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 Kris, the person behind Max & Kai. Her story is a little different to the previous couple we’ve seen…


Tea Drinker, Biscuit eater, Ninja Mum of two little boys (Max and Kai).

Kris Gibbons: Head Honcho at the blog Max and Kai, where you will find posts documenting the trials and tribulations of life with boys.


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

We don’t really have a relationship today and haven’t for over a year now. There wasn’t really any kind of falling out she just stopped making any kind of effort with us. Then my son was born 8 months ago, she still hasn’t been to meet him which kind of puts a damper on any kind of relationship.


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

Growing up I was very close to my mum. Being the only girl in a house full of boys meant really we had no choice. Our relationship when I was younger couldn’t be any different to what it is now.

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

I cant really say that she has influenced my adult life at all. There have been long periods of not speaking which has meant I have had to “fend” for myself and figure things out without her guidance.


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

I will never allow my children to be distant from me. That’s what I have learned from our relationship. You cant always allow yourself to be selfish when you have kids you need to think of there feelings as well.

How upbringing influences parenting


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

I think its made me a better parent. I try and be there for my kids as much as humanly possible and always will.


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

I cant recall any advice she gave me growing up. I think that’s really sad.


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 to show my children that although I don’t have that bond with my mother it doesn’t mean that family isn’t everything. The mother is the glue of any family and I hope they grow up with that same viewpoint.


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

That I can be so patient with my children but never really could with her.


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 mother doesn’t have a relationship with my children.


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

I have lots of memories that showcase my relationship with my mum not many of them are posistive.


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

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









An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is an experienced breastfeeding advocate, and expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.

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