By Laura Lifshitz
It’s a true sign of motherhood: Kids think they know best. Mothers sit and think, “Wait ’til he or she finds out I was right.”
It’s not that the older generation is infinitely correct in all situations of course, but that as we get older, we live, we learn, we love, we hurt and then, we go on to share it with our kids who either choose to listen or vehemently oppose us. There are certain life truths especially, that seem to be the duty of mothers to share with our children for their own good, if they would just take a second to think about it. But just as we are supposed to pass on our wisdom, our children are meant to test their worlds and discover the truth for themselves, even if it ends up hurting them. That’s the hardest part about being a parent, isn’t it? And the hardest part about avoiding listening to our moms, when we really should have!
People Aren’t Always Honest
People Don’t Change
My mom said this to me constantly. I was, and am, an open beating heart, and was always honest and believed that others were as well. My mom told me many times (too many than I care to admit) that other people were/are not always as honest as I was/am. She said this because mostly, she smelled that someone I was dealing with was a liar and up to no good and also, to instill in me a large dose of skepticism in order to help me manage my bubbly open and beating heart in the real world.
I believed and trusted too much. Yes, that is an issue, just like trusting no one is also a problem. I ended up getting hurt quite a bit, more than I should have, because I didn’t listen to my mom, who is more skeptical than I am, even to this day.
Today as an adult and mother myself, I still think I am a bit too naïve, but I am not as trusting as I once was. In fact, at times, I struggle with trusting men in particular.
Your mom was right. Acceptance is easier than driving yourself crazy.
What you see is what you get. People do not change, unless they really want to and in that case, it is rare. It’s rare for people to make big changes unless they are motivated to do so. So, don’t think someone will change for you. Someone will change if it suits him or her to do so. Otherwise, what you see is what you get.
We are not magicians. We are not God. We are only in control of our own behaviors and reactions. How someone else behaves is out of our hands. Don’t bother trying to get blood from a stone or, bash your head against the wall expecting a dog to turn into a butterfly.
There were many times I hoped too hard, but people are who they are. Your mom was right. Acceptance is easier than driving yourself crazy.
Getting Married Or Having Another Child Will NOT Fix Your Relationship Problems
In fact, adding permanency or another child into the mix, will only up the stress levels in your marriage. You can’t throw blinders on and pretend your relationship isn’t struggling. And worse, put blinders on and either: get married or have another kid.
In order to see progress and get your relationship to where it needs to be, you guys need to do the work to solve the issues or, get out if the situation isn’t right.
If He Did It To Her, He Will Do It To You
I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule like there is with every rule on earth, but if you meet a guy and he abused, hit, belittled, cheated or hurt another person … your time will come.
Like I said, I am sure there are exceptions to the rule and people who actively try hard to change, but turning a blind eye to a person’s former mistreatment of another woman is a bad move, to say the least.
And in the same vein like my mom always said:
You Can’t Convert Someone Unless He/She Wants To Drink The Kool-Aid
You can’t change that former bad boy into a committed loving partner, unless he’s thirsty as hell and ready to drink or eat whatever you’re selling to him.
You’re not that powerful. You’re not God. You don’t have the ability to turn a frog into a prince. If he’s growing warts, let him hop on over to someone else’s lily pad.
Life Isn’t Fair
My mom told me this countless times.
“Life isn’t fair. Life isn’t the fairgrounds with the Ferris Wheel and popcorn and candy.”
She told me that a lot whenever I said life wasn’t fair or that something she did wasn’t fair. Somehow, I thought maybe she was wrong. That if I tried hard enough, I would always get the best outcome, but that’s not life. Life sometimes issues us some serious lemons and crap to deal with. It’s not because karmic law is getting us after we dumped our seventh grade boyfriend or stole our sister’s clothing when she wasn’t looking.
It’s because life can be hard and cruel, even to the nicest and best people out there.
This is something none of us wants to hear, but when we are older we realize that sometimes, you get dealt a crappy hand in life. The key is to know how to play with the cards you have.
The lesson learned? Our moms were right. Always right. We couldn’t listen though because if we did, we wouldn’t learn and grow. We would never be who we need to be in this journey called life.
About the Author
Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated writer, comedienne, single mother and chocolate fanatic. A former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate, you can find her work in many places, like the New York Times, DivorceForce, Mom.Me, Women’s Health, Worthy, Working Mother and numerous other sites. Follow her on Facebook and her own website, frommtvtomommy.com.