Mum of the year: Why turning into your mother is a good thing.


Before my mother was a mum, she had a job. Not (as an elderly aunt once asked) “a little part-time job,” but (as my mum corrected, emphatically) “a very big full-time job.” Her title was Operations Director. Not a lot of people know this, but my mother was once in charge of 185 London pubs. It was a BIG job.

Needless to say, Grandma and Grandad were very proud. And when she gave up working to be a stay-at-home-mum, that was all to the good. Nowadays Mummy earns money through writing – some of it comes via this blog, other income sources came because of this blog. But blogging, Grandma will openly state, completely baffles her. So these days she doesn’t know what to tell her friends about Mummy’s success, or otherwise.

On Sunday, that problem was solved, once and for all. My mum was a guest at the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards. Celebrating ordinary mums, who have done extraordinary things, often in the face of great personal tragedy, the awards are a star-studded event at which tissues are pretty much a requirement for entry. Now, my mum has never been a massive TV Soap fan (unless you count 4 student years glued to Neighbours), but Grandma – well, let me tell you about Grandma. You DO NOT phone Grandma at ten to seven on a week night. She won’t answer. She won’t answer for an hour and a half. If she does occasionally slip up and grab the reciever you’re hastily told “It’s Emmerdale in ten minutes!” Then there’s Coronation Street, or Eastenders, then possibly more Emmerdale…

So on Sunday there was much googling of soap actors under the tablecloth as Mummy struggled to put names to characters and achieve an air of one who knows. Of course the thing to do is act cool in the face of fame, but no. The importance of getting the ultimate Mother’s Day gift over-rode the need to maintain classy composure. Over the course of lunch she had discovered ‘Eileen’s’ secret student life, ‘Alicia’s’ new couture design venture, and the storyline that never happened to ‘Zainab.’ And all so that she could justify this photo of her new mates:

Soap stars at the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2014

If you could see me now, I’d be rolling my eyes. You see, this knack of talking to anyone, for hours, about nothing in particular, is not inate in my mother. She has inherited it gradually, and can you guess who from? Grandma. The business of turning into your mother is something bloggers debate time and again:

Rachel says “Yes! I often ask Harry if he was born in a barn!” Laura cringes when she finds herself licking a tissue to clean her daughter’s face, and Alice, a girl who used to wear all her coats hanging off her shoulders and chew her cuffs to threads, has now started saying “Put your coat on properly you look like a scruff’, and stop chewing your sleeves you’re not a hamster!”

But the winners of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards make turning into your mother top of our list of priorities. These women have achieved so much, and are an inspiration not just too their families, but to thousands of people who have benefitted from their work.

Hallmark, the greetings card and gift people, have put together this handy list of what to watch out for if you fear you may be turning into your mother: As I drifted off to sleep last night I’m sure I heard the TV go “Dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun” at a soap cliffhanger, but what’s even more alarming is that I made my brother take his coat off in a shop yesterday. Well it is chilly out there and you never get the benefit, do you…?

You can watch the Mum of the Year awards on Mother’s day 30 March at 6.10pm on Channel 5.

Disclosure: We are Tesco Mum of the Year Awards ambassadors for 2014, for which I have been paid a small fee. The infographic is published in partnership with Hallmark. All editorial copy and opinion is our own.

15 thoughts on “Mum of the year: Why turning into your mother is a good thing.”

  1. I enjoyed getting to know you a little at this do. Have always found you a little daunting as a well-known and popular blogger. So good to get to know more about the woman behind the blog.
    I knew my constant soap watching would come in handy one day.
    See you in June no doubt.

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry to appear daunting! I honestly feel as nervous as the next person at these things, and you were a lovely dinner companion. Someone on twitter this week said she was in awe of me or something equally daft – I’m honestly just another duffer forgetting to hand my homework in, I promise!

  2. I totally get what Kate means, but you stopped being daunting when you threw a tena lady at me. One day I might even manage a whole conversation 😉

    I’m DEFINITELY turning into my mother – and, actually, HER mother, skipping straight to the source. Biting sarcasm, hysterical laughter at toilet humour, taking every opportunity to embarrass the kids (can’t wait for the teenage mortification stage) helping everyone who suffers quietly and doesn’t ask for it, refusing to do housework, I couldn’t have asked for better role models. Even if I never really got it before. Mums aren’t perfect – but they try harder than anyone else.

    • Aw that’s brilliant Eliza – they sound like perfect role models! (Note to self: stop doing housework)!
      And if you don’t talk to me for the time it takes to drink an entire G&T I will hunt you down with a whole box of Tena’s!

  3. Uh oh, I have suspected it for a while but I have uttered a few of those sentences – however the really scary part is I’m not even a mother and I have uttered these phrases to my nieces!

  4. It would be so thrilling to meet you in person Helen; you are a blogging role model for me. You always seem so happy and content with life. Definitely on my people to meet bucket list.

    • Oh my goodness people have been saying lovely things all week and this is one of the nicest! Especially from you – I feel like I properly know you after all the years of commenting on each other’s blogs. I’m definitely looking you up next time I’m in Canada! Or I’ve heard you all like trips to London over on the other side of the pond…? 😉

      • I believe we have become friends from all the commenting and the chatter on Twitter. I’m trying to save money for the trip overseas, but if you come over this way, you will have a place to stay. 🙂

  5. *Blushes furiously at the recognition* – not at you although from the previous comments it seems you’re the famous one, but at that freakin freak me out list! You know what I think of you X

  6. This posts totally reinforces that I’m not taking after my mother!
    My mum is amazing; strong, brave and dependable but she’s had it a hard life. Losing her first child to leukaemia, having a still born and a medically forced hysterectomy then having to deal with an alcoholic and abusive husband whilst becoming a full time career for my infant niece and nana who had suffered a stroke. All through these events she has been an amazing mum to my siblings and I, so whilst I’m not like my mum in so many ways; she’s definitely someone to look up.

    Thank you for a lovely post

  7. Thankfully I’m pretty sure I’m not turning into my mother, and I only know Nina Wadia off that list, so the googling under the tablecloth would totally be me too 😀


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