Tuesday, 23 April 2013

My mum hates my blog

It's true. Mum hates my blog. Well, she doesn’t hate it as much as fears it. She loves my writing and she loves that other people love my writing but she hates that people read what I have to say. She hates that I have a place, on-line, that I share stuff about me and my opinion and my loves and my hates. And she hates my blog mainly because of this post I’m writing right now. The one she doesn’t know I’m writing. The one about her.

When Mum finds out about this, which she will ‘cause her friends love my blog and they read it all the time, she’s gonna lose her shit. And when my mum loses her shit – the world knows. She’s that kind of mum. The outspoken kind. The opinionated kind. The awesome kind.

Being born in the 70s meant that my mum was young. It wasn’t the norm, back then, to wait until you had ‘done stuff’ before you had kids. You got married as soon as you could and had kids straight away. Which in Mum’s case was at the ripe old age of 20. Being born to a 20 year old in the 70s was a very different parenting dynamic than today. There weren’t books or websites or online forums or help-lines or social media communities or parenting shows. 

There was only this... On the job training

And, unbeknownst to me, it was during my mum’s on the job training that I cut my own teeth on being a mum. Today, 40 years after she started the ball rolling, I see myself parent in her style. It’s equally as terrifying as comforting. Terrifying because I hated some of what she did and comforting because what she did created some pretty impressive grown-ups [yes, I’m pissing in my own pocket].
I hated “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.”
I’ve got something to cry about Mum – that’s why I’m crying!

I hated “If you make that face and the wind changes, your face will stay like that forever.”
What was that parenting technique even for? To discourage kids from making ugly faces? And would that mean that if, after the wind changed and made my face ugly forever, I would have the chance to make it normal again by making a happy face and waiting for the wind to change again?

I hated “Because I said so.”
That's not a reason. Just like it wasn't an answer when I replied 'because I don't want to'. I hate even more that I say it to my own kids now.

I hated “You’ll understand, when you have your own kids.”
Because, of course, I do understand.

I hated "Do you want a smack?"
Yes please Mum. A hard one please and if possible, in public.

Yep, Mum said some stupid shit when I was growing up but it turns out it didn't ruin me. And as for the good stuff? Well that turned out to be the gift that keeps on giving... and I'm now regifting to you.

Lone's Life Lessons

#1 Always wear singlets in winter. It keeps your core warm which means the blood that pumps around your body is warm. Whether that's true or not, I still wear them to this day and my boys are in them whenever it’s cool.

#2 Always dry your hair before you go to bed. Or you will get a chill or catch pneumonia. Or end up in hospital. Anyway, I forget the reason but my kids are under the hairdryer every time they get out of the shower/bath.

#3 Always have a ‘hands towel’ and a ‘dishes towel’ in the kitchen and NEVER mix them up. It's a germ transfer thing. In my house, if the tea towel is visible then it’s a ‘hands towel’. The ‘dishes towel’ is on the rack under the sink.

#4 Always wear a dressing gown on top of your pjs if you’re not in bed. There can be no sitting on the couch [that people put their feet on and their bum on and their unwashed hands on] in the same pjs that you’re going to wear to bed later. It’s dirty and gross.

#5 Always have a rice steamer. It is the only way to cook rice.

#6 Always walk into a room as if you own it, even if you’re shitting yourself.

#7 Always protect your family.

#8 Never talk when Mum's favourite song is on the radio in the car. Either sing along or shut up.

#9 Always squat over a public toilet seat so that your bum doesn’t touch it and if you can’t squat, then LINE the toilet seat with toilet paper. This will reduce the risk of catching a disease like herpes or hepatitis or AIDS or the worst possible option – worms.

#10 Always overcook the chicken. There cannot be even a tinge of pink or you will get salmonella. Or worms.

#11 Always wash your feet before going to bed. Dirty and gross.

#12 Always have good girl friends in your life. Whether you’re married or not. They are the constant.

#13 Dance. Often. Well. Alone or out on the town. Just make sure you dance.

#14 Always be clean. Even if you’re tired. Even if you’re sad. Even if you’re broke. It costs nothing to be clean.

#15 Never apologise for who you are or where you've come from.

#16 Always sort your dirty washing into light colours, dark colours and whites. Towels on their own. Bedding on its own. Tea towels on their own. And if you leave them in the washing machine for 2 days, wash them again or they will smell like old vomit.

#17 Always shake the creases out of every piece of wet washing before you hang it on the line. You need to make it ‘snap’. If you hang it, like a boy, straight from the basket it will dry crunchy.

#18 Always steam your vegetables. Well, if you want flavour that is.

#19 Always make sure the kids are fed. Well.

#20 Never let your kids know you’re scared.

#21 Always trust your instinct. It’s all you have in the world when you’re all alone so listen to it and make it your friend.

#22 Always listen to your mum [if you haven't made friends with your instinct yet] She may do and say things you hate. She may be annoying. She may be too strict. She may be unfair. She may be too tough. But she knows your heart. She knows your smell and your touch and your face. She knows what’s best even when you don’t. Especially when you don’t.

My brother and I did it tough. With only Mum to raise us we missed out on a lot. The newest gadgets. The coolest clothes. The nice house. The new car. Travel. A father. A mother. Because what happens when there’s only one parent is that parent has to spread themselves so thin that you’re really being raised by half a parent.

Yet it never felt like that. My mum did the best and most committed job she could possibly do. Which may not make her the greatest mum in the world. 

But she’s the greatest mum in my world. 

And that, is all we can ever hope our mums to be.


  1. I hate that no-one has commented on this - as it is well written.

    It is awesome that you love your mum so much.

    You may feel that you missed out as she raised you alone, but she has obviously done something right.....

    I did not get along with my mum, and she died 13 years ago. I do miss her. And my mum did the best that she could. And that is ok with me.

    I am also a 70's baby - and I found myself nodding along with allot of what you wrote - plus nodding as I say half of this to my brood.

    I am a newbie to your blog, but I am a stayer I think :)

    1. Hi Lisa - I love that you hate things like no-one commenting on my blog post. It's something I would say :)

      I do love my mum. A lot. I'm sorry about you and your mum. I know how it feels to come to those realisations a bit late.

      I'm glad you're planning on staying. I've got lots to share xx

  2. Those last 2 paragraphs sound very much like my early childhood. And I, probably like you, never felt like I missed out. I moved interstate for many years and only moved back to adelaide and closer to my mum 4 years ago and Im glad I did, as mum died 2yrs ago. Single mums, who get no help from the fathers have a very very hard job, like you said, stretching themselves very thin. I will always admire my mum for the sacrifices she had to make so that me and my sister could be happy, fed, clothed and housed, and of course always loved. Its nice to read about how much you love your mum. Thank you!

    1. Sorry to hear about your mum's passing mel, but happy to hear that you had some time with her first. It sounds like we were both blessed to have been raised by amazing women. Thanks for your comment x