Pearls of Wisdom from Mom

With Mother's Day around the corner on Sunday, May 8th, it's worth remembering all the little nagging things our Moms used to say to us. Without these little nuggets of wisdom, we wouldn't be who we are. Thanks Mom!

LMU355913 V is for vegetable, 2007 (acrylic on card), Luke Martineau/ Private Collection

"Eat your vegetables!"

Often accompanied by "how do you know you don't like it, if you've never tried it," there are many variations of this timeless piece of advice, from "carrots make you see better in dark" or "a colorful plate is a healthy plate." Mom does know best.

SZP367248 A boy helping his younger sister to cross the road, 1931 (b/w photo), German/ SZ Photo, Scherl

"Make sure to look both ways before you cross the street."

Sage advice for life, we think.

XCF264481 The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, illustration from 'Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll (colour litho) by John Tenniel

"Don't slouch, sit up straight, get your elbows off the table and chew with your mouth closed."

Enough said.

XIR61229 The Carrying of the Cross, detail (oil on panel) by Hieronymus Bosch/ Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Belgium

"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

CH139773 Moment of Suspense, 1861 (oil on panel) by George Smith/ Christie's Images
"Why would anyone buy the cow, when they can get the milk for free?"
WGL307960 Polishing Pans (oil on canvas) by Marianne Stokes/ Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

"You're bored? I'll give you something to do."

We've never met anyone who has not regretted complaining to his/her mother of their boredom. As swiftly as it left our tongues, we were presented with a list of hideous chores that needed our expert hand.

ADV333595 Front cover of 'John Bull', October 1949 (detail) / The Advertising Archives
"I don't care who started it! If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?"
NBL273669 Cousins, 2006 (oil on paper) by Nicola Bealing/ Contemporary Artist

"Quit making that face, or it'll stick like that!"

Let's face it (no pun intended) but Mom wanted us to look our best and behave at all times. Nothing worked like the threat of your facial muscles permanently sticking in a grotesque position to wipe that expression off your face!

XAM61857 Cupid Carving a Bow (detail of) (oil on canvas) by Parmigianino/ Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

"Just ignore him/her/it!"

Otherwise known as "take the high road." As hard as it was to ignore the pesky brother two inches from your face, it was a wonderful lesson to learn. You will come into contact with a plethora of people that will push your buttons - better to not stoop to their level.

CH344428 A Mother and Child in an Interior, 1898 (oil on canvas) by Peter Vilhelm Ilsted/ Christie's Images

"Why? Because I'm the mom and I said so!"

Pure genius. We never got our answer, but we get it now....we asked TOO many questions.


Click to view a lightbox of some of our favorite images of motherhood. If you are looking for something specific and need help with your search, drop us a line and we'll put together a selection for you.

Back to top