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Things My Mama Says … That I Don't Agree With!

Nov 21, 2014

I was thinking of all the ways that my dearest mother has influenced me and all the things she has said over the years that I have learned from, rebelled from and ultimately that have made me who I am today. In many cases these have highlighted to me the gulf in values between women of her generation and mine. I think it’s important to question everything and, especially as women, to filter values imparted by one generation of women to the next through what is relevant and authentic to our time.

These are some of the things my mother says that I have questioned over the years - let me know your views!

1) Don’t burn your bridges

I do not take this lightly and fully recognise that you never know when you are next going to bump into someone, need someone’s advice or simply regret your decision to end a relationship in the heat of the moment, but I have realised over the years that burning your bridges is a very important and sometimes self-affirming practice. When you have done all you can to save things, tried your best but you still can’t seem to get through to someone or they have acted so badly that it is damaging to your self esteem, sometimes there is no choice but to finally and permanently say goodbye. I have realised that it's best to do things when there is still goodwill enough left to make the end classy, something that does justice to your time together and is respectful. However, that doesn’t always happen and there is not always a perfect ending or parting of ways or even a sense of closure for one or another party. The whole concept of burning your bridges is to leave no space to go back and that involves an element of fearlessness! Sometimes that may involve speaking your mind, no holds barred! No fence sitting, no leaving doors open, false politeness, no 'just in case', no worrying whether they might think you are not very nice. Burning your bridges takes courage, it takes a high level of self-esteem and hope that something better will be around the corner.

2) Be a Lady

This is probably something said by mothers the world over! If being a lady means being classy and sometimes taking the high road, not losing your shit and maintaining your composure, then I definitely agree. It just feels better to conduct yourself like that - with a swanlike grace through life. However lets be real, we are not all ladies all the time and sometimes we can get downright ugly when angry, stressed, depressed, lazy. Sometimes you do not feel like being perfectly turned out, don’t feel like smiling sweetly to an arrogant rude or stupid person and you don’t feel like suppressing your ugly side to maintain the appearance of a perfect lady. The concept of a lady as opposed to a woman is a massive lie in my opinion anyway - it is an archetype - the airbrushed side of womanhood, the side that floats in, makes everyone happy and floats out. I don’t always want to be a lady especially if it boxes me into some easily digestible form of my actual self.

3) It’s as easy to fall in love with someone rich ………..

This reflects the societal bias towards seeking to date men who are wealthy. Yes I have heard all the usual stuff ..... that money represents a natural urge towards security for women, it means power in a man and we are drawn to powerful men (again because of some primeval urge) etc etc. However, we are way beyond this now surely? We have opportunities to provide for ourselves and while we may not have achieved the holy grail of perfect economic equality shouldn't we be directing our energies towards getting it on our own and our own self-development rather than trying to manipulate men into 'providing' and judging them by what they can afford to pay for? To judge a man on the size of his wallet is similar to judging a woman on her chest size - would you be OK with that? I have found that sometimes for men it goes like this: you make me feel good about myself and wiggle and giggle, I'll pay for dinner all the time - you shut your mouth and suppress your opinions and I'll -- erm....pay for dinner all the time! You can’t have it both ways - someone that respects your opinions, that allows you to be an equal and provide emotional support, love and genuine companionship and also expect to be his little princess. Trust me, all the dinners and gifts in the world can’t compensate for an arrogant douche bag that thinks he is the master of the universe and that he can buy you with his gold Amex. I am not saying all rich men are like this and I’m not saying that you can’t allow yourself to be treated - it’s a lovely way to be shown love - but it shouldn’t be the whole enchilada. Judge a man by all of his gifts, not just the gifts he gives you.

No thanks!

Er.. No thanks!

4) Blood is thicker than water

This is one that is also frequently cited - blood is thicker than water. Maybe I am burning bridges in saying this (haha) but I don’t agree! My friends are my lifeline and my support and often the biggest critics and the biggest drain on your life-force are those that are blood related. I don’t think that the strength of a bond can be defined by how you are linked and where or when you met. It is a different relationship - someone that has known you for life knows you in a different way than someone who has known you for a couple of years and met you in a certain context. However to say that blood is thicker and therefore deserves more time, more loyalty, more love is nonsense. Ultimately, you decide which relationships will stand the test of time through the amount of effort you put in with each other and there is no unquestionable rule that just because you are related you are obligated to put in that effort!

And lastly, because I am sure there is a Part 2 to this blog post….......

5) The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

I can deal with this in one sentence:

Er…. no Mum, it isn’t! I can think of another body part that leads straight there though...... Only joking ladies!

So ......what do you think? 

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