Mama Stevens knows best

I remember from a pretty young age my mum telling me that a kitchen appliance was a shit gift for a mother. As an adult, it almost feels like a challenge... [her birthday is coming up... you never know when you might need a new waffle maker right?] But around this time of year, that time when social media is full of adoration for the maternal figures in our life, it is hard to escape the overwhelming onslaught of pink fluffy robes, cheap hand creams and well, to be fair, completely useless home appliances. I walked past a store this morning that suggested a baby monitor was the perfect gift for mum... Shut the front door.

My mum is radical. No surprises there, I mean, I am her offspring and considering how amazing I am, it is only logical that my mum is one hell of a women. Growing up, my friends always wanted to come to my house, or do stuff with my mum. My mum was the one that people use to talk about their problems, she was also the one that would pick us up from that party at 2am when we had one too many vodka cruisers... Basically, my mum was the cool mum. You know, like Mrs George from Mean Girls... except I remember growing up, as an only child, my mum didn't think she was the cool mum, she just was.

So, this year, right in time for the day we celebrate our mums, I thought I should share some of the wisdom this queen of a woman has imparted to me over the years... because, its only fair that you get to learn from her too.

ONE.  GIRLS CAN DO ANYTHING. Growing up with a single parent, I learnt quickly that whatever is between your legs doesn't dictate what you should do with your life. Gender roles, or ascribed societal requirements were never something that played into my upbringing. My mother was the nurturer, the caregiver, the provider, the fixer, the warrior. She played every role and she did it with style and grace. My mum taught me that being a woman was an opportunity. She also taught me that being a woman meant I could do whatever the hell I wanted too.

TWO. THERE IS STRENGTH IN SHOWING IN YOUR EMOTIONS. There is a good chance that if  I am too happy or too sad I am crying. This is actually the complete opposite of my mama. She is pretty damn good at keeping her emotions in check, perhaps in the Gemini in her. But, not once, has she ever told me to change that part of me. My mum supports my heart, she taught me to channel my emotions, and that letting them out doesn't make me weak. She taught me that wearing my heart on my sleeve can be a very powerful thing and should never be seen as a bad trait. She taught me to cherish my vulnerability.

THREE. EAT YOUR [FRESH] VEGETABLES. There is nothing better than a simple home cooked meal. And I know what some of you are thinking... Frozen veges are just as good. But mama knows best. There is nothing better than fresh vegetables. They don't have to cost you the earth, if you know how to buy seasonal produce, and buy locally, your fridge can be, and should be stocked with fresh veges all year around.

FOUR. YOU DECIDE YOUR WORTH. People can be mean. I was bullied throughout a fair bit of my schooling experience, but my mum taught me that no one else had the power to dictate my worth other than myself. Her fierce tenacity and strong self awareness made me realise that those situations spoke far more loudly about the perpetrators of the bullying than it does about the one who is on the receiving end.

FIVE. WASH YOUR FACE AND DON'T FORGET TO MOISTURISE. I am sure my mother is not the only one who cares about skincare, but when I bought my first tube of cheap foundation, she bought me my first lot of skincare. I don't always use it [sorry mum] but I thank my mama for my great skin. She taught me to take care of it. Now if only I could remember to moisturise my legs every night...

SIX. HARD WORK PAYS OFF. My mother is the epitome of this. She has worked her ass off over the last 27 years and I am so fucking proud of her. After it being just me and her for the first few years, I went to school and she went back to work. She has kicked ass and she has made it to the top of her game. There has not been one second where she has taken her foot off the gas pedal and she has taught me, without a doubt, that if you work hard for something you can succeed. She reminded me of this while I was at university, she reminded me of this when I was struggling to find the job I wanted. Honestly, she reminds me of this basically every day I see her kicking ass.

SEVEN. ONE PERFUME IS NOT ENOUGH. Perfume, or lipstick have the ability to change ones mood. And you never know what kind of mood you are going to be in. So make sure you have at least 5 [who am I kidding... mum has about 20] different perfumes on hand at anyone time.

EIGHT. NEVER BE AFRAID TO BE YOURSELF. There is not one memory of my mother telling me to be anyone but myself. She encouraged me to express myself through collaging my school books, by wearing whatever I felt great in, and while she may not have always been the biggest fans of my tattoos, she never once told me not to get tattooed, because she knew that I was simply expressing who I was. Mum even let me colour my hair from a pretty dang young age. Blonde streaks in the front [hello late 90s], Orange, Red, blue, green. Bad fringes, long hair, short hair. I tried it all. I remember when I was 13, I had jet black hair with a red fringe. Im talking fire-engine red. I got suspended for unnatural hair colour. My mum, marched her way into that principals office and defended my right to be exactly who I wanted to be. I mean, what a fucking bad ass.

NINE. GET YOURSELF A SAVINGS ACCOUNT. Financial independence is important. Being able to support yourself is important. My first day of primary school, my mum opened up a savings account. We didn't have a lot, but she taught me the value on money, and the importance of saving. Now, I certainly don't claim to be the best with my money, but I will never forget the things that she taught me. I will always make sure I have my own money, I will never rely on someone else to give me the things that I need, because financial independence is something that I know gives me a whole lot of freedom.

TEN. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF. Because sometimes, no one else will. You have to believe in yourself, you have to back yourself, and you have to believe your worth it. There have been so many times where I have called my mum, or emailed her with a problem, and without fail there is always this piece of advice attached to the message somewhere. So I figure it has to be a pretty important one.

I mean, I could write this list for hours, because my mum has taught me basically everything I know. She is my biggest support and the strongest foundation I could have ever hoped for. She laughs loudly and from the deepest part of her soul, she puts everyone before herself, and if you are lucky enough to be loved by her, you will be loved forever. My mother is the fiercest, strongest, most beautiful woman that I know. And I am so fucking glad that by some miracle, I won the parental jackpot with you.

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