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 Victoria, the person behind Mummy Times Two.
1. Can you describe your relationship with your mother today?
I’m really lucky to have a really close relationship with my mum. We still speak most days on the phone, and usually meet up once a week. She is my go to for advice, especially about the children.
2. How does this differ/is this similar to the relationship you had growing up?
We were always really close, she used to call me her shadow. I was never a rebellious child, always happier spending time with my mum that going out, even if we weren’t doing anything particularly exciting.
3. In what ways has your relationship with your mother influenced your character and outlook on life?
My mum rarely told me, or now tells me, what to do. Instead she has always encouraged me to make my own informed decisions. It’s made me a much stronger character and more able to stand up for what is right. I think it also made me less likely to rebel as a teenager too – because there was always flexibility rather than iron rules to push against.
4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your relationship with your mother?
My mum has always made me feel like I could go to her whatever the problem. She doesn’t make small problems feel trivial or big ones seem like the end of the world. She just makes them all feel manageable.
5. In what ways has that affected your parenting style?
I hope, especially as my children grow older, I’ll be able to do the same for my children. I want them to feel that I’m always there to listen to them.
6. What’s the best/worst piece of advice your mother ever gave you?
When I was choosing my option subjects at GCSE, when friend’s parents were encouraging them to make the ‘right’ choices, my mum told me to choose with my heart, she said to pick things I would enjoy, because those were the things I would do the best at. She was completely right of course, and it’s a piece of advice I’ve followed ever since. It’s meant that career wise I’ve always loved what I’ve done and been successful at doing it.
Worst piece – my mum is pretty superstitious, and we were never allowed to cut our nails on a Sunday. I mean what on earth is that about? Needless to say once I got my own home that was one piece of advice I promptly ignored.
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 my children follow their hearts. I want them to do what they love – just like my mum encouraged me – and above all to be happy. Beyond that I don’t have set ideas about who I want them to be.
8. Based on your relationship with your mother, what has been your biggest surprise/revelation/epiphany when you became a mum yourself?
I always thought (and I suppose still do) that my mum had all of the answers, I think I thought that those answers had come with childbirth. It came as a big revelation to me when I gave birth to my daughter and my mum admitted she just made it up as she went along. I guess I’d thought thT with motherhood came a secret store of answers that I would be one day let into.
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 is fantastic with my children. She adores them. She’s definitely softer on them and spoils them more than she did my brother and I. But hey, that’s a grandparent’s job right? I’ll probably be very similar when I’m a grandma.
10. Can you share a memory about you and your mother which illustrates your relationship?
I don’t think there is one particular memory, I think it’s a collection of them, the small things which illustrate our relationship. Shipping trips, eating cake, sharing holidays – just being there for each other when we need someone. My mum isn’t just my mum, she’s my best friend.
With many thanks to Victoria 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.