'I ignored these 10 pieces of advice from my mum growing up, and now I want to apologise.'

Mothers. They're beautiful things. We're lucky to have them. 

But there are some aspects I don't always enjoy. Like their endless, overwhelming, eternal... mothering. 

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My mother is a good and sturdy woman. Mean when she needs to be, tough all the time, and always loving. 

She gives good advice - great advice even. But did I enjoy implementing any of it into my life as a kid? No. No I didn't (and I still don't, because being defiant is one of the very few unlikeable traits I have). 

But over the last couple of years, I've come to realise my adolescent stubbornness was misguided. My mother's shrill, impenetrable voice was actually my saving grace. And I deeply regret not listening to her sooner.

So, here are 10 pieces of advice I regret ignoring growing up. (I'm so sorry mum, you were right... as per usual.) 

1. Use your hands for foundation.

To me, this seemed super weird and unsanitary. But I think that's because I refused to ever try it for myself - and if I had I would have realised that it's way cleaner than using the makeup brushes I forget to wash... always. 

Using my fingers to apply and blend my foundation changed my life and my skin. My makeup lasts for hours longer, my skin looks impeccable and everything is smooth. 

My mum may not be a beauty guru, but she was on to something. 

2. Please don't ignore the sunscreen sitting right next to your moisturiser.

Tried and tested. 

The impending spots and lines on my face are a welcome reminder of what happens when you do not heed your mother's advice. While I don't mind looking older, I'm sure mitigating the risks of skin cancer as much as I possibly can could have a few personal benefits. 

Now I can't go a day without applying on top of my moisturiser. My face and body may be as pale as ever, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Here are some Mamamia sunscreen favourites, by the way. 


3. Stop biting your lip. No seriously, stop.

The blood which pooled and dried at the corners of each cut on my seriously unnourished lips were BEGGING for some sustenance. 

Sorry mum, I should have never started the habit of biting my lips at all. But also, at the same time, you are my mum. So like, you should have grounded me or something for not listening.

4. Please.... straighten your back..........

"Don't keep your back straight. See if I care," my mum would say after watching me gallop around the park in a hunched position as a child. 

You see, I have an unbelievably rounded back. All because I used to believe my mum telling me to "stand up tall" was just another way of her attempting to ruin my day. 

News flash little Shannen: It wasn't. 

Also, she absolutely does continue to care, and she brings it up every time she sees me slide back into hunch mode.  

5. Always keep a spare pair of undies on your person.

What do mothers know about being a woman? Everything, it turns out.

It only took quite a few times where I forgot to pack a spare pair of briefs in my school backpack to realise maybe mum was right about this one. Just MAYBE she might be on to something.

Either way, keep some undies in your backpack. Especially when you're a teenage girl. Because a red patch on your school skirt is not at all ideal.

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6. Don't run at a problem, walk towards it instead.

This is a good bit of advice from mum, and a good bit of advice I did ignore. 

Basically, what she meant was: take small steps to achieve your goals. 

Instead, I tried to tackle everything head on with as much energy as I possibly could. Yes, that was a mistake and burnout is now a friend I know well. 

Implementing this little slice of advice changed my life (a few years late, but that's fine). 

7. Don't be mean to your generous uncles.

Who cares if their beliefs are outdated or dare I say, sexist? Be kind to them, reap the financial benefits and keep on smiling for another day knowing you'll always have someone to help you move houses or a person to go to for a mansplainer on what exactly an NFT is

But in all seriousness, my family is great. And I really was an angry teenager growing up, so soz to you all. 

8. Iron your bloody blazer.

Or invest in a steamer. Your school uniform that your mother spent $110 on will thank you kindly. 

Insert: me at my high school graduation with my parents. My mum had not seen me until I walked on stage to accept a certificate, and was not at all happy with how I "represented myself".


9. Spend more time with your siblings.

My siblings are annoying. Extremely annoying. And growing up, they were the bane of my existence. So, I went out of my way to ignore them. 

And now it's a deep regret, because they live overseas and I miss them. 

I wish I had spent more time with them while they still lived in the same country as me. And it is definitely a bummer that I can only spend time with them through FaceTime calls, or watch them grow through photos I'm not part of. 

As she always is, mum was right when she said they won't always be with you. 

10. Cherish everything and everyone.

Admittedly, it is very difficult to look back on my childhood and not cringe at the embarrassing moments my mum put me through, like when she chopped off half of my hair and gave me a lopsided fringe for the duration of sixth grade. 

But in all honesty, I am incredibly lucky to have a mum like mine. To have a mum that loves ME and roots for my success at all. Her grandest piece of advice - one I didn't always follow - was to love and cherish all that I own and all the people I have. 

So, thank your mum - and to all mothers - who chastise their children, give them advice they don't always want to hear, force them to be and do better, and love them above anything else in this life. 


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