Note: This blog was originally published in July 2011.
I recently read an interview with one of my favorite folk musicians, Alela Diane. Alela was discussing some of the implications of following in her mother’s musical footsteps and touring with her father as a member of her band. Alela mentioned the fact that she is constantly receiving little bits of advice both on the road and off. Yet, she was still taking the information and carrying out the family trade (beautifully I might add…). It made me wonder, what kind of input do we take seriously from our parents as compared to other adults/mentors? What do we, as growing young adults, really value in terms of advice and support?
A child’s perspective
While I was living under my parents’ roof, it never occurred to me that they were people before I came along, or that it is not their sole purpose on this planet to cater to my every want. They probably didn’t wish to work all week and then spend endless hours sitting at my two day volleyball tournaments or listen to my nonstop childish complaints, but they did it because they had my best interests in mind.
Valuing a mother’s input
Sometime after this childhood selfishness, I came to the realization that my mom is a whole person. Crazy, right? She had friends, boyfriends, adventures, awkward high school years, and a record of missteps like everyone else. She learned life lessons and conveyed them to her three children when necessary. Mom grew up once too, and learned a lot along the way. For these reasons, I generally tend to take my mother’s input very seriously when making decisions. Most of the time, I do things I know mom will approve and be proud of.
Yet, it seems to be the perception by parents that their children respond to their guidance with the roll of an eye and the turn of a shoulder. I decided to ask around and see what my peers think about this topic. With little provocation, they poured out information, explaining that they take the advice of their mothers very seriously, far more seriously than the advice of other adults.
My friends had some great insight: My friend Liz Davis explained, “I always turn to my mom for advice, even if I get mad at her for giving advice I don’t want to hear. In high school, I would storm off but then think, oh she is completely right!” Rhea Guzman added, “I always take my mom’s advice. I trust her and I know that she wants what is best for me. Because of this, she will tell me the truth, even if it’s bad.”
Moms know us best
When comparing all of the responses I received to these questions, I kept finding that we turn to our mothers first, because they know us better than any other adults. Moms know us inside and out, upside and down. Even when they aggravate us to no end, moms always have our best interests in mind, and that fact doesn’t escape us. So moms, keep giving the sage advice and know that we are listening, even if our actions indicate otherwise. As said by Emily Dickenson, “[A] mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.” We really do trust you.