CELEBRATING THE WOMEN IN OUR LIVES - PART 2

CELEBRATING THE WOMEN IN OUR LIVES - PART 2




They're brave, they're inspiring, they're mentors. They're our Mums.


As Mother's Day dawns, we have taken the opportunity to reflect upon the influential women in their lives and, for some of us, on our experiences as mothers. And let's be realistic here - we know not everyone is lucky enough to have someone they can call "Mum" fondly, even within our team this is the case.

In saying that, whether we are mums ourselves and have learned in turn from our own mothers what to do (or what not to do), or we are daughters who have beautiful and amazing role models in their mothers, we are all lucky enough to either be and/or have these women in our lives. Our experiences have shaped who we are as mothers, as daughters, as women, and as people.


As a daughter (not yet a "mother" figure myself), I have watched in awe at the sheer amount of selflessness being a mother demands. Now I will be the first to admit, I consider myself to have been particularly lucky in the motherhood draw, but it became apparent reading the team's answers as both mothers and daughters alike that this is a shared feeling and experience. As a daughter, I understand now in adulthood more than ever that they are the women who build us up, and for them, I know we are all eternally grateful.


I want to be clear: when I refer to "mum", I do so with a full understanding that mum can absolutely be more a term to which we assign our own meaning, rather than a question of biology. Yes, it can be a mother, but it can also be a grandmother, a mentor, a role model, a friend. Motherhood can come from anywhere, and it certainly does not look the same for everyone. But whoever the woman you are most grateful for is, take time to understand how powerful she is in her ability to build you up. Make sure you make them feel loved, appreciated, and just a little bit special not only on Mother's Day, but always.


Read on to hear about the perspectives of those of us on the TLSE team who are daughters to wonderful women (who you will hear from too) - the good, the bad, the funny.


x




Lucy


What do you love doing with your Mum the most?

I love doing most things with Mum if I'm completely honest - I'm a self-professed mummy's girl. It could be as simple and mundane as heading out to the grocery store, bingeing Ozark on Netflix, treating ourselves to a glass of champagne at the end of the working week, going for walks along Seven Mile Beach, or doing yoga together in isolation. She's the best advice giver, she's always been there for me. She never fails to make me feel at peace and happy - like everything is going to be OK.


What’s your earliest or funniest memory if your Mum (or both!)?

Earliest... hm... probably not my earliest memory, but an early memory nonetheless. I remember Mum taking me to preschool, and I would always watch her leave and press my face up against the window and cry (like I said - mummy's girl!). Funniest memory would have to be when she tried to exit a glass revolving door too early in Washington DC (literally the whole door shuddered with the impact of her head), or more recently when her chair collapsed in the middle of lunch with my family - it literally just fell apart. Sorry that both my funniest memories revolve around you hurting yourself Mum, but I'm literally laughing as I write this too.


What do you love the most about her/what is it about her that inspires you? 

I don't think there's much I don't love about her. I don't know, maybe that sounds ridiculous and unrealistic, but if you've met her, you'll know what I mean. All through high school everyone always LOVED seeing her and I think some of my friends were a bit jealous of me for having such an amazing mum. A couple of years ago, Mum left her 30 year long career as a research librarian at a law firm to pursue a totally different venture and now owns her own business in the form of a homewares store in Berry - and I think that shows such strength and bravery. She's so gentle and lovely to everyone she meets, she's smart, she's generous, kind, hard-working, and most importantly (as you'll read below), she has made it her motherhood mission to make sure my sister and I know that we are always loved, no matter what, which has been a saving grace for me, especially at low points. I couldn't have asked for a better mum and role model, I'll be eternally grateful for her and everything she does. I definitely hit the mum jackpot!


Let's hear from Lucy's Mum, Catherine


What was your first ever “I’m a Mum” moment of realisation?

Quite early on actually - that first astounding little butterfly flutter of movement within was when I really felt I was a mother! That little person inside me then became quite a lot more active, and was soon affectionately known as Thumper (and later as Lucy!).

