Hers is the voice of reason in times of chaos. She provides words of comfort when, it seems, all hope is lost, sensitivity when others show indifference. A mother can be wise, supportive and humourous, and her advice is often alarmingly simple and sensible.
We asked participants in MochaSofa's Mother's Day contest to share Mom's best words of wisdom. Among the tried and true - "Always wear clean underwear" and "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" - we received shining examples of why we often turn to Mom for her unparalleled perspective.
The following are some of the most unique, funny, practical and inspiring responses from our readers.
Love & marriage
"A woman has to paddle her own canoe in life and if she has a partner to help paddle, it's a gift."
- Leilani Laurie, Calgary, Alta.
"During the first year of marriage, don't do anything you're not prepared to do for the next 50 years."
- Laurie Macey, Comox, B.C.
"If you want to know how a man will treat you after the "honeymoon" phase has worn off, watch carefully how he treats and interacts with his mother."
- Bonnie Milne, Calgary, Alta.
Work, finances & personal development
"Whatever you do, do with your might. Things done by half are never done right."
- Shelley Myron, Etobicoke, Ont.
"Comparison shop, comparison shop, comparison shop! Clip coupons, wait for salesâ€¦and, most importantly, ask yourself: Do you want it, or do you really need it?"
- Liana St.Denis, Cornwall, Ont.
"Dare to dream."
- Valerie Hogue, Mississauga, Ont.
"The only failure in life is NOT trying."
- Ruthie Burritt, Western Shore, N.S.
"It's nice to be important, but more important to be nice."
- Danita Gammon, St. Catharines, Ont.
"Don't let the turkeys get you down."
- Michelle La Grange, Calgary, Alta.
"If you want friends, you have to be a friend." - Deanna Fisher, Lumsden, Sask.
"You are known by the company you keep, so choose your friends well."
- Kathleen Cripps, Peterborough, Ont.
"You can be pretty, you can be smart but, most importantly, be nice."
- Donna Kennan, Scarborough, Ont.
"[Regarding my children] Spend half the money and twice the time."
- Heather Witherden, Winnipeg, Mba.
"Treat your parents with love & respect - they can be your best friends or your worst enemies."
- Bonnie Charuk, Bowmanville, Ont.
"Don't give any advice to your married children unless they ask for it."
- Kathy Vincent, Canyon, B.C.
"You can never spoil your kids with too much love."
- Lisa Brennen, Kanata, Ont.
Humour & grace
"Always wear a good braâ€¦sometimes the only support you get is from your underwire." - Nima Patel, Toronto, Ont.
"Spilled milk or stained clothing need not be a national catastrophe."
- Micheline Lachance, Montreal, Que.
"Use your manners. They work every time!" - Irene B. Park, Calgary, Alta.
"Attitude is everythingâ€¦By changing your attitude, you can make the best of even the worst situation."
- Dawn Davidson, Thornton, Ont.
"Remember that long before you were a wife, mother, employee, you were just you. Take care of you."
- Kate Gameiro, Winnipeg, Mba.
Faults & flubs
"Don't worry about the mistakes you make. It's how you deal with them that matters." - Lynne Bayzand, Sechelt, B.C.
"Don't ever be too stubborn to accept an apology."
- Lynette Paarup, Calgary, Alta.
"The only people who don't make mistakes are the ones who don't do anything."
- Julia Chambers, Brantford, Ont.