This blog post is not only a little thank you to my beautiful mum Veronica, but also a little bit of advice to mums out there with daughters. I know I don’t have children, so this blog is coming from a child to parent perspective. If you are a mum you may find it useful if you have daughters at home.
Being a parent must be the toughest job, another human being is your responsibility for 18 years or more. I think my mum has done an amazing job and so I wanted to share with you what I remember learning from my mum growing up and how it has helped shaped me and my career so far.
My mum is very special, I know myself and my brothers are her world and despite us all being adults she supports us in any way she can. I know everyone says this about their mum, but I honestly have a lot to thank this woman for.
My mum always wanted 4 children, she also wanted a mansion and 4 holidays a year but you can’t have it all haha! So despite any financial difficulties growing up, her and my dad made having 4 children work; they even rented out rooms in the house when times were really tough.
I’m the 3rd of 4 children and the only girl, so my mum and I have always been close. We have a very strong and healthy relationship; I’d say a cross between friends, sisters and mother daughter. For me this balance has been essential growing up as I’ve always felt a little gap without having a sister.
Nevertheless, I would say that her role as my mum outweighs them all and for me this is so important too, I believe this is the difference between looking up to your mum and respecting her rather than just seeing her as a friend who is there for a laugh.
A lot of my morals and ambitions come from my mum, and her go get attitude towards life has really rubbed off on me. Below are the 5 main lessons my mum has taught me growing up that I will never forget….
LESSON 1: GIRLS AND BOYS ARE EQUAL
I know my mum was dying for a girl so having 3 brothers could have meant me being spoilt and treated like a princess, forced to play with girly things and practice ballet despite not being gracious at all.
Not in our house! We were treated equally from day one, I played football, wrestled with my brothers and was never allowed to act like a drama queen. Instead I was tough, fearless and independent, if anything my brothers were scared of me!
I think this happened mainly because mum didn’t have the time to treat me any different, we just got on with entertaining ourselves and I was simply outnumbered by boys. If you can’t beat them, join them.
None the less, as a result I’ve never felt inferior to a boy or man, I’ve always felt strong and able and can honestly say I won’t rely on a man for anything. My independence comes from me and me only; all I’ll need from my partner is love and laughter.
I believe that a lot of this stems from the fact that my gender was never made a point of, I was never told that blue was for boys and girls can’t do things. My parents believed I was capable of anything and being nurtured the same way as my brother’s has been a huge part of me believing that.
LESSON 2: STAY CLASSY
I think ‘classy’ is my mum’s favourite word and a word myself and my friends heard come from her mouth many a time during girly chats.
My mum has always been classy; she holds herself respectfully, dresses well and has never been absorbed by male attention. For me growing up this is what I believed she meant by staying classy and because I admired this about my mum I wanted to hold myself in this way too. This highlights to me how much a daughter looks up to her mum and the effect a mother’s persona can have on their child.
I was told to always play hard to get when it came to men, never sleep around and always maintain a good reputation because your reputation never leaves you. A strong message but one I definitely agree with. Some mum’s may feel uncomfortable speaking about these things with their daughters, however I’m so glad my mum felt more than comfortable speaking about it to me. Who else was I to learn from? The older girls at school? The movies I watch? The boy I thought I was in love with?
My mum felt she had a responsibility in telling me how to carry myself as I reached high school, she highlighted the importance of respecting myself and my body and that having the right boyfriend was a luxury and not a necessity.
LESSON 3: START SAVING
My mum strongly believes in the value of property as this is how her parents thrived after migrating from Ireland. Therefore, as soon as I was earning I had to save, the deal was, as long as I’m saving and can prove it, I don’t have to pay full rent. I had a year of fun once leaving university, spending all the money I was making in sales and then mum got tough.
I began saving aged 22 and it’s the best thing I did, I aim to put my savings towards my first property and I can’t wait, because for me this is a huge achievement and great investment long term. Buying a property isn’t at the top of everyone’s list but I think saving should be. You certainly rely less on your parents anyway!
Money doesn’t always bring happiness but it certainly brings a sense of security. I’m so glad that my mum regularly encouraged me to save, she had the right idea and now I’m able to enjoy things without financial worry and prepare for my future.
If buying a property is not on the top of your list or your children’s list, or it seems so out of reach, save anyway, when the money starts piling up you can start dreaming and planning ahead.
LESSON 4: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Presenting myself well, looking the part and making an effort with my appearance was another significant lesson. I myself like to have nice hair, fresh clothes and make up on, something I assumed was important to everyone. Maybe that’s us being vane? Materialistic? But I don’t think so.
Mum always said that first impressions always stick in people’s mind and you never know who you might bump into that day. So whether that means going to the shops or having a night out, her pink lipstick is always on. I’m never really worried about bumping into people when in my gym clothes, no makeup and hair in a messy bun, however when going to meetings, interviews, lunch, dinner or work I always make sure I am presentable. I always have a niggle in the back of my mind that I could meet a future boss or someone holding an opportunity for me and I want to feel prepared for any given moment, starting with my appearance.
When I have make up on and my hair done, I hold my head up high and exude confidence and this is how I want people to remember me. So as much as make up and bouncy blow dries aren’t for everyone, carrying yourself confidently, in an approachable and friendly manner should be. You never have a second chance to make a first impression.
LESSON 5: DON’T HOLD GRUDGES, FORGIVE, FORGET & MOVE ON
This is the biggest lesson; life is too short to hold grudges. We’ve been brought up to believe that there is always a reason behind why someone may act a certain way towards you and so rather than holding on to hatred and becoming an unforgiving person, understand that everybody is different, everybody has different morals, their own issues and their own way of dealing with things.
How I act is only my responsibility and therefore I cannot be responsible for how someone has treated me, I can only be responsible for how I choose to deal with it and handle it.
How I see it is, I have my whole life ahead of me, exciting times and a life I want to fill with as much positivity and happiness as I can, if I hold grudges against every person who has done wrong to me, it will chip away at any happiness and I’ll end up wasting my energy on remembering all the negative things. A grudge is like poison, but you only poison yourself because only you are holding that grudge.
Now, this doesn’t make me perfect, I’m sure I’ve upset people and I can only hope that they never hold grudges against me. However, my mum installing this attitude into me has made my life a lot calmer, happier and less dramatic. I forgive people and I move on, focusing on my own life.
Just because you have forgiven someone, doesn’t mean they have to be your best friend again, it just means you can finally be at peace with yourself.
THANK YOU MUM…
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post this month, slightly different to the usual make up and beauty, but instead a little thanks to my mum.
Despite agreeing and absorbing a lot from my mum growing up, I am still my own person. I have grown up in a different generation and I very much have my own voice, nevertheless thinking about Mother’s Day and what I can thank my mum for, made me realise how much she has nurtured and shaped me, in ways that I am ever grateful.