How have you tackled Motherhood?

Hmm, perhaps not always with as much patience as I should have. But, I think my guiding principle has been love – that my girls knew I loved them no matter what, and that by showing them love they would also learn to love and be loved. With love, all else follows – respect for themselves and others, kindness, independence, resilience. I heard someone recently describe their religion as “don’t be a dick” – I love that, and hopefully that’s what I’ve taught my girls!

What was your funniest (if only in hindsight)/worst Mum moment?

Funny in hindsight, shameful at the time – not realising an arm was broken for about two weeks was a bit of a low point! Obviously quite a high pain threshold there… and possibly a file at DOCs. An exploding nappy in the middle of Coles is also pretty unforgettable, but won’t go into details other than to say, it was dire.




Xanthe


What do you love doing with your Mum the most?

I don't know what I love doing with my mum the most, because there are so many things we enjoy doing together. Going for early morning walks or sneaking off to one of our favourite cafes that my brothers and dads can't stand ("that healthy hippy food rubbish"), or simply chatting on the phone about our days. We do also love travelling together and exploring the beautiful world - so I am hoping we can plan something again soon once we're allowed to! 


What’s your earliest or funniest memory if your Mum (or both!)?

I remember one day when we were playing in the garden and I was pretending to be the mum. Mum decided her name was Esmerelda, which even at that young age I thought was ridiculous. Now the name Esmerelda haunts me. She uses it as her name for when she places a coffee order for a laugh. And she now names herself Esmerelda on Facebook so she can go unidentified because she wants me to be her only Facebook friend! 


What do you love the most about her/what is it about her that inspires you? 

My mum is so proud and sure of herself. I admire this as I think it takes a lot of courage to truly stand your ground. She knows who she is and what she wants. She is strong and selfless. I hope that one day I can be another just as great as her. She has provided a lot to live up to but has provided a very good role model. 

Let's hear from Xanthe's Mum, Dimiti


What was your first ever “I’m a Mum” moment of realisation?

The joyous moment when you tell your parents you are pregnant with your first child, in my case their first grandchild, should be a real ‘Join the Club’ moment. Married for 5 years and about to turn 30, my husband and I decided it was the right time to start a family, didn’t want to be too old for our kids at the other end. The magic 12 week gestation mark approached, time to spread the news of our pregnancy to my parents. My Dad, 56 at the time, responded sternly, “No you’re not, I’m not old enough to be a grandfather!”. I remember thinking, “this is difficult, I can’t send it back, I am going to be a Mum!”. In the years that followed, my parents were never very available for babysitting…to young and busy, I guess?!

How have you tackled Motherhood?

Honestly, motherhood tackled me! After my first born I had plans to return to work as a high school teacher believing it to be the perfect job to pair with motherhood. My oldest son was born premature, with immature lungs and developing septicaemia… we were put on a medical roller coaster ride for the rest of our lives. He has cerebral palsy, is hearing impaired, intellectually disabled, behavioural problems and has needed to be taught every single thing he knows at snail’s pace! I became a proactive, hands on, full-time Mum from the start and remained that way for my next 2 children. I have always been honest with my kids, answered all their questions to their age of understanding - no dodging the ‘birds & the bees’, treated them as individuals and provided them with experiences I hope have enriched their understanding and appreciation of the world they live in. Now, all in their 20s, I have loosened the apron strings, but they keep coming back for more! Not sure if that means I‘ve done a good job or that there is still work to be done?

What was your funniest (if only in hindsight)/worst Mum moment?

Planted in my memory forever is an early outing as a first time mum to a golf expo with my husband. I don’t think it really mattered where I went, I was out of the house! On arrival, my baby did one of those classic, explosive, golden no.2s which oozed from every corner of the nappy. No baby change rooms at a golf expo! First lesson in how mums adapt to the situation. In the time it took me to clean him up, my husband had done his rounds of the expo. I think he sensed I needed a break, we stopped at a stall for lunch. I ordered a soup and salad. There was a spill of soup on a finger, I licked it off.  Alas, it wasn’t pumpkin soup that I digested!!! OMG! "WTF" hadn’t been popularised back then, but boy did I need one of them at that moment!





