Mama Told Me; Lifelong Lessons

By Atinuke | Aug 5, 2022

We feel the impact of our mothers throughout our lives. More than almost anyone, they can influence much of our personalities and decisions, and their input often leaves a lasting impression, good or bad. 

Our relationship with our mothers tend to provide the template for all future relationships in our lives so it is of vital importance. 

In our society, many mothers and daughters have strained relationships due to the cultural vacuum we exist in. Document Women had explored the strain cultural norms had placed on mother-daughter relationships last month. 

The sociocultural and multigenerational environment pushes the divide between most women. Life events, restrictive gender roles, unrealized career goals, generational values and everything in between have shaped how mothers and daughters view themselves and each other and how they communicate.

However, mothers are troves of feminine wisdom and leave imprints wider than we could ever imagine.

Document Women asked women to share the lessons and advice their mothers imparted that will stick with them for life. From the responses, mothers have covered self care, self confidence and bits on faith, love, sex and friendships. 

Queenie's mother underscored making self-care an intentional, ongoing practice in her life. 

"Don't forget to take care of yourself while taking care of others," Queenie said. 

While some mothers give their daughters advice verbally, other's learn valuable life lessons from watching their mothers. 

Amara tells Document Women that she learned the importance of community by watching her mother tackle life and grief. 

"It is to have a strong community of friends away from your partner because now that my dad is dead, she has isolated herself from everyone and is expecting her children to be everything to her," Amara says. "We cannot (do that) because we have our own lives to live. So it is sad for all involved, especially her."

Document Women asked and women answered. Here are more responses; 

Billie - She said not to regret anything and only to go where I'm valued

Iyene - Prayers. My mum is a strong advocate of prayers. She'll say "always pray, so when you're in a situation where you can't pray, your prayers in your prayer bank will speak for you."

Aysha - She taught me to always stand up for myself with confidence.

Tomiloba - Choose yourself, fight for yourself if you have to but stay happy. Also, do not ever fund a man's lifestyle. EVER!!

Tito - God gives you bread, and he gives you seed. You don't give out your bread as seed.

Tilewa - Too many friends will put you in trouble. It took me a while to accept it, but it's so true. It doesn't necessarily mean trouble, as in TROUBLE trouble, but there's a lot of drama, and that's when people start trying to disrespect you and your boundaries. 

Ebun - Just because you have sex with someone doesn't mean you have to be with them. If you no longer like their behaviour, you can and should leave.

Busayomi - Whatever you can't change, don't stress over it. If you can change something, then go ahead and do that, but if you can't, do not stress over it.


Being on the receiving end of these nuggets can be exhausting. However, we have to admit that every so often, we get gems. Mothers pass on actual helpful advice that get us either through a phase or the year.