Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there! However you’re celebrating today, I hope it’s a good one. I figured since it’s Mother’s Day, I’d write more of an educational post. One of the greatest tasks a mom has is to teach her children different things. So here are 10 things my mama taught me. They’ve proven to be pretty valuable.

Read On: 10 Things You Should Tell Your Daughter

Top to bottom: My mom, my daughter, and me.

1. Don’t Drink Caffeine

I know, that sounds crazy, right? But growing up, my dad always drank 3 or more cups throughout the day and my mother drank none. She did, however, have a soda issue which took a long time to get rid of. I guess from her experience, she felt the need to constantly warn me that it would: stain my teeth, give me ulcers, and make me jumpy (or cranky). Today, I am a tea drinker but will have an occasional cup of coffee. And really, herbal tea is so good for you!

2. Kill them with Kindness

Growing up, this is all my mother said to me as I struggled with backstabbing friends or just mean people in life. It was always hard for me to do but I realized that when a person is mean to you, it’s not really about you- it’s about them. And well, sucks to be them. But I’ve also learned that when you continue to be kind to a person, no matter how undeserving they may be, you don’t have that same weight they carry and it’s quite liberating. In rare instances, people become friends (after they learn to get over their s@*t).

3. Be Independent

So my mom may be guilty of watching over 1000 Hallmark movies and daytime soaps but she is not much of a traditional fairytale believer. Nope. She always taught me to be independent no matter what. She taught me to save my own money, pay for my own things, and not to depend on a man. Because one day, that man may not come through, and then what? Or that man may throw things in your face. That sort of thing. Or even depending on other people in general. She’s always encouraged me to travel and go for new opportunities.

Me and my daughter.

4. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.”

As conservative as my mom always was, she always said this to me. See, I’ve always been a little shy at first. Not as shy as my mother but I was a little awkward at times. In my music days, I could perform in front of a large crowd but not in front of three people. My mom always took me to shows, auditions- all kinds of things. She’d encourage me to show off my talents and put the fear to the side. She hated that she was so shy all of her life and didn’t want the same for me. And always warned me that if I didn’t go for it, there would always be some waiting to snatch the opportunities from me. In other words, you better werk, mija!

5. Take Yourself Places

As long as I can remember, my mom always drove me and my brother (and many relatives) to all the places. The woman could drive a stick shift, trucks, vans, sports cars- even learned to drive a tractor-trailer at one point- for fun. She’d drive into the city, near and far. She was not afraid of anything. When I got my license, the first place she’d send me often was to the supermarket- I know, fun, right? But before I knew, I was driving into the city for gigs on my own. Fast forward, I’ve driven on race tracks, in different cities, states, and countries. And I always think of my mom if I get a little scared because I know how fearless she’d be about it. I can just hear her telling me not to be a chicken!

6. Always Be Prepared

When I became a mom, I always carried extra of everything. An extra change of clothes, an extra bottle, diapers, snacks; etc. My mom always reminded me to do this just in case of any emergencies. I felt like a bag lady for those first 5 years but it was worth it. I can’t tell you how many times being prepared came in handy. And just in general, we always carry snacks, Lysol, tissue, wipes, pads- you name it. I even keep an emergency kit in my car. You just never know.

7. Take Care of Yourself

My mom’s been through a lot healthwise so she always reminded us to take better care. Keep doctor appointments, take vitamins, drink enough water- all that good stuff. The past two years have been a challenge for me with my own personal health. I won’t go into it but I basically had to pause and really make it a point to take care of myself. I researched and bought all the right vitamins, started eating certain things and cutting gout others, and doing more exercise. And as you get older, these things matter more.

8. Let it Be

Yep, she quotes the Beatles song a lot. (lol) But jokes aside, this is probably the best thing a person can do in most situations. Because “letting it be” simply means to allow things to happen. For example, if I’d get upset about a situation my mother would say, “just let it be.” I would get so frustrated wondering whyyyy she’d give me such simple advice. But once things would resolve themselves or fall into place, I understood. Or once people revealed their true colors or things would work in my favor. Kind of like the saying let God handle it. Ya get me?

9. Help Others

My mom is the type of person that will give a stranger her meal and not eat. Growing up, there were lots of kids on the block. Many of their parents worked late and didn’t leave dinner for them. She would feed the entire block some days. I remember almost always having a friend or two over for dinner every day after school. If someone was in need, she’d find a way to help. We cleaned out our closets and toys every few months and donated to people in need. She’s taken people into her home when they needed a place to stay. Today, my daughter and I do the same. My daughter is even an ambassador for Giving Tuesday Kids.

Taking the Higher Road, Doing the Right Thing and Taking Action

I combined these lessons because I think they go hand in hand. My mom always taught me to take the higher road when it came to situations. For example, instead of acting on something and making a fool of yourself or saying things you may regret- just keep your head held high and carry on…like a queen. She also taught me to think twice before my actions. Growing up, I remember her always saying “things come back to haunt people.” And this is true. She may have made a good Publicist! But she also taught me to speak up and take action when needed.

My mom and daughter on our last Disney trip.

Lessons Learned, Time to Pass it On…

Ok, my mom and I can sure bump heads at times and I even find myself scolding her as she’s gotten older. But I have to give credit where it’s due. My mom didn’t only teach me some valuable lessons but she did a lot for me. She was always there for me, encouraged me to follow my dreams, supported me in every way she could, and is the cheerleader I didn’t know I needed when I doubt myself. And she’s a wonderful grandmother, too.

So Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and to every mom out there. We’re doing the hardest job in the world!