Do You Listen to Your Mother?

Book Discussion

From the very first pages of You Have No Idea, you will learn that had Vanessa Williams listened to her mother, Helen, a lot of things might have been easier. Those photos would have never existed. She might not have dated or married the men that she did. Things might have been easier. Well ... maybe. We all know that life isn't as simple as all that.

Helen Williams suffered from the same fate as many mothers do -- she told her daughter to not do something, so her daughter did it. "Don't ride with someone on the back of your bike! You'll crash!" So, of course, Vanessa did ride with someone on the back of her bike, lost control of it and crashed. Vanessa, like so many of us, doesn't like to be told what she can't do. It's a trait I identify with, especially if it's my mother that's telling me it's a bad idea.

free advice

Credit: Seth Anderson on Flickr

It sounds worse than it really is. Sure, I was a little rebellious, and I definitely had selective hearing when it came to the dos and don'ts that my mother shared with me. For every one of my mother's rules that I followed, I probably broke three. Or I'd follow it, just to show her I could, and then go back to doing things my way. We had some bumpy patches. It was partly normal teenage stuff, but the other part of it was bigger. I was envisioning a potential life for myself that my mother just didn't get because it's so very different from her own life. She hasn't fully understood any of my jobs in more than a decade. Despite all our clashing -- and all my broken rules -- I turned out fine, and my mother and I have a fine relationship today ... even if she still doesn't really fully understand my life.

Did you follow your mother's rules? Did you listen to her advice?

BlogHer Book Club Host Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.


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