Acknowledging the gifts my mother gave me
We’ve just returned from a 10 day mad-dash around Victoria, Australia to celebrate my mum’s 70th birthday. It was great to visit, although I moaned like a bitch about the cold! It was also the first time my three siblings, our four lucky spouses, and all of our nieces and nephews have been in the same place since 2008. Definitely long overdue.
|Happy birthday girl|
Anyhoo, we gave mum 70 presents to open on her birthday, and that certainly kept her quiet for the first hour J. But seriously, none of us have seen her laugh like that in years, decades even. Phillipa (my sister) can take the credit for that, as she donated a nice black lacey thong to the present stack. It was nice to see mum laugh.
For those who don’t know my mum or haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn, my mother is a rather interesting lady. As a mother/daughter duo, we’ve never seen eye-to-eye on pretty much anything, however despite that, my mum gave me some great gifts growing up and I want to acknowledge that in honour of her 70th year.
But equally, now that I am a parent, I definitely believe there are things you learn despite your parents, as well as learning from them by the way they act or when they express their own truth. It’s a rather interesting thing this parenting malarkey.
So here’s an example of a moment that had a profound impact on me.
When I was a wee lass, I went with mum to the bank, and while I can’t remember exactly how old I was, I do remember not being tall enough to see above the counter. My mum was applying for a loan and when all of the paperwork was done, the lady serving us asked the bank manager to come over and check all was in order. Apparently it was and the bank manager declared that the next step required was for mum to get her husband’s approval on the loan and then it could be submitted.
Now remembering this was the 70s, it wasn’t an unusual scenario, however I watched my mother rise up and declare: I am the primary breadwinner in my house, I earn the money, and I do not need any man’s approval to apply for a loan thank you very much.
Definitely a #YouGoGirl moment!
The poor bank manager visibly blanched and then accepted her loan application on the spot, no permission from a man needed.
|With the grand kids - crazy cats!|
That was one of many experiences I had with my mum, standing up for herself, standing up for women, and while I regularly want to tear my hair out in frustration at some of my mum’s ideas, I know that the strength I have as a woman, and the courage I have in the way I live my life, comes directly from her.
My mum has guts. She never took any shit. And if you want to cross my mum… trust me, it won’t end up pretty for you.
I’ve always felt very lucky that we were raised with opposite parenting – especially back in those days. My dad had a job when I was tiny, but then he became a full-time artist. This meant mum went off to work every day and dad was at home sorting out us kids – as he was a much better cook, this was welcome. Because he was at home, he was also the main parent at school activities and so forth. As role models, this was good for young me. In fact, I didn’t know any different.
I can certainly say I appreciate it today and am thankful Steve has no issue having a feisty, ambitious woman around the house. It’s normal right?
We were never wealthy financially as kids, but you know what, we had gifts aplenty in our home – from being introduced to amazing books to read from a young age, curiosity about the world, music, sport, and so much more. I definitely look back on my early years with a smile on my face.
I don’t acknowledge the role my mum had on my life often enough, but now that she has a new birthday iPad and can access Facebook, perhaps she can read this and know that I really really appreciated being raised by a strong woman to be a strong woman who takes no shit. Thanks mum and I hope you loved your 70th.
Yours, without the bollocks