Mum and I at the beach in NSW, 1973

Mum and I at the beach in NSW, 1973

Like many women, I am under the modern-day illusion I can do it all.  Raise children, be a wife, run a household, cook like Nigella, dress like a supermodel and work – all at the once and perfectly. I don’t need your help or advice thanks, especially when it is all running so smoothly! Except it isn’t.

Once upon a time, it took a whole village to raise a child. Generations lived with each other under one roof and the responsibility of raising a child was shared by all.  At what stage did we think we could do the work of a whole village single-handedly?

I had a mother-of-a-moment this year. Recovering from an operation, my mother flew over to take care of me and the children whilst I spent a week in bed.

For the first time, I let her take over – completely. She cooked, ironed and cleaned my house. She bought clothes for her grandchildren (thank god she has great taste) and fed them a lot of sugar.

The two of us drank countless cups of tea (and wine) and talked about motherhood.  I confided in her my worries and she gave me some ideas on how to fix them.  I wanted to hear her advice – I really did. I listened, took it in and relished every second of it.  Like a lot of Modern Mothers, advice and solutions can sometimes make me a little defensive. I mean, we are a generation of supermothers who are doing it all and exceedingly well. We don’t need your help thanks!

Whilst I may not agree with everything Mum says, she has brought up four children and has decades of life experience to share with me. What type of fool wouldn’t listen and take at least some of it on board?

It seems many of you agree. Here is what you had to say:

“Ah to have a mother! Mums come in all shapes and delights and as I have listened to my girlfriends moan about their Mums it makes me think – lucky them. Mine died before I was married and yes there are good points to organising a wedding without having to do what Mum says. But when you become a parent and there is no Mum you have many “oh I wish” moments, especially as your kids grow and you want to ask what you were like at that age. And I imagine your Mum is the one person who will look at you and go “yip you are tired and need a rest” and step in – am I dreaming about the perfect Mother scenario? Dads are great but useless with the details about what you did and when. As my older girls begin their morph into young women I wish i had Mum to ask what and when I did the same thing. Having a Mum is special and lucky and should be appreciated. Mother in laws are another thing altogether. I have also lost my ma in law (careless huh) and there were times when she was great but there were times when she was a pain in butt. She was very strong willed as am I and it took some time for me to rise above getting irritated and be strong enough to stand my ground (turning 40 seemed to be the date). From then I took ( rather immaturely) great delight in winding her up. But you have to have the hubby on your side and that can take a bit of “throwing toys out of the cot” to achieve, but its worth it.” Lucy, Wellington, NZ.

“I wish my mother was more involved and I actually feel envious of those whose mothers are! I didn’t have the option of going to my mother’s after I had my boys. I did it alone and with my husband’s help. My mom is just the nervous type who never felt comfortable totally taking charge. I hope I can be more involved in my kid’s family life.” Kim, California, USA.

“She lives with us!!! It’s like having third teenage child. Lol. Love her.” Louise, Perth, Australia.

“My mother is too old now to really look after my children. She loves them though, and buys them more clothes and toys etc than I do. I don’t mind to be honest because she has good taste. I would never begrudge her giving them gifts as that’s how she happens to demonstrate love. I would never expect her to look after them while I went to work though.” Carmel, Brisbane, Australia.

Thanks for your feedback MMS.

Do you agree or disagree? Would love more thoughts on this topic.

Have a great Monday. xx

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