30 Mothers Quotes You’ve Heard Your Entire Life

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You are going to meet a lot of people in your life.

Thousands, maybe even tens of thousands. And in almost all of these situations, you are going to wish that a connection, whether brief or long, can be forged between you and the other person.

For a smaller number of the people you meet, you’ll start to hope that those connections will deepen into something more caring and loving.

Unfortunately, many of the relationships we build throughout our lives fall away. Friends who we depended on at school fall by the wayside when we go off to college. First loves can fizzle out as the world grows around us. And, inevitably, the hopes and dreams we have for these connections with other people go unfulfilled. They don’t meet expectations; people move, they get new jobs, good friends become too busy, personalities change and life gets in the way.

This is perfectly fine – this is, in fact, normal. After all, you don’t need a thousand friends to feel connected in this world. You just need a few key relationships that are long-held, strong and loving.

Fortunately, there is usually one person who you can depend on, and who will – whatever you changing circumstances – be motivated to offer support, love, and encouragement for as long as they can. They may not be your best friend, but they will always value your feelings and want the best for you.

This person is your mother.

The most important relationship you will ever have might be with your mother, as it begins before you are born, and continues even after one of you is gone. Though our relationships with our mothers can be conflicted or confused at times, on some level we will always appreciate them.

They gave us life, offer us emotional support, make us feel loved, support our dreams, fight to keep us safe, and hopefully teach us the difference between right and wrong.

Though we may not always like hearing their advice, many of the things we have grown up hearing our mothers say are fundamental, important truths. Whether she said them with a smile or a scowl, we’ve put together a list of “mother wisdom” to show you just how important she, and her lessons, are.

Here are 30 Mother’s Quotes You’ve Heard Your Entire Life

  • “Because I said so.”
  • “I would never have gotten away with that behaviour when I was your age.”
  • “Eat your veggies and you’ll grow up to be big and strong.”
  • “It’s like talking to a brick wall.”
Silhouette of a woman holding her child in the air near the sea at sunset
“You’ve got to take the bitter with the sweet.”

This sounds cliche, but taking the bitter with the sweet is actually some really good advice. Life is always a zero-sum game, we never get something for nothing. When we begin to understand that sacrifices are a necessary part of all our successes, we can be more realistic in our expectations for life and less disappointed when things don’t go exactly the way we planned.

  • “Don’t stoop to their level.”
  • “That’s the pot calling the kettle black.”
  • “If (insert name) jumped off a bridge, would you?”
  • “As long as you live under my roof, you’ll do as I say.”
A pair of baby shoes and some soothes laid out on a brown bedspread
“Your clothes aren’t going to pick themselves up.”

We’ve all heard our mothers nag us at some point about not keeping our room neat and tidy. While it may seem annoying when we’re children with better things to do, as adults we do come to understand the value of being organized and keeping our living space clean. The way we interact with the world starts with ourselves – so if we can keep our bed made and clothes off the floor, we find it easier to make headway with the rest of our responsibilities. Admiral William H. McCraven agrees with your mother! Check out his amazing 2014 commencement address on how to change the world by making your bed in the morning.

  • “A little birdy told me.”
  • “I’ll treat you like an adult when you start acting like one.”
  • “Did you brush your teeth?”
  • “Money can’t buy happiness but it sure helps!”
A woman comforts her daughter in a wheat field near a blue lake
“It’s no use crying over spilt milk.”

Whether we heard this when we literally spilled some milk or when we were getting upset over something just as trivial, this is still sound advice. Life is all about priorities, and knowing that some things are worth worrying about and others simply aren’t is the first step towards emotional maturity.

  • “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
  • “Finish your dinner, there are children starving in the world.”
  • “Do you think I’m made of money?”
  • ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
A couple holding hands with their young daughter walks away from the camera
“Don’t forget to say please and thank you.”

Not all parents make a big deal out of manners, but those who do are making a huge difference in the future lives of their children. As I mentioned at the start of this article, relationships are a huge part of life, and the way you interact with people reflects your personality and can have a major impact on the opportunities you get.

  • “I am going to count to three and you better….”
  • “Pick that up before somebody trips on it and breaks their neck!”
  • “Because I’m your mother!”
  • “Don’t ever let me catch you doing that again!”
A woman with black nail polish cradles the feet of a tiny baby
“Go to your room and think about what you’ve done.”

With this advice, our mothers were trying to teach us to reflect on our behavior. This is known as meta-cognition, thinking about thinking, and it is a really important factor in the development of a well rounded and empathetic personality. Unfortunately, most of us either went to our rooms and started playing or spent time thinking about how unfair our mothers are!

  • “If you’re too sick to go to school, you’re too sick to play outside.”
  • “Don’t sit so close to the television, it will ruin your eyes.”
  • “I’m not going to ask you again.”
  • “Call me when you get there, just so I know you’re ok.”
A woman with blonde hair blows huge bubbles with her young son
“You’ll understand when you’re older.”

This is another quote that we just didn’t understand at the time. However, the older we get, the more we develop a sense of empathy for our parents. We begin to see them more as people in their own right, and less as projections of who we believe they should be. The reality is that we do begin to understand more – about perspective, about fairness, about opportunity – as we get older, but we have to grow up to appreciate the advice.

Whether it’s Mother’s Day or not, remember to show your appreciation for your mother and all that she has done for you. Share the best advice your mother ever gave you with us in the comments below!

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Natalie Seale

Natalie Seale is a writer, researcher, and editor for keepinspiring.me. She holds an MA, MSc, and PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh, and has started two businesses since 2011. Natalie is an avid reader, a keen traveller, and enjoys cooking and walking with her English Spaniel. Her posts focus on inspiring others to live healthy, happy, and active lives.