clothes, which would only last one season; sometimes, only one wash! It was not until I was in my early 20’s that I had a complete switch in fashion mentality. I changed my entire wardrobe with classic and elegant pieces that would outlast every trend.
3. Always represent yourself well.
Representing yourself well isn’t a form of narcissism but is actually self-care. It is the way you present yourself to the world: what do you want it to say about you?
Not only does this apply to how you represent yourself outside the home, but also at home. When I used to live with my parents, my mom would poke fun at how I looked with my mismatched jammies and super worn-out oversized t-shirts. She said I should put in as much effort in my home attire, as I do in my professional outfits. It is just as important to keep yourself looking prim and proper, in and out of the home - especially when starting in a new home with my husband.
4. Share your talents, share your love.
My mom loves to host guests at home! She likes sharing her home and her talents, especially because she is a fantastic cook! Having friends and family over also strengthens our relationships and deepens bonds. Food is such a gift and being able to share it is such a joy. My mom’s strong culinary skills allowed our family to have such close relations, as it was her way of expressing her love. She has passed this love of hosting onto me! As I learnt to cook, I knew I wanted to share the wealth with family and friends. She is also the reason I know how to make a killer charcuterie board and set a table beautifully.
5. Never go to bed angry.
This saying is cliché, because it is true. Regardless, it is one of the most important “rules” to live by. Going to bed in a sour mood doesn’t help anyone; you end and start the day in a negative state of mind. It’s also an unhealthy way to live! Life is too short to be or stay mad. Who wants their slumber ruined anyway?
6. Learn to spend your money on experiences.
The aforementioned shopping spree always led my mom to remind me that my money should be saved for experiences and travel. She always taught me not to be materialistic. There is a whole world to explore and cultures to learn about! The best thing your money can buy is travel. You have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different country, learn a new language and experience a brand new culture! These are where your fondest memories lie.
7. Don’t be afraid to apologize.
Whenever I got into an argument with any member of my family, I always refused to speak to them first. I had this bad habit - let’s call it pride - where I thought if I initiated the apology I “lost” the fight. My mom taught me that apologizing does not mean you have lost the fight. Instead, you have won in valuing the relationship over your ego. It opens the way to forgiveness and allows you to start the healing process faster.
My mom has taught me so much that I could write a novel! She is fierce, strong and truly amazing. It’s difficult to find accurate adjectives to describe her; sometimes I feel they just do not do her justice. It is difficult to sum up how extraordinary my relationship is with my mom. Take my advice - never take your mom for granted. She is your best teacher and your best friend.