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 Nyomi, the person behind Nomipalony.
Nyomi is 33 and lives near Newcastle upon Tyne with her 2 and 5 year olds and ‘Papa Ginge’. She runs the feminist family lifestyle blog www.nomipalony.com and is known for keeping it really real in her Instagram stories. Earlier this year, Nyomi was a finalist in the parenting category at the UK Blog Awards. Nyomi is also currently a finalist in the vlogging category at the upcoming inaugural Northern Blog Awards.
1. Can you describe your relationship with your mother today?
It’s strong, we are very close. I can tell her anything, as she can me. I trust her completely. I know she has my back no matter what I do. I could murder a dude and she’d help me hide the body and tell me he got what was coming to him. She was with me during both my labours and births which was a special and memorable for both of us.
2. How does this differ/is this similar to the relationship you had growing up?
This is the same as it was when I was growing up. We’ve always been close. Sometimes we are too alike and fight like cat and dog but it’s rarely serious. We get stuff off our chest but can always move on again.
3. In what ways has your relationship with your mother influenced your character and outlook on life?
This is a tough question and one that it’s impossible to be objective about. I’m sure the fact that I know I’m very loved and have her support no matter what has framed my character to a large extent. To grow up knowing what love is, is very valuable and I don’t take that for granted. I’m a confident woman who knows and loves myself and that probably stems from having the security of that knowledge that I am loved by her. Also, having a security blanket of being able to go to her whenever I need her and being able to talk to her about anything is really reassuring. I’m also probably comfortable with confrontation from all the practice I’ve had arguing with her over the years!
4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your relationship with your mother?
There is nothing more important than showing your kids that they are loved unconditionally, and family always comes first.
5. In what ways has that affected your parenting style?
I think I follow this lesson in my parenting style. I love on my kids 24/7 (literally, because I can’t get them out my bed) and they are secure in that love.
6. What’s the best/worst piece of advice your mother ever gave you?
The best piece of advice is probably ‘people get away with what you let them’ which is very true. I don’t tend to stand for much sh*t and say this phrase a lot. The worst is probably that she thinks if you go out in the cold and don’t wrap up you can catch a cold which isn’t how germ theory works.
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 want my kids to be happy and kind primarily. I want them to know their own minds and trust their gut instincts. I hope we remain close as they become adults. I think this reflects my relationship with my own mother.
8. Based on your relationship with your mother, what has been your biggest surprise/revelation/epiphany when you became a mum yourself?
I always saw my mam and sister as very maternal women. They both love children, are good with them and enjoy being around them. I was never like that and I was really worried I wouldn’t actually enjoy being a mam but it turns out I’m as maternal as they come and I love it. I also thought I’d be a very strict Gina Ford type mam but I couldn’t be further from that if I tried. I’m a very gentle and responsive AP type parent who bedshares, baby wears, baby led weans and extended breastfeeds. I didn’t expect to be like that at all!
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?
It is very similar – very loving and caring. She enjoys spoiling them with gifts. I’m happy about her relationship with them.
10. Can you share a memory about you and your mother which illustrates your relationship?
One of my favourite memories with my mam is one night when my sister went to bed her and I stayed up late. We got a mix up from the shop over the road and we had mtv or something on and were just having our own little mini disco in the living room. I remember dancing and singing to Wham, and spinning round and round in circles. My mam often used to put her old 70s records on and we would sing and dance to songs like ‘funky town’. We both loved music and I think my love of music really stems from the fun we used to have when I was a girl. Our dance parties were a regular feature but I remember that one vividly.
Another was of us both on a day trip to Scarborough, when I was a teenager. My dad and sister had gone off somewhere and my mam and I were stood in the sea, plodding along and chatting. It was a beautiful day, sunny but not too hot. We chatted for ages, having a real heart to heart and laugh. Jumping over the waves and watching them roll backwards and forwards past our ankles while we felt the sand between our toes. It just felt right. It felt special. I know I’ll always remember it and how it made me feel. I know my mam feels the same as we still talk about it now. One of my hypnobirthing visualizations was to remember that day on the beach watching the water and how it felt and I’ll meditate on it now if I feel scared, stressed or in pain and it helps me.
If you’d like to take part in the series about how upbringing influences parenting, please email me.