Why our mums deserve a ‘thank you’ (as do we!)

We know you probably love your mother – but does she know? To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, we share the funny things mums say, and find out why one mum was inspired by the sacrifices her mum made for her.

According to research by One4all, the Post Office gift card, over half of British adults still rely on their mum. Despite leaving home, apparently 1-in-3 45-55 year olds and 1-in-4 of us aged 55 will still accept help with lending money, cooking, doing laundry, baby-sitting and more.

And despite this, a hefty 40% of British adults said they won’t be giving their mum anything on Mother’s Day, and 38% won’t get them anything on their birthday either!

As mums ourselves, we think that’s pretty sad. So, to even the balance, we’re sharing a mum-appreciation blog from freelance journalist and mum of two Samantha Downes, explaining why her mum is her inspiration.

(And if this article guilts you into buying a late Mother’s Day gift, you could do a lot worse than this brilliant collection of witty and stylish gifts on Notonthehighstreet.com – or indeed a One4all gift card.)

My mum is the most important woman in my life

Women of my generation have been spoilt for choice when it comes to role models. We had – love them or loathe them – Madonna, Margaret Thatcher, Debbie Harry, Aung San Suu Kyi, Benazir Bhutto, Indira Gandhi, to name but a few.

None may have been perfect, but they all had the ability to inspire. For me, though all those role models are nothing compared to the most important woman in my life. My mum.

Our mums paved the way for us

My mum and her generation paved the way for the feminists of the late 1960s. My mum didn’t have a university education. Okay, she was lucky enough to be born in a world where there was full employment and social mobility was easier than it is now.

However for her, and others born around the end of World War II, there were other mountains to climb. Even having a full time job was something she had to fight for – most women were expected to give up work when they got married. Nor were they able to take credit, in fact it was only very recently that women could take out a mortgage on their own.

But my mum didn’t believe in doing what she was supposed to do, she did what she wanted to do, and what she felt was right. She wasn’t a martyr and she didn’t compromise when it came to the things that were important to her, which included myself and my sister – her daughters.

She did make some sacrifices – she had wanted to embark on a career as a designer but were persuaded by her mother that she could earn more money working in the City of London. In turn she encouraged me to do what I wanted to do, knowing that choosing money over anything was not the path to fulfillment and certainly wouldn’t do for her daughters.

The feminist movement may have come along a bit too late for my mum but to me – she will always be a pioneer.

Inspiring (and funny) things mums say

One of the inspirations for this blog was a social media campaign run by Isabella Oliver, the maternity clothing brand which is also behind the career-friendly Baukjen clothing line.

IO has been running a campaign in the run up to Mother’s Day to find the most inspiring and funny things our mums told us while we were growing up.

Using the hashtag #mamausedtosay some of the gems mums said included (and these are my favourites).

  • “It’s for your own good”
  • “If you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves”
  • “You’ll be best friends someday”
  • “Treat people how you would like to be treated”
  • “Why can’t you all just get along?”
  • “It’s all fun and games ‘til somebody loses an eye”
  • “I can read you like a book!”
  • “Going to bed with wet hair will give you a cold”
  • “If you don’t eat your bread crusts you won’t get curly hair”
  • “You get back what you give out”
  • “I told you so…”
  • “I’ve told you what I think, now it’s up to you”
  • “I’m your Mum, not your slave”
  • “Begin and end your day with a smile”

I would like to add my own ones from my mum too:

  • Never put off what you can do today.
  • Always clear up after yourself (she meant emotionally and physically)
  • Be your own best critic and your own best friend.
  • Always choose love over money
  • Never, ever accept second best.

To all mums, and the women we look on as mums – Happy Mother’s Day!

Samantha Downes is a freelance journalist and the author of several finance guides and books.