If I’m brilliant and amazing, my Mum has a lot to do with it.
Here are six ways she has been a brilliant and amazing mother to me and my sisters, things I want to do for my kids, too.
1. My Mum is brilliant and amazing. She stayed at home with us for years.
Every day that I’m an ‘at home’ mum makes it clearer to me just how much of a generous sacrifice it was for my mother to spend her time with her small children.
She has had a rich, broad life, full of things beyond us, but for several years she spent most of her hours, each day, caring for us. It’s just plain hard work, and I thank her for it.
2. My Mum is brilliant and amazing. She brought up three feminist daughters.
When I asked Mum why it was her at home, and Dad was doing paid work, she said it was because in his profession he could earn more than she could in hers, so it made sense for the family.
Now, I’m sure there was more to it than that, but that was always the answer she gave, and it was part of a strong foundation my parents laid for us, demonstrating that gender needn’t determine very much at all, and, as we said in the 1980s, ‘girls can do anything.’
3. My Mum is brilliant and amazing. She loves our friends.
People used to ask me if it was tricky to attend the same high school that my mother taught at. I always said it might have been for other teachers’ kids, but that everyone in my classes loved Mum, so there was never any awkwardness.
My mother is a likeable, friendly, loving person – and I guess it wasn’t till adulthood that I realised how uncommon that is – and she always welcomes (practically adopts) our friends.
Our home was always open to billets, exchange students, friends in need of a welcome, or an economics lesson. Friends would come away with us on summer holidays. I would ring home from university and find my friends were over for dinner even when I was in another town. My mother has a talent for befriending everyone in her path, and always having room for one more.
4. My Mum is brilliant and amazing. She cares about every part of my life.
Even today, if I get a compliment in an email, I forward it to my Mum. Because there’s a pureness to how genuinely happy she is in my happiness.
She cares about everything that’s going on, remembers (better than I do in these foggy days) what’s coming up for me, asks good questions, and follows up on things. She cheers me on in whatever I do.
Every time I left for a choir performance, she would farewell me with ‘Sing beautifully!’ She always came to my hockey games, ballet shows, speech and drama competitions and concerts. Given how many of the darn things I participated in, plus all those of my sisters, it’s amazing she got anything else done.
5. My Mum is brilliant and amazing. She passed on a fervent love of books.
Or more like an addictive dependency. We’re a family of readers, but not in an exuberant way. It’s just what we do.
On Christmas holidays we took crates of books away with us in the car boot. Mum indulged me in endless Sweet Valley High purchases as well as weekly trips to the library. She read and read and read and then let me read and read and read. (I’m still not sure if she knows how late I habitually stayed up reading when I was little, when I was in a bedroom where she and Dad couldn’t see the light under the door once she was in bed.)
She started reading to my son when he was a day old, and has more stamina for it than I do!
6. My Mum is brilliant and amazing. She told us her family stories.
Apparently the telling of family history is a key part of building happy families. My mother is brilliant and amazing at this.
I’m loving telling my own son the stories of Mum’s school bus misadventures and horse-riding antics (though I haven’t yet revealed the mischievous tale of spreading tacks on the road).
Mum just about has a story from her childhood for every occasion, and she’s been very generous in sharing even sad ones, as part of connecting with us and our experiences. I love my Mum all the more for knowing her better through her oral history.
My Mum is brilliant and amazing
This list could go on for several more pages. I could talk about how my parents fostered independence in us, about how financially generous they are, how adventurous, how Mum is my model for trying to give the benefit of the doubt in every circumstance, how deeply moral they both are, and the value they taught us to place on doing the right thing.
I could thank Mum for teaching me to swim, to cook, to identify a mammal, to make phone calls to strangers, to exert my legal consumer rights, to navigate difficult friendships.
I could write at length about how warmly she has welcomed her sons-in-law into the family, and all their family members, about what a great Nana she is, and about how she and Dad have modelled a solid, loving, companionable marriage of 39 years and counting.
I’ll save some for next year.
Thank you, Mum. You are brilliant and amazing. I love you.
If you’d like a platform to say a few things about your own brilliant and amazing mother – or anyone else who has loved you – please feel free to add a comment below. I’d love to hear about the brilliant and amazing people who have helped shape you.
I also have a Pinterest Board called A Better Mother’s Day.