Three Things I Am Glad My Mother Never Taught Me

Baby Em with Mum 2 copyHOW TO BE PRETTY

My mother never wore make up.

She didn’t spend hours putting her face on, straightening her hair or painting her nails.

She never dressed me up in frilly clothes that I had to ‘keep clean’ or threw me a mini-makeover party.

My mum may not have known how to to do a French plait but she showed me how to splash in puddles and make mud pies.

I was never taught that pretty was the most important thing you could be if you were a girl.

I grew up thinking that there were way better things to be, like kind, clever, funny and happy.

So if my eye shadow is the wrong colour, my shoes don’t match my bag, my nails are unpolished and I don’t appear to care; don’t blame me, blame my mother.


My mother never took me to Disneyland.

We never had much money growing up.  There were no sunny holidays abroad.  We would go down to Devon in our camper van and huddle up under a blanket drinking warm tea as the rain beat down on the roof. We would sing songs and eat food cooked on the little stove under the front seat. We may have worn our welly boots more than our swimming costumes but those trips away were some of the happiest times of my life.

My mum could never afford to buy me expensive trainers or designer clothes and despite believing at the time that this would ‘ruin my life,’ I am glad. I still can’t afford designer clothes and expensive trainers but I have learnt that ‘things’ aren’t important. Although lots of money does makes things easier, I know I can be happy without it.

She taught me to follow my heart rather than the money.

So if I am not a millionaire by the time I am forty, don’t blame me, blame my mother.


My mother never went on diets.

She never talked about calorie intake or losing weight. She never moaned about ‘looking too fat’ or wanting to be thinner. So I never learned that it mattered.

She didn’t make us drink skimmed milk, diet squash or eat low fat yoghurts. She sometimes even let us have biscuits and chocolate.

She never told us that too many sweets would make us fat. She told us that too many sweets would make us unhealthy.

I didn’t learn the importance of being thin. I learnt the importance of being healthy.

So if I don’t refuse dessert in order to keep my figure, or I am as happy with the ‘baby weight’ than I am without it; then don’t blame me, blame my mother.

My mum didn’t have the Internet to consult about the best way to look after a baby or Google to check ‘How to bring up girls’. There was no app to tell her the latest parenting techniques or baby sleep solutions. She didn’t worry when she took time out of her career to be stay-at-home-mum. She didn’t worry when she was a working mum. She just followed her instincts and did what she thought was right for her family.

I am the person I am today not because of what my mother did; but because of what she didn’t do. I only hope that I can not do the same things for my daughters.

Is your mum awesome too? Feel free to share this article and your stories to celebrate Mother’s day!   Comment below or join me for a chat on Facebook or Twitter!

13 thoughts on “Three Things I Am Glad My Mother Never Taught Me

  1. What a lovely post – you talk about all the things I’d love to pass onto my baby girl, such good, simple life lessons. My mum taught me similar too (although like you I probably told her it was ‘SO UNFAIR’ a lot of the time! x

  2. While reading your post I thought you and I might have the same mom! 😉
    My mom is a woman of note – practically blind since High School, it did not stop her from getting 2 degrees, raising 3 children very well (if I may say so myself!), giving Sunday School and Voortrekkers (similar to Girl/Boys scouts), volunteering at the welfare, working at a creche (“just helping out” … for the last 25 years…) and being an active bowls players and Rotary member! I have never seen my mom mad or heard her say anything negative about someone. My father is a good man, but can be very difficult and I take my hat off to her for being married to him for the last 40 years! Also, me and my brother and sister definitely caused a few of her grey hairs with our weird and wonderful plans, but she has been fully supportive of every one of them! Cheers!

    • Wow she sounds like an amazing lady. If I can be even half the mum my mum is I will be happy. Thanks for sharing your story. Mums are a wonderful thing to have!!

  3. Yay for your mum, a job well done!
    My mum was awesome too, for different reasons, but camping trips were definitively a highlight in my childhood (that also included sunny trips), so that’s something we are doing with our kids too.

  4. Now that is a wonderful testament to the lady who raised you. Beautiful. Happy Mothers Day to you (our Mothers Day is in 2 months)! xo

  5. This is just beautiful. Happy Mother’s Day – will be showing this to my mum – it’s so spot on and I’m so happy to also have a mum that didn’t bother with the stuff that doesn’t matter 🙂

  6. My mom was very similar and I am starting to realize just how awesome that was.

    For example, while house prices were down a few years ago in the States I was able to buy into an upper middle class neighborhood with a great school, so all my neighbors are wealthier than me and have taken their families to Disneyland at least once or twice. But just simply remembering how simply we lived growing up helps me not feel like a bad parent for not being able to afford to take the kids to Disneyland or fill up their calendars like every other family around here.

    • That is similar to us. We rent in an area where everyone owns big houses. But I try to be grateful for all the things we do have …i can’t afford Disneyland but my kids hopefully will grow up to appreciate the small stuff. Maybe!!

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