Mom Doesn’t ALWAYS Know Best: 9 Things That Aren’t Always True

October 14, 2011  |  
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I can honestly say that 9 times out of 10 my mom is right on point when it comes to life advice and what not. It’s scary how right she is. But she is a woman, a person, an imperfect creature, meaning everything she’s said hasn’t been a gem. None of her shortcomings are reflected on this list but some “what the hell?!?”comments from my other female family members are present. Have you ever heard any of these?

1- Your hair is your beauty

This particular gem was my grandmother’s. Lord knows I love my grandmother. She was my gurl…like for real. But she was just dead wrong with this one. Yes our hair is beautiful but it’s not the source of our beauty. True beauty is reflected just as much, if not more, from the inside, than it is in our outward appearance. Placing all your stock in your hair is just not smart.

2- Doing what you love won’t make you any money

I’m living proof that this little nugget of wisdom just isn’t true. If you look at some of the most successful people in the world you’ll notice that many of them are doing something they’re deeply passionate about. If you listen to their stories you’ll note along the way there were several people who discouraged them, just like some of our mothers but they believed in their passion and their mission

3- Young ladies don’t do ________

This could be anything from flirting a little to hard with the fellas, not being the first one to call, sitting with your legs gapped open. For my grandmother it was very unbecoming for my sister and I, as little girls, to be laughing and playing loudly in the street. Even when she told me this at around 10 years old I knew it was a little off base. It would have been one thing if we were outside cussing and fussing but laughing and playing though?!? I couldn’t understand it and I didn’t accept it. To this day people comment on how loudly I laugh and talk when I’m really excited but honestly, it’s not that deep. Enjoy life.

4- You’re only wearing your hair natural because you’re being lazy

Making the transition from relaxed to natural is already an uphill battle but for some of us our own mothers/family members made the process that much more difficult with their disparaging comments. As we learned in my grandmother’s lesson above hair is not all that we’re about and the decision to wear it in a particular way doesn’t speak volumes about our personal character and integrity. We’re not even going to get into how much time and effort it takes to maintain natural hair…

5- You have to get married/have a baby at a certain time

Even if your biological clock is not ticking your mother’s might be working double time for you. Many a woman has had to answer the daunting question of why you’re still single or when you and your husband are going to stop playing and have some children. For better or worse many of our mothers and grandmothers considered marriage and motherhood to be the markers of a well-trained woman. Today that’s not the case. We have options and it’s becoming increasingly more and more acceptable to put off marriage and having children while you work on your career or forever if you so choose.

6- You need to learn how to cook to feed a man

There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning how to cook. We have to eat and constantly eating fast food will leave you fat and broke. So yes, cook we must. But your main motivation for learning how to cook should not be to catch or keep a man. Again that strategy is flawed. You should cook because it’s necessary to human survival and you want your food to taste good. If anybody else benefits from your skills it’s just an added bonus not an indication of your worth as a woman.

7- You should relocate for him

Whew it’s hard being a woman! And our mothers, aunts, grandmothers and girlfriends, some of the people who should be most sympathetic to our shared plight are the ones who will encourage you to put yourself and your goals on the back burner to be with a man. (See: Savannah’s mother in “Waiting to Exhale”). If you ultimately decide to uproot and relocate for a man you’re in love with that’s beautiful (no sarcasm) but you should never feel pressured to do so by anyone because you’re a woman.

8- You don’t have to tell him the truth about…

Most of us have probably heard from our mothers that we don’t have to tell a man this or that. Truth be told none of us are going to be completely honest about everything in our lives. But outright encouraging somebody to lie, whether outright or by omission is just wrong. No bueno.

9- Marry for Money

No need to explain this one in any great depth. If I had to guess I wouldn’t say this trend isn’t particularly popular among black women but every once in a while you’ll find somebody’s mother spewing this nonsense.

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  • Nope

     Notice how the women giving these tips were old school married till death with kids, while those who decided to go their own way- aren’t married and haven’t even been close to the altar. ”

    It wasn’t exactly easy for women to leave men back in the days. Between societal pressure, and lack of access to education and the work force, a woman who left her men would be destitute. Yes, the previous generation stayed married longer, but we all know a bunch of old couples that CAN’T STAND EACH OTHER, but have been together for decades. Sorry boo. I’d rather divorce or stay single than be stuck with someone I don’t love. 

