I recently began a new series about how upbringing influences parenting. It remains to be seen whether it has as great an impact as I imagine, but that’s why I find these interviews so fascinating! I hope you will too.

(If there are any guys reading, please don’t be put off by the title – you’re more than welcome to get involved! I apologise for the un-PC title, but quite simply, I love alliteration. If you have any less sexist suggestions I’d love to hear them!)

This week, we have Bridget, the person behind Bridie by the Sea.

How upbringing influences parenting

Bridie By The Sea is mum to two year old Emma and step-mum to 13 year old James. They live together with her partner in Brighton, where they enjoy exploring Sussex thanks to copious amounts of coffee and chocolate.

 

1. Can you describe your relationship with your mother today?

1. Can you describe your relationship with your mother today?
I couldn’t feel closer with my mum than I do today. Becoming a mum myself has brought us so much closer together.

 

2. How does this differ/is this similar to the relationship you had growing up?

When I was growing up, we clashed because we are so very similar (although I contested this when I was younger!). That always used to make me a little sad as my relationship with my mum is very important to me.

 

3. In what ways has your relationship with your mother influenced your character and outlook on life?

My mum is the most positive person in my life. She has taught me to always see the good in people and to hold onto the positive outlook as much as I can. I hope I can pass on the same to my daughter too.

 

4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your relationship with your mother?

I’ve learnt to talk about things that are bothering me more, instead of bottling it all up. It’s amazing what comes out when you talk through things.

How upbringing influences parenting

 

5. In what ways has that affected your parenting style?

I’ve found myself actively trying to remember to be more patient and nurturing with Emma. I hope she’ll know that I want to always listen to what she has to say as well.

 

6. What’s the best/worst piece of advice your mother ever gave you?

The best piece of advice is to reach out to people even if you feel they are not forthcoming. I see my mum doing this all the time with people in her life, helping others even if she feels they might be taking advantage of her. I really admire that, even though I’m not sure if I’d be able to do the same.

 

7. How do you hope to influence your own children as they grow up and become adults, and does this reflect your relationship with your own mother?

I hope James and Emma will feel comfortable to talk to me about their worries as well as their hopes for the future. I want to pass onto them the importance of family and staying close together.

 

8. Based on your relationship with your mother, what has been your biggest surprise/revelation/epiphany when you became a mum yourself?

One of my thoughts in the first week after having Emma is ‘how did she do it?’. My parents emigrated to the UK when my younger brother was 2 months old, along with my brothers and I (6 years between us all). It just struck me that my mum is such a determined, positive and amazing person to have done all that with my dad often away with work.

 

9. Has your mother’s relationship with your children followed a similar pattern to your own relationship with her, or is their relationship very different? How do you feel about that?

My mum’s relationship with my daughter is very different! My daughter absolutely worships her and my mum just takes more time to do things together. As she stayed with my mum when I was working, they have a very special bond and they do things together that is reserved for Nanny and Emma only. I absolutely love it, it’s a joy to watch.

 

10. Can you share a memory about you and your mother which illustrates your relationship?

When I found out I was pregnant, we decided to move to Brighton – meaning moving out of my flat in London, where I had lived for 4 years. I am such an untidy person and I don’t think I’d done a spring clean for the whole 4 years! At 7 months pregnant, my mum insisted on coming over and cleaned out my entire flat and helped me with the packing for two days. It sums it all up for me, my mum would just do anything for me.

 

With many thanks to Bridget for sharing her story. She can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

If you’d like to take part in the series about how upbringing influences parenting, please email me.

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Recovering Cynic; Fledgling Optimist; Veteran Connoisseur of Cake… Welcome to The Less-Refined Mind. I’m Kate: WAHM and wife, family/lifestyle blogger, breastfeeding advocate, and small person-referee. Join me as I strive to think better, live better, and feel better – while nurturing two feisty and precocious little girls, and maintaining my positivity (sanity).

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