Thursday, 17 March 2011

Ten things my Mum taught me

Its been a while since I joined in with Mama Kat's writers workshop and when I read the prompts and thought it would be nice to write a post about ten of the things my Mum taught me. I'm also linking up to Wonderful Women Wednesday linky in praise of female friends over at How to laugh in the face of it all. Mum was my best friend.

Unfortunately we lost Mum to cancer in 2006 and this photo of us together was taken only nine months before she passed away. I had no clue at that time that I was about to lose her. I wish I did but for reasons of her own Mum choose not to tell us she was dying. So here are Ten things my Mum Taught me:

1) Good sense of direction - Mum had a remarkable way of being able to travel anywhere without getting lost, driving her mini bus with six kids in the back all fighting and screaming. Mum would rarely travel on the underground when going into the centre of London for shows etc, she always drove and knew the streets of London like the back of her hand.
On the rare occasion she used the tubes she knew those inside out too and she taught us to always be alert and vigilant when travelling down there, to move fast and to be able to scan the signs quickly and plan our route within the click of a finger. To be honest her quick thinking skills she drummed into me from a young age has saved me from many dodgy scenario's over the years.

2) Punctuality - Mum was always late. Late taking me to school, late picking me up, late to shows, late to parties, late for church and in the end late for her own funeral. Mum's hearse broke down in the middle of a busy Eastend high street and every single person at that funeral all smiled and said "Typical Pat".
Mum's constant lateness is now just a fond memory although growing up it made me anxious being late all the time, as a result I'm never late for anything. I'm super prompt me and if I feel I'm going to be late for something I go into panic overdrive.

3) The importance of a good marriage - Mum was married twice and both husbands neglected her. Looking back she must have been so lonely at times and even though married she told me she often felt like a single parent. Mum loved my husband like he was one of her own kids. They were great friends, so much so that Papa got on better with her than I did at times. Papa looked up to her and he loved her like a second Mum. During turbulent times of our marriage Mum would be there advising and guiding us, forever stressing how essential it is to work at marriage especially if it is worth working at, which she always knew ours was.

4) Days out on a budget - Mum loved a good day out and she certainly knew how to have a day out with kids on a budget. She hated sitting in the house doing nothing during school holidays and every opportunity she had she would pack up boiled eggs, bags of oranges and a bottle of water and take us all out. Mum rarely took us to theme parks or expensive commercial places instead she'd prefer to spend her budget on going to parks and the seaside every day. As long as the car was full of petrol we would be out enjoying the countryside or sea air.

5) Bargain Hunting - I definitely get my bargain hunting skills from my Mum. We would trawl car boot sales and charity shops together getting excited over every bargain we would spot. My enthusiasm for charity shops is all down to Mum.

6) Housework - Mum was a grafter. Always working hard either when she was studying for her Psychology degree or later when she worked for social services, she was always on the go so when she cleaned the house she would wizz through it in no time. She taught me to be able to clean the house from top to bottom in super time...Keep moving and keep focused was her moto.

7) Girl Power - Mum taught me that women are inspirational and strong. During times as a single parent of four and second time around six children she was faced with having to support her children with no support from our fathers. Mum found herself in a situation that needed action. She sold the lovely big house she had built with my Dad, gave him half the money and purchased a tiny two bedroom property. With four kids she was fighting for space, having all 3 boys sharing her bedroom the house was just not practical so she decided to sell our new house, keep half the garden and build us a new house on it. In doing this she became mortgage free by the time she was thirty. Mum went on to marry again and become single again and having to start again once more. She pulled herself out of financial difficulty yet again by getting her degree. Mum certainly showed me 'Girl power' and I admire her strength.

8) Do not judge - Mum always said to me that I should never judge anyone because "You don't always know what is going on behind closed doors and you never know if you might find yourself in the same situation one day!"

9)Nothing is impossible - Mum knew if you want to achieve something then it is always possible. It just takes some hard work and dedication. Your dreams are always achievable. Be positive and she always spoke about self fulfilling prophesy's.

10)Life is short - When she passed away she taught me to live my life as happy as possible. My life has totally changed since she has been gone. I'm a completely different person. My priorities are different and I now choose to live my life as simple as possible. Its not about money or material belongings to me...Its about Happiness. I realised five years ago that Life is very short, I need to make sure I have great memories with my family while I still can and I should always look on the bright side of life. If I'm unhappy then I should change things.
Thanks Mum, You are my Inspiration and the most amazing woman I've ever known x


  1. This is an amazing post and amazing list. I'm sorry your mum is no longer around. xx

  2. Sounds like she was an amazing woman. Those are 10 incredible things that she taught you. I am so sorry that you lost her. Her spirit will live on through you though I am sure. XOXO

  3. What an amazing lady. I bet the beach with mom was better than a commerical theme park.

  4. I would have like to have known your mum. She sounds amazing. I smiled on the punctuality piece. My mom is the same way and I am usually early...unless I get lost, but that is another thing altogether. I'm so glad you linked up with Mama Kat and that I stopped by. I enjoyed your voice and your post.


  5. This made me shed a tear this morning, she sounds like she was an incredible woman! Lovely post. Emma

  6. What a beautiful post! She taught you some really great things.

  7. What a beautiful post and tribute to a wonderful woman!



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