This week (9th) was my Mamma Bear’s birthday. So in honour of the woman who evicted me from her uterus into the world, here are nine things my mother taught me (other than how to use the toilet, which has been more useful than I can put into words).
This week I am drinking a lovely filter from Clifton Coffee roasters and it tastes a little like pink lemonade.
Making your bed makes the room look tidier. Same goes for straightening cushions on your sofa. I don’t know how this works, but it does and I always feel like my house looks better when my beds and sofa are tidy. This piece of wisdom has stuck with me so much that these are the first things I do when I am cleaning.
When you’re decorating, it doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to look good. Okay, I’m not totally sure of the wisdom of this, but my mum made some good points – why pull out the giant wardrobe that won’t fit anywhere else just to paint behind it? Who is going to see that? We did have an hilarious time decorating my old room where we decided to plaster the walls ourselves using my dad’s tools. We couldn’t get the plaster the right colour, so my mum chucked her cup of tea into it to make it a better colour. I’m sure that made all the difference and in no way contributed to chunks of wall falling off when we later redecorated that room.
Follow your dreams. You cannot live your life to make everyone else happy. My mum has always been good at encouraging us to do what makes us happy. Eight years ago, she decided to follow her own dreams and moved to New Zealand to start a new life out there. I can’t imagine it has always been easy for her, but she took the plunge and did something that made her happy.
You can do just about anything if you set your mind to it. See the aforementioned plastering walls. Don’t have the money to buy new curtains? Learn to sew. Need a patio and can’t get your builder husband to make one for you? Build it yourself whilst he’s out at work. You name it, my mother will have tried it for herself. She has instilled that “give it a go” attitude in me, much to Husband’s disappointment.
Not every mother can pull off hairdressing. My mother once decided that going on a school trip to Germany in the summer meant I couldn’t possibly have my hair dark red (I’d temporarily dyed it for a fancy dress party). She decided blonde was the way forward and proceeded to dye my hair blonde. Only it didn’t turn blonde: it turned orange. Carrot orange. A colour that my thirteen year old self did not appreciate. It took until my first year at university to fully grow it out.
Let your kids make their own mistakes. I think this one is fairly self-explanatory, but we’ve always been left to make our own choices and mistakes. We’ve always been made to deal with the consequences of those choices; my mum would help us through something, but if we made a mistake, we dealt with it.
Anything can be a pie if you shove mash on top and bake it with cheese. Literally anything. Mince? Pie! Salmon? Pie! Sausages? Pie! Vegetables? Pie!
Friends are important, even if you don’t like the ones your kids pick. My mum has always surrounded herself with her friends. They are a big part of her life. She hasn’t always liked my friends, but she has always encouraged me to have them.
Resilience. My mum has been through a lot of things and survived them. I think some of that must have rubbed off on me. I frequently get told that I am very resilient or strong or put up with a lot. I don’t always think that’s true, but I suspect I learnt a little of it from my mother.
Happy Birthday Mamma Bear!
What things has your mum taught you that have stuck with you as you’ve grown up?