The best gift we can give our children is our wisdom and lived experience.
Every mother wants her daughter to live a meaningful, fulfilling life, and one of the best gifts she can give is words of wisdom to help her daughter make intelligent decisions, face difficulties, and be the best version of herself. Here is some wisdom in six areas of life — from friendship and work to men and money — that a mother may want to pass on to her daughter as she leaves the nest.
About friends …
The people around you have a great impact on your life, for better or worse. Choose your friends wisely, and surround yourself with people who are good and do the right thing.
Learn to love and let yourself be loved by your friends. The friends who accompany you throughout your life are a great support. Don’t underestimate the power of true friendship, and invest time in those relationships. You should especially value your friendships with other women.
Don’t let your friendships fade away over time, but rather cultivate them in simple ways, such as a phone call, a text message, a cup of coffee together. I promise you that, although time may pass, when you meet your true friends again you will feel as if you’d been together the entire time.
About money …
You need to understand money’s true value and how to use it properly. It shouldn’t be an end in itself, and we should remember to use it to help other people too, not just ourselves.
Start saving money today. Set aside what you can, even if that means making sacrifices. Over time, things may get difficult, and you don’t want to live in a state of constant anxiety. Keep a savings fund and set money aside for retirement. Life is unpredictable, and you can’t let bad circumstances catch you unprepared.
If you know someone who is knowledgeable about finances, ask them for advice and suggestions. Never gamble; games of chance have ruined many people’s lives.
When you do spend money, use it to make intelligent investments and to have good experiences, more than to buy things. Remember that your health and your time are your true riches, and learn to manage money by making it work for you, instead of the other way around.
About men …
If you see that a man you like doesn’t share your principles or values, it’s not worth getting into a relationship with him. You might even think you can “fix” him, but don’t fall into that trap. There are a lot of other good young men you can fall in love with.
When you meet a man you think would make a good husband, focus on forming a good friendship with him, and ask yourself important questions early on. Does he make you feel attractive? Does he make you laugh? Does he encourage you to spend time with your own family and friends? Does he encourage you to follow your dreams? Does he help you be your best possible self? Would he be a good father to your children? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” look somewhere else. You don’t want to find yourself later on married and with children, but in a toxic relationship, being more of a mother than a spouse.
About motherhood …
Women have a maternal side that we’re called to live out whether or not we have our own children.
A child is a great responsibility. Prepare yourself for that. The first thing you need to do is to understand your own fertility, learn how it works, and protect it. Don’t try to interrupt it or destroy it. There are ways to know how to identify your fertile periods without using invasive methods. Your children will want, above all, to have a healthy mother.
Think about how you can ensure a dignified life for them, and fight to give them the best environment possible. Appreciate each of your children for who they are, and make sure they understand one thing beyond a doubt: that they are loved.
There are many women who don’t have children, which offers other opportunities to use our maternal gifts. Be an excellent aunt, support families you know, and look for ways that you are called to nurture others in various kinds of missions you may be called to.
About work …
Find a profession that satisfies you, since the job you choose will be the environment in which you spend much of your life.
It’s not always easy to find a clear path to follow, but make conscious decisions at each stage of your life, and don’t let circumstances drag you along until you get to a point where you ask how you ended up where you are. Dare to dream and to set goals for yourself. Don’t waste time chasing after a goal you don’t really want. Be honest with yourself, above all.
Imagine what you would like your adult life to be like. Seek help from other people with more experience, be curious, travel, and interact with people of all ages. Take the time to learn, and don’t be afraid to aim high—not necessarily for financial success, but for happiness.
About caring for body and soul …
Learn to know yourself, to love yourself, and to take care of yourself in body and soul. Don’t allow your value to be reduced just to your physical appearance. At the same time, don’t neglect yourself and your health. Look for balance in your life.
Exercise and eat a balanced diet, because this will make you stronger and help avoid health problems. It’s an investment in your present happiness and your future health.
Learn to look inside yourself, and try to enrich your soul. Life will be clearer for you if learn to trust yourself when you should, and ask for advice when you need it. Arm yourself with good habits which, over time, become virtues. Don’t hesitate to pray, both to ask for what you need and to thank God for what he has given you. If prayer is a regular part of your life, you will know that you are never alone, no matter where you are or what you do.
Become an expert in humility, recognizing your mistakes, so you can grow and improve. Celebrate your failures as an opportunity to do things better next time, and fill your days with love, recognizing its many forms. Love is something that needs to be renewed daily. Don’t lose your focus. At the end of life, what matters will be how much you were able to love yourself and others.
Blessing for a mother and daughter