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:
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.