“Smile, it makes everyone around you kinder”

14 WOMEN SHARE THEIR MOTHERS' BEST LIFE HACKS

What are the things that remind you most of your mother? It may be the scent of her perfume, a song on the radio, her signature Easter braid. But the strongest connection probably lies in the little pieces of wisdom she’s passed on to you over the years and decades: the life hacks (“Wash your face with rose water to get glowing skin”), the strict instructions (“Don’t forget to say thank you!”), the unshakeable beliefs (“Flower bouquets last longer if you put them on the balcony over night”).

All of which you consider absolute truths, obviously. Why shouldn’t they be? After all, they come from your mother – the woman that grew you inside her own body, that fed you, protected and prepared you for the world outside. I may not agree with my mother on everything, there may even be big differences between us, at least on some issues. But that doesn’t change the fact that I strongly believe in cleaning the fridge once a month because Maman taught me so. For that, I am thankful – because it’s these little tricks that keep guiding me through life, especially in times of uncertainty.

On the occasion of Mother’s Day, I asked some of the women in my life for the best tips they ever received from their moms. Below, the Complete List of Mother Wisdom. Please share your own in the comments!

Theresa, 27: 

“If you hit your toe, count down from 10. Once you reach zero, the pain will be gone.”

“You get the best tan in the shade of a tree.”

“You get the best kind of sleep if you’ll go to bed before midnight.”

“The night before an exam, put your book under the pillow and sleep on it.”

Anum, 33: 

“Never not make your bed. Your day functions better with an organized and tidy bedroom.”

“Never be the first to serve yourself at a dinner table. It’s rude. Let the elders and guests help themselves first.”

“Every guy and girl must own a nice, presentable pair of bedroom slippers. Extra points if they happen to be matching your pajamas.”

“Your pajama set must match too. Don’t just throw anything on to go to sleep.”

“Cooking at home is important. A lady should know her way around a kitchen.”

“Always try to save a minimum of 33% of your monthly income.”

“Charity is non-negotiable. If you have, you must share.”

“A post-dinner walk of any kind is important for a better night’s sleep.”

“Know how to host a good dinner party. Preplan a menu that suits all. Set the table a night before. Make sure you’re not running around the kitchen when guests arrive. Be dressed and ready to go an hour before people arrive.”

“Never leave a glass of water half empty. Stay hydrated, and don‘t waste.”

Anum (founder of Desert Mannequin) was raised in Qatar

Ana, 35: 

“Everything is possible if you truly put your heart into it.”

Raya, 46:

“Wear lipstick when you leave the house!”

“Cover your shoulders when you’re cold!”

“Smile, it makes everyone around you kinder.”

Monique, 57:

“Always keep a man on a long leash. Say no from time to time when he asks to see you.”

Annika, 28: 

“Make yourself a pot of tea (it helps against anything: a broken heart, a broken arm, an upcoming exam).”

“If you’ve been crying at night, be sure to wash your face with cold water before going to bed. Otherwise your eyes will be swollen the next morning.”

“You can dye pillowcases beige in the bathtub by adding an entire pack of black tea bags to the water.”

“Put your shoulders down while you walk. It will make you look more secure!”

Annika with her mother, a lawyer

Julia, 34:

“Sometimes 80 per cent are enough – you don’t always have to give 100 per cent to live a happy life.”

Aline, 28:

“Pack your bags at least one day ahead of a trip so you won’t forget anything.”

“If you want to make a suntan last longer, go to bed early.”

“Have a piece of fruit before going to sleep, it’s good for you.”

Ilka, 55:

“A person’s hands say a lot about them. Regularly moisturize your finger tips with Dior’s ‚Crème Apricot‘.”

Carolin, 33:

“Vigorously shake out the laundry before hanging it up, it will save you the ironing.”

“Have a cold? Sit in front of an infrared lamp for ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening.”

“Use sunscreen! Your skin remembers everything, even the tiniest sunburn.”

“Fighting is healthy!”

Madeleine, 32: 

“Try to maintain a healthy balance – sleep enough, eat well. One big meal a day is essential. Even better if it includes good Spanish olive oil and tomatoes.”

“Don’t chase after men.”

“Always (!) carry a scarf with you – the AC may be on somewhere, or it might start raining.”

“Flies don’t enter a closed mouth, a Spanish saying goes. Be discrete. Don’t blurt everything out.”

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Claire, 26 (me!): 

“Disinfect the entire hotel bathroom before using it.”

“Put flower bouquets outside on the balcony over night, it will make them last longer.”

“A silk scarf helps against a sore throat.”

Fousieh, 38:

“Don’t tell others about a big new plan until it’s official and happening – or you might risk jinxing it!”

“Always throw a glass of water after a traveller if you want them to come back safely.”

Laura, 30:

“If you can’t sleep, put your arms in cold water, then go back to bed with the wet arms under the duvet.”

“When a man wants you, you’ll know.”