The Gifts My Mother Gave Me
As part of their #MyGiftToHer Mother’s Day campaign, the wonderful team at Christy recently treated me and my mum to a gorgeous box of goodies.
As well as a bottle of bubbly and a pretty Bloom & Wild bouquet, they sent me a luxury bath robe complete with my very own monogram. With the addition of my favourite pamper products, I had everything I needed for a seriously relaxing Sunday afternoon.
My deep love of makeup, skin care and other frivolous things is definitely not something I inherited from my mother. She’s never worn a scrap of makeup in my presence and I’m pretty sure she’s single-handedly kept Oil of Olay in business for the last 25 years. Luxuriating in a bubble bath is definitely not her idea of fun and I think the prospect of a spa day would bring her out in a cold sweat!
Although mum didn’t teach us a thing about lipstick, she did give me and my sister plenty of other gifts. Here are just a few of them…
A Kick-Ass Academic Role Model
Long before I became a student parent myself, I watched my mum study for an undergraduate degree with the Open University while also raising me and my sister on her own and working part-time as a nurse. Throughout my early teens, her text books and lecture notes littered our dining table at all times. When she finally graduated, my sister and I cheered louder than anyone else in the auditorium.
To me, she’s the original Super Mum and many of my own achievements have only ever felt possible because I’d watched her do it all before. In her 50s, she went on to gain an MSc, teaching me that our desire and ability to learn does not come with an age limit.
The Space to Make Mistakes
Now that I’m a parent myself, I’ve realised just how hard it is to sit back and let your children flirt with the possibility of screwing things up. ‘Who am I to stop them learning from their own mistakes’ is a phrase I come back to over and over again, especially since Izzy started secondary school.
I can only imagine how my mum must have felt when I left school at 16 or when I decided to continue with my unplanned pregnancy a few years later. I know she spent a lot of time and energy defending my unconventional life choices to people far more judgemental than herself. Through all the ups and downs, my mum has only ever been a source of love, understanding, support and encouragement.
A Deep Love of Gatherings
From casual midweek meals with friends to huge family parties, my mum knows a thing or two about entertaining. In my mind, my childhood home in West London is always filled with the hustle and bustle of visitors. My happiest memories involve the kids running riot upstairs while the adults commandeered the dining room, drinking wine by candle-light and laughing wildly at jokes and anecdotes we were too young to understand. I find myself trying to recreate these moments for my own children more and more as I get older.
Although I’m yet to cater a huge party as effortlessly as my mother would, it definitely feels like something to aim for. The joy of seeing people come together for a celebration, especially family, has never left me and as my grandparents’ generation grows smaller by the year, it feels more important than ever before.
A Passion for Adventure
Both my parents loved to travel, but after their divorce, it was my mum who helped us see the world. Whether she was crossing the French countryside with no one to share the driving, fending off pickpockets as we boarded a tram in Amsterdam or flying us all the way to Australia, she appeared confident and fearless at all times, filling our holidays with incredible experiences that have shaped who we are today.
I’ve never taken any of our trips for granted, but I have grown up believing travel and time away are an essential part of the life I want to live. We haven’t made it overseas in a while, but I only have to think of the amazing staycations mum arranged for us in the UK to know that my kids are making some amazing memories in the meantime.
- What gifts have the women in your life given you?
Love Audrey xxx
P.S. Having ‘celebrated’ many a Father’s Day without my dad, I know how hard this weekend can be for some people. Be kind to yourselves.
This is a collaborative post. Read my full disclosure here.