Author Taris Savell (right) as a teen with her mother Minnie and father Bernard

Mother knows best: Words of wisdom from the moms of Baton Rouge residents

Flowers, candy, perfume and jewelry are a few of the items children of all ages give their mothers on that special Mother’s Day Sunday in May. However, we must also thank our moms for what they give to us: advice that can last a lifetime. Since this special day celebrates motherhood and is a time to appreciate mothers and mother figures, we asked 10 Baton Rougeans to share the best advice their mothers ever gave them.

And what did my own mother tell me? “Hold your shoulders back.” I didn’t, and now I wish I had!

• “Mom said I should exercise by pulling my knees to my chest every morning before leaving my bed, and I still do it. It helps fight old age. Mom was stoic and aloof, so her advice was always practical and fundamental. When she was 90, she said I should hug often and love family without reservation. My grandmother’s advice was learn to make a good pie crust!” – Mary Larson, retired Navy Reservist

• “You don’t always have to be strong, you don’t always get it right the first time, and you don’t have to do it alone. Give yourself a chance to breathe and then pick yourself back up and keep going.” – Brittney Elliser, CPA

• “My mom was very supportive when I was worried about going back to school to change careers from graphic design to interiors. She said that she believed in me and that I should follow my heart. She encouraged me to go for it and work hard to achieve my goals, and I now have a career I love.” – Aimee Walker, interior designer

• “Her actions taught me and inspired me more than any advice she has given me. She has always shown me with hard work and determination you can do anything you put your mind to. She continues to inspire me to this day.” – Ashley Leach, physical therapist

• “The best advice my mother ever gave me was to trust my instincts and reach for my dreams, no matter how big. The worst that I could get was a ‘no,’ which, at the end of the day, isn’t really all that bad.” – Erin Prudhomme, dental receptionist

• “Beauty is only skin deep ! It comes from within the heart.” – Beverly Wales, beautician

• “The best advice my mother ever told me was to pay yourself first when it comes to saving and finances.” – Wendy Stanford, rehabilitation director

• “If I had to pick one thing, I would say the most valuable piece of advice that she has given me was to pursue a great education in whatever career I chose. She always said that a diploma or certification was something that no one else could ever take credit for. My mother taught me that through hard work and commitment, there would be no limits to my future.” – Brittany Allphin-Smith Attuso, business owner

• “Mom would tell me, ‘Leonard, sometimes, even though you know best, you have to let people have something. Also she said, ‘Son, a whole world can be created with the things you don’t know.’” – Leonard Augustus, dancer/Department of Education employee

• “Life won’t always go as planned, but hang on and enjoy the ride! Just concentrate on working hard and doing the right things for the right reasons. Blessings will surely come your way. She also would say that music is the best medicine, so when life gets tough, I turn up the dial!” –Lori Steele, Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency community educator

• “My mother was a wonderful person who always told me to be myself and to do what was right in my heart, and she lived by those principles. I was blessed to have such a loving and caring mother for 91 years.” – Pug McLavy Gussman, retired teacher