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 Rachel, the person behind Rachel Bustin.
Rachel is a 34 year old working first time mum to a baby girl born in February 2016. She blogs at rachelbustin.com and covers various family and lifestyle topics as well as book reviews and competitions. Huge cake and chocolate lover.
1. Can you describe your relationship with your mother today?
Our relationship is fantastic today, we talk everyday and my mum also uses her iPad to message me. Which for my mum is a great achievement as she cannot use a mobile and many a time thinks the cordless home phone is a mobile! Since I became a mum our relationship got much more closer. We now have this mum bond between us. It’s amazing.
2. How does this differ/is this similar to the relationship you had growing up?
Growing up, we used to argue like cat and dog. Mum used to always stick up for my younger sister which grated on me and if I’m honest our relationship was rubbish. It’s a strange thing for me to say now, but we never got on.
3. In what ways has your relationship with your mother influenced your character and outlook on life?
Mum has always liked the quiet life, she is a very caring and honest person. Now I’m older and a mum I can see now that all she wanted was the best for me and to bring me up a caring person, which I hope I am. I did win a Kindness award back in January with the Tribal Chat awards so I guess it’s true.
4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your relationship with your mother?
To be kind to others and be a helper, be independent and do what you think is best.
5. In what ways has that affected your parenting style?
I like to think I’m a relaxed parent and not doing everything by the book, but do what I think is necessary. For example I wasn’t happy with baby-led weaning so we took a more traditional approach much to my health visitors dismay!
6. What’s the best/worst piece of advice your mother ever gave you?
Trust your instincts is my mum’s best advice. I did just that last August when my baby girl started getting this fine rash on her legs that was working it’s way all over her body. I did the glass test. She was bright and her normal self but I was anxious, so I called the doctor who told me to bring her in. She actually had mini measles which apparently babies can get before they have their immunisations. I listened to my gut instinct. Mum’s know best don’t they?
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?
All I wish is for my daughter to be a kind and caring person. To grow up and be who/what she wants to be. This is what my mum wanted for me, but I couldn’t see it until I became much older. I suppose I was blinded my own stubbornness and the need for attention that mum gave my younger sister.
8. Based on your relationship with your mother, what has been your biggest surprise/revelation/epiphany when you became a mum yourself?
The biggest surprise for me is that I feel I’m a natural mother and it came easy to me. I don’t like to boast because some mums find things hard as a new mum, but as an example I found breastfeeding fairly easy, in fact 14 months later I’m still breastfeeding my daughter in the mornings and evenings and still working full time. My mum still says she doesn’t know how I do it, and that I’m better than she was.
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?
Well my daughter is only 14 months old and mum has her while I’m at work and she enjoys it very much, so I can’t really say if the relationship is similar or different to my own with her. I do know that mum is always saying how my daughter reminds her of me at that age!
10. Can you share a memory about you and your mother which illustrates your relationship?
When I first took my daughter to see my mum, she was only 3 days old. I had a c-section and my milk was still not in. My mum took us into the other room when baby girl needed a feed and my mum was so encouraging and helpful to me. She helped place baby girl onto my boob and told me it would get easier. This memory sparked another level into our relationship and forged that new mum to mum bond.
If you’d like to take part in the series about how upbringing influences parenting, please email me.