In the end, momma always knew best


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Though I am young, I prefer to call myself a veteran in this war called life. I have seen it all, valiant victories, devastating losses, and bloody casualties. The most trying and difficult battle of them all is between a mother and her teen daughter.

If you are a daughter or a mother, you know that a girl’s teenage years are the most stressful and difficult years of her life. Normally, the first casualty of war is the relationship between her and her mother.

In a teen girl’s eyes, her mother is sometimes viewed as a cruel dictator who fails to understand anything she is going through.

I was not a rebellious child, but I had my moments of defiance. Because I was raised in a single parent home, I was not afforded the luxury of having a personal negotiator, known to most daughters as “daddy,” in the household to smooth tension between my mother and I.  

I was an only child who loved her mother dearly, but at that age, she was never right.

As time progressed and I matured and became wiser, I came to a shocking realization that I probably would have never believed as a teen. My mother was right about everything.

From the friends I kept to my love life, I now consider my mother’s “attacks” some of the best advice I have ever received.

I can still hear her shooting down every love of my life from high school, which I just knew I would be with forever, through my thin room walls and trench of pillows. With my college career coming to an end, I ask myself, where are they now? They have all become distant memories not worth wasting my time on as she said many years ago.

My mother and I often bickered over my work ethic. All of my teachers felt I was an excellent student, but I was lazy. I did not always apply myself to the best of my abilities, and she would tell me that I could accomplish and achieve so much more if I did. After graduating in the top 20 of my high school class and reflecting on everything I have accomplished in life, I know I could have done so much more and wish I had.

Other behaviors were so deeply engrained in me that I did not realize had such an effect on me until I was older. People often comment on the way that I carry myself as a lady with confidence and elegance. In my opinion that’s arguable, I am aware that my actions come with a consequence, and act accordingly.

I refuse to participate in a lot of the trends and actions of my generation, because I now know that adulthood is a long time to live with the regret of your actions as a teen.

I will probably never get a tattoo. I will always feel guilty when I do things that I know I should not, and I continue to do everything I can to break our family’s generational curse of motherhood out of wedlock.

Most importantly, no matter how far I may stray away, I will always find my way back to God, just as my mother and grandmother taught me.

Now, as a graduating senior, I wish I had taken more of my mother’s advice. I wish I had listened to her, instead of blocking her out. I could have avoided terrible heartbreak, disappointment, and bad fashion choices if I had simply taken the time to at least consider what she was saying.

As teens, we forget that our mothers were once our age, in our shoes, and went through some of the same things we did. While some mothers are not the best at finding a way to throw in the white flag and call a peace treaty, the truth in their words and advice remain absolute.

Young women across the world may view my confession as treason. It is a charge I am willing to accept, as long as my confession does not get back to my mother. I already know what she would say in response. A simple, I told you so.

  • Olivia Campbell, Contributor