Mums are so important in a child’s life. Most have their mum as their heroine at some point in their life, but it’s often not until we’re adults that we realise how great our mothers are. And even more so, once we have children of their own. Because becoming a mother makes you realise how hard it can be to be a mum, and how hard our mums might have had it with us growing up.
My mum, of course, was great. She was a force to be reckoned with. The oldest of 3 siblings, she got out from where she grew up, married and had us, then my dad died when I was 3. She then brought my brother and me up on her own, living away from family, managing her money without any help. How she did it I have no idea because while we didn’t live in luxury and didn’t have lots of holidays, we never felt we particularly missed out.
What are some of the things your mother taught you?
Opportunities are key
We were given lots of opportunities for extra-curricular activities. I danced, and played musical instruments. Both of us played a lot of sport – mostly in school, but also externally. We did brownies, cubs and guides. She would encourage us to try different things and would endeavour to make it happen for us. She did a lot of taxiing around.
Do what you feel is right and stand up for what you believe in
Bringing 2 young children up on your own has to be hard. But it also makes you very independent and my mum was that. She’s also brought up 2 very independent children, and both of us know our own minds. Maybe too much so, because we’re not afraid to say what we think.
Fairness is so important to me, and it’s interesting that I’ve seen that coming through in N as well. He will question when people aren’t playing games correctly, even if they’re adults.
Discussion is good
My family were always talkers. Around the dinner table, we ate fast and talked fast. For the OH I think he was bamboozled the first time he ate a meal with us. I was a quiet child, but always knew if I needed to talk I had someone to go to.
Children need structure and strict can be good
When we were children, our mum always seemed like the stricter one out of our mums. She set boundaries and we had to follow them. Luckily we weren’t children or teens who rebelled (although my brother did get grounded a lot for coming in past dark in the summer holidays).
While I don’t think I’m anywhere near as strict as my mum – things in general society have relaxed a certain extent since 30+ years ago – but there are behaviours we expect from N. Listening during activities and lessons is one, behaving when out at restaurants, general good manners are others. He’s a good kid, and knows when no really means no.
That you should try to help yourself first
I think this one backfired a little as I hate to ask for help (my university dissertation ‘disaster’ was a case in point). But I do think it’s so important to try and work things out first. My mum taught herself so much like DIY that she wouldn’t have to have done if my dad had still been alive. She didn’t teach us much other than the basics of cooking and checking things on cars. But it’s always important to try something first before asking straight for help.
You don’t need to be maternal to be a great mum
My mum wasn’t a big child person, and that’s not me either. Neither of us were into babies. I didn’t even know if I wanted children, and always thought I’d struggle having a baby. But actually our mum took motherhood in her stride despite it being hard at times especially when my dad died. And so far, I’ve found motherhood pretty straightforward in most ways. It just goes to show that you don’t need to love all children and be broody around babies, to be a good mum. It’s about being the right time of mum for you and your children.
I asked some other bloggers what their mums taught them.
Jo from Cup of Toast says ‘My mother taught me compassion. She was a firm believer that we should always be kind and helped me understand that what meets the eye with other people is rarely the complete picture’.
Emma from The Money Whisperer is pleased her mum taught her to sew. ‘Invaluable now I have a child at Beavers’.
Jo from A Rose Tinted World was taught ‘ to listen before speaking. To stand back and gauge a conversation before jumping in. And to see all sides of the story’.
Sinead from SineadLatham says her mum said ‘that there’s no need to shout….if someone is angry let them get it out and then ask what they want from you. Never realised how wise she was until I became a mum’.
What’s been your key take out from your mum? What would you want to pass on to your children?