Meg


What do you love doing with your Mum the most?

Spending any time with her to be honest. Since moving out of home I have a whole new appreciation for her and any time we spend together is that much more precious! BUT, recently Mum and I started a new tradition of annual high teas. We usually do it around our birthdays and it's just the two of us, chatting, drinking tea (and champagne) and eating scones. So I'd say this is quickly becoming the thing I love doing most with my mum.


What’s your earliest or funniest memory if your Mum (or both!)? My earliest memory of my mum, which also happens to be my favourite would be the days we spent eating fresh cinnamon donuts at Menai Marketplace. Every Friday my two older sisters would be in school and mum and I would drop dad off to the driving range. Dad could never figure out why I was so excited to get into the car to drop him off to practice his golf swing, but one day I let it slip that mum and I would spend the morning in the Menai Marketplace food court eating donuts and chatting. This is definitely something I plan on making a tradition for my kids.


What do you love the most about her/what is it about her that inspires you?

I think the thing I love most about my mum is that she is unbelievably understanding and the most hard-working woman I have ever met. She is there for me NO. MATTER. WHAT. And quite frankly thank gosh she is, because I would be so lost without her. 


Let's hear from Meg's Mum, Sue


What was your first ever “I’m a Mum” moment of realisation?

First time I gave birth...! OMG, I made it through! And guess what? I went back for seconds and thirds. Such pure love for all my three beautiful girls.

How have you tackled Motherhood?

I didn’t listen to the experts.... me being a mum came with a lot of "Am I doing it right?". As it turned out, I was doing it right and I have the proof!

What was your funniest (if only in hindsight)/worst Mum moment?

I still get a lot of grief from you three girls about me feeding you rice, milk and sugar for dinner, whilst dad and I had a nice takeaway dinner... not to mention my mantra of: a dip in the pool will suffice for a bath.





Hannah


What do you love doing with your Mum the most?

I love talking to her! We are very different and both have very strong opinions, but I love getting her advice and feedback. She is one of the first people I go to for advice and when I have good news all I want to do is tell my Mum. I have lived out of home for three years now, so the best times are when we get to have a meal or coffee together. 

What’s your earliest or funniest memory if your Mum (or both!)?

One of my favourite memories of my Mum is that when I was 9 or 10 she took me onto an unmarked road and let me have a go at driving the car. At the time I was shocked my Mum would let me drive and I just felt so trusted! 

What do you love the most about her/what is it about her that inspires you? 

My mum gives the best hugs! She is very empathetic and is a great listener - always thinking of the other person. She is also a great role model. She has shown me that being strong doesn't mean being a show-off or proud. She has worked hard to get where she is, but she is so willing to share her joys and hurts. We are very different, but I would love to be more like her. 


Let's hear from Hannah's Mum, Cathie


What was your first ever “I’m a Mum” moment of realisation?

Just after Hannah was born and we were on our own. My husband and I were calling each other ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. It was so weird. We didn’t feel old enough, and Mum and Dad were our parents, anyway!

How have you tackled Motherhood?

Once you’re a Mum, it seems you are plagued with doubts - all the ‘what if’s, and the comparisons with others. I (we) have tried to make decisions that seem good at the time. Then, we have actively decided not to feel guilty. We have made wrong calls, and mistakes, and have apologised to our kids often. We are still learning.

What was your funniest (if only in hindsight)/worst Mum moment?

Worst moment: I had a phone call from one of the teachers at our local school. She said ‘Did you forget you had three kids?’ I had fallen asleep and missed the 3 pm pick up. It was twenty to four!




INTRO | Lucy Francis, TLSE

IMAGES | TLSE team

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