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 Yvonne, the person behind Double the Monkey Business.
Yvonne lives in Germany with her hubby and twin boys. Her family is currently planning a move back to the UK, just in time for the twins to start school. She blogs over at Double the Monkey Business, which specialises in crafts and fun for the busy mum. During the day she works as a reporter / editor for a newspaper.
1. Can you describe your relationship with your mother today?
I have a great relationship with my mum. She is always there with a lending hand and a listening ear.
2. How does this differ/is this similar to the relationship you had growing up?
It is very similar. I could always turn to my mum when I needed to.
3. In what ways has your relationship with your mother influenced your character and outlook on life?
My relationship with both my parents has made me realise I can achieve anything. I think that particularly came to light when I had a complete career change a few years ago. I think without their encouragement throughout my life I would not have been brave enough to make that leap.
4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your relationship with your mother?
My mum always said she would never turn her back on me, that is something that I carry on with my children as well. If they need me I will always be there.
5. In what ways has that affected your parenting style?
It has very much influenced my parenting style. My mum was always very loving but also strict when she needed to be and I feel myself doing the same with my children. This hasn’t been a conscious thing; it has just worked out that way.
6. What’s the best/worst piece of advice your mother ever gave you?
When I first had my boys she said that I was to take any advice on board, but to trust my instincts and then do what I thought was right. Nod politely and do it your own way, you know your children best. That is something that I bring to mind often!
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 them to be happy and be able to achieve their dreams. I know my mum will be there to help me with that.
8. Based on your relationship with your mother, what has been your biggest surprise/revelation/epiphany when you became a mum yourself?
I think I suddenly appreciated everything she has done for me over the years and what that actually meant. There were times when I just didn’t appreciate what it was like to be a parent – especially during those teenage years! I now realise what that was like for both my parents.
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?
The relationship is very similar; although she now says, she is a grandmother now so it is her role to ‘spoil them’. I think it is lovely to see how much my children adore both my parents.
10. Can you share a memory about you and your mother which illustrates your relationship?
When my twins were only a few weeks old, we all caught a really horrible cold. I remember just saying to my hubby “I just want my mum”. We lived in London at the time and my mum lives in Scotland. I called her and she got on the next train to come and help us. That is how she earned the nickname SuperGran!
If you’d like to take part in the series about how upbringing influences parenting, please email me.