  • Pahleeze

    I’m sorry but I learned the hard way that mothers have a third eye…My mama is usually right! So young ladies save yourself a few years of agony n listen.

  • Sam

    I agree Ashley. Some of these tips are outright terrible.
    In terms of cooking….what man wouldnt want to eat a tasty, home cooked meal made by his woman??
    In terms of hair…your hair IS your crown! Ladies…shave your head bald and see how far you get in life 😉
    In terms of doing what you love, many of the protestors occupying wallstreet were told study what they "love". In this crappy economy…there are so many engineering jobs available, and yet no skilled workers to fill them /-:
    And in terms of things ladies shouldnt do or tell…it all comes down to being a LADY. The young girls who stayed out flirting with the young boys & talking loud in the streets…look at them now. And certain shortcomings in ones life, especially the shameful & regretful are sometimes best kept to ones self. Whether we want to believe that or not.

  • Jennie

    The Bible says if a woman has long hair, it is her glory. Maybe that's why Grandma was telling you that that about your hair.

    • The Bible also said you shouldn’t wear your hair braided with adornments either……does that mean sisters need to give up extentions?

  • Anna

    Yeah… that must be every other mother but MY mom…. Is ALWAYS RIGHT!

    It's always frustrating when I have to learn the hard way.

    Number 5… She's always saying… "You'll get married when you get married, and you'll have children when you have children. Enjoy your youth, I am not looking to be a grandmother anytime soon. And you marry because you see that the person will be there for you during the hard times… That's the real mark of a marriage."
    Number 6… I cook to eat and live… I may think I throw down like Ina Garten and Giada de Laurentiis but you know how fickle men are… So I cook for me. 😀
    Number 7… My mother would never tell me no mess like that… However she did tell me that when you are dating a man never let distance separate you for more than a month… in that time he'll pick up bad habits and behaviors and you'll have to work twice as hard to get him back into shape.
    Number 8… Yeah… I live by the Don't Ask Don't Tell when it comes to men… You don't know what secret or flaw they can use against you later… I learned that THE HARD WAY

    • R&R

      LOL @Anna your mother and mine–she was definitely right!!! OMG on the don't tell everything part–I thought honesty was the way to go–uh no it's not in all situations–my mom was so right!

    • Aisha Perkins

      I agree…the best relationship advice my mom ever gave me was two-fold…”Pick your battles” and “Hold your Water”……i have come to learn that while men have a macho exterior…their egos are very fragile….sometimes it’s best to just keep your mouth shut…..

  • Joyce

    One more lie that women are told is that if they make an effort to fit into their new husbands family, then they will be liked and accepted.

    Truth is, your in-laws will only accept you and love you because they respect you and not because of how much you bend over backwards to please them.

    This lie has led many women to go through decades of suffering just because they are trying to gain acceptance from in-laws.

  • Ooh La La

    My mother never told me this personally, but something I've heard several older women say that's not necessarily true is that you can't meet a good man at the club, party, bar, etc. Both my parents and godparents met their spouse at the club or the bar and are in 20+ yr long marriages. You can't help where you find love. It's about the connection with the person, not where you meet. Plus, people act as if they'd never stepped foot in a bar/club… Are you saying that you, yourself, are not a good catch? Just saying, keep an open mind.

  • girliusmaximus

    Um baths DO get you clean. If you don't get clean from a bath, then sorry to say you are taking it wrong. Seriously.

  • Dee

    For your information ladies your flow stops wen ur submerged in water so i seriously doubt she is taking a bath in it. Also the sayings are from a different time from when these women came up so of course some may not apply today but did back then so I wouldnt say they are not true.

  • Why would you take a bath and sit in your own blood. I take showers. My grandma and ma dont like it when we try to date outside the race.

  • kim

    The bath thing I can agree on cause I only take showers anyway I don’t want to be sitting in all my dirt! I never understood that really if you been sweating and dirt why would you want to sit in the water of it?



  • Cora

    Did she mean take a shower instead? I can see what she meant because I wouldn't wanna be sitting in that lol.

  • Cora

    Say that!

  • kh1

    cosign JustAshley…there are some concepts and values we could stand to revisit…

  • real rap

    @just ashley…u r soooooooo on point. ur honesty is refreshing.