Listen to your mother


Mom's memorable advice on mothering

In honor of Mother’s Day in May, we asked readers for their mom’s best bit of parenting advice. Here’s what you told us:

• My mom’s advice is: “No matter what you do to make ends meet, make sure that you spend time with the children. Don’t get caught up in house cleaning or chores. Those things will always be there—the children won’t; and they grow up so fast. Spend time with them and they’ll want to spend time with you.” Kim of Woodridge, mom of Alex, 7, and Greg, 4

• My mother always made sure she said “I Love You” as I walked out the door. Hearing those words was so reassuring. When I was having a tough time, I knew my mom’s love was always with me and that got me through it.

She often told me, “When you grow up and have children of your own, I hope you always remind them that you love them with all your heart.” Debbie of Park Ridge, mom of Heather, 10, Nicole, 9, and Christina, 3

• As a new mom, I received lots of advice from well-meaning friends and family. I felt a little vulnerable due to my lack of experience. My mother told me to listen politely and then to trust my instincts because I would know what was best for my child. I have found this advice very helpful in raising my family. Tracey of Woodstock, mom of Andrew, 8, and Riley, 1

• Prior to my first child, I was a teacher in Oak Park. When I got pregnant, my husband and I decided I would stay home with the baby. I remember telling mom about my fears of staying home: missing my job, getting bored and having only one income. How did my mom, a mother of five, respond?

“Don’t worry honey, it’ll all work out.” And it has, just like Mom said it would! They’re words to live by. Donna of Lombard, mom of Erik, 5, and Elyse, 3

• As a first time mom, I was nervous. The first time I took my daughter out in public I was sure I would mess up and some woman would scold me. My mom told me to always trust my instincts. When an elderly woman did scold me for bringing my daughter out so young, I told her times have changed and my daughter is perfectly fine. The stimulation is good for her. I was proud of myself for sticking up for what I believed in. Another bit of good advice from Mom was: Instead of making sure the beds are made and dishes put away, go out and enjoy your kids. Paige of Palatine, mom of Savannah, 2, and Keegan, 3 months

• My mother always told me that there were three things I should never forget: God, your family and your heritage. As a mother of two, I realize how important this is. Zoe of Tinley Park, mom of Frank, 7, and Noah, 4

• The best advice I ever got from my mom was: “Don’t worry about making mistakes, whatever you do is right because you’re the mom and moms are always right.” It has helped me remember that I may not be perfect, but my instincts will guide me. Abby of Matteson, mom of Ian, 5 months

• The best bit of parenting advice I got from my mom was to devote my full time and attention to the career of mothering. If I wanted great kids who would be a success, that would mean other pursuits should be given secondary status.

She gave me this advice about a month after my first child was born. She had come down to take care of me and the baby. Her advice had added weight because she was practicing what she preached: she left my father and brother back home, as well as her work, to tend to my needs when I really needed her.

This advice has helped me stay focused. Often times, when I’m in the middle of work (I work from home) or reading some enticing article in a magazine (i.e. Chicago Parent) and my daughter calls, I remember my mom’s advice. It’s not always easy to live up to, but it reminds me of what my priorities are. Samana of Homewood, mom of Mariya, 1

• When my first child was born, my mother spent a few days with us to help my husband and I get acclimated to parenthood. She was so supportive. One day as we watched my angelic daughter sleeping, she told me she knew that I would be a wonderful mother. She said there would be days when my daughter would come home feeling sad when someone at school hurt her feelings, and I would feel like crying with her. Other days she would come home laughing and full of vigor. It would be those days that I’d cherish most. Eight years later, I have discovered she was right. I now have three beautiful children who brighten my days. Lori of Plainfield, mom of Kayleen, 8, Dylan, 5, and Olivia, 11 months


Please Tell Us... In June, we celebrate dads and their sense of humor. Tell us about your favorite and funniest "dad" moment. What does Dad do that makes the kids howl? Deadline: May 5.

For July, tell us how you avoid summer boredom. When the kids complain, what do you do? Share your quick fix solutions to those lazy afternoons. Deadline: June 9.

If we run your response, we'll send you a $10 gift certificate. We'll print your first name, the town in which you live and the names and ages of your kids; please provice us with your full address and phone nuymber for verification purposes only. Send all submissions to: Sandi Pedersen, Chicago Parent, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302. E-mail:; fax: (708) 524-8360.

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