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 Janine, the person behind Janine’s Little World.
Janine is originally from Germany and moved to Ireland over a decade a go. Here she met her wonderful husband and they have two beautiful kids, a boy and a girl. They moved from West to East of Ireland back in October which was a big change but they’ve adapted well and recently adopted a kitten. Janine works full time as a customer support executive and her free time is dedicated to her blog, DIY projects and online shopping.
1. Can you describe your relationship with your mother today?
First of all my mum died of cancer over three years ago but our relationship was more than mother and daughter. She was my best friend. I could talk to her about everything and I told her everything. Living abroad made it more difficult for mum and me. Luckily she was gifted with an iPod from me so we could be in touch every day via FaceTime or Viber.
2. How does this differ/is this similar to the relationship you had growing up?
Our relationship had always been the same. Of course it was sometimes a bit more intense during school years but she only wanted the best for me. She wanted me to have the best life.
3. In what ways has your relationship with your mother influenced your character and outlook on life?
I was the only child. My mum lived with me and my grandparents. She worked very hard so that we can have a good life including going on summer holidays every year. She was a very strict but yet loving mother. Being strict I have definitely taken from her.
4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your relationship with your mother?
Be strong willed. Don’t let anything get to you.
5. In what ways has that affected your parenting style?
I like following rules and routines are the key for me. I can hear my mother in me many times a day. I often think back this how she would have dealt with the situation but I do mix it up with my own parenting style.
6. What’s the best/worst piece of advice your mother ever gave you?
Don’t buy cheap products as you end up buying twice. She’s so right. Many people who follow my blog know how much I love shopping particularly online shopping. I have found myself in many situations over the years where I think about what she said to me.
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?
As long as my kids are happy I’m happy. My mum has only ever met one of my kids but she had been the most supportive grandmother since the day Matthew was born.
8. Based on your relationship with your mother, what has been your biggest surprise/revelation/epiphany when you became a mum yourself?
As mentioned above, I lived with my mum and grandparents. I never knew my father. Being a mum myself, I can only imagine how tough it must have been to raise a child on your own. I know there was my grandparents but she did all the dirty work. I would never be able to raise kids on my own.
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’s hard to say because the last time she met Matthew before she died, he was only 1 year and 4 months. He couldn’t even walk back then but Matthew loved her so if she was still around, they would have been the best of friends in my opinion.
10. Can you share a memory about you and your mother which illustrates your relationship?
This is really hard because we have had too many memories together.
She was down to earth and such a cheerful person. Birthday parties with my mum for example were never boring. My friends were calling her by her first name and they were always laughing. She took out a twenty year old bottle of whiskey at one of the parties and wanted to see our reaction I think I might have been 16 years old. She was hilarious basically. She basically always gave 200%.
If you’d like to take part in the series about how upbringing influences parenting, please email me.