Mum’s. Aren’t they bloody great? Always there when we need them, helping us out, giving advice, teaching us secrets of the trade. What would we do without them?
Don’t get me wrong, dads are pretty awesome too, but obviously we’re focusing on mums today as it’s their big day. The one day* where everyone in the family pulls their finger out so mum doesn’t have to do anything. They get to sleep in, no cooking, no cleaning, get pampered, wined and dined… basically treated like royalty before that 24 hours of magic is over and they go back to packing lunches and cleaning up shit (quite literally in some cases).
*one day isn’t enough, guys. Make sure you do this for your Mum more than once a year. She’s bloody put up with a lot from you kids over the years so she deserves some extra love on those other 364 days.
Today I wrote five things that I am grateful my Mum (g’day Sandy) taught me. She has of course taught me a lot more than just five things in my 35 years around the sun but I didn’t want to rabbit on too much so I’ve narrowed it down.
These aren’t your standard “be kind to people” or “always take a jacket with you” or “don’t tell lies, your nose will grow” type of things that of course she also taught me (obviously my nose is perfect, I’ve never told any lies ever…) They’re more just nice things that I’m glad she taught me instead of someone else.
This is purely an appreciation post for my mumsy dearest, and it’s nice to think about the things your mum does for you, so make sure you take the time to do the same and write down something you’re grateful your mum gave or taught you.
Skincare – SPF. All. The. Way.
Mum has beautiful skin and it’s because she’s always taken really good care of herself. She’s about to hit another milestone birthday but you wouldn’t bloody know it.
Growing up I remember she always had stacks of bottles in her bathroom filled with magic potions that she would lather on morning and night. And, luckily for me, she got me into the same routines during my teenage years. She taught me the importance of SPF, hydration, eye cream, cleansing, night cream, why your face moisturiser should always continue down to your décolletage, why you should still always wear SPF when the weather is overcast and so much more.
It seems like pretty basic stuff that everyone probably knows, and you too possibly learnt it from your Mum, but I love that she taught me all that stuff at a young age. Even though teenagers can be SUCH a drag sometimes and never listen to their Mums, this is one time I’m grateful past Jess wasn’t such a little cow and just listened to her Mother.
Tea – how do you brew?
Everyone knows I’m a tea fiend. Always have been, can’t see it ending any time soon. And who got me into tea? Mum.
Most mums love a good cuppa (I know I’ve already got that part of being a mum covered once Nugget comes into this world) and my Mum is no different. She got me into drinking tea when I was a teenager. We’d sit down at night with our tea pot and bikkies and watch our shows.
Not only did she get me into drinking tea, but she got me brewing proper loose-leaf tea too. In a pot. None of this tea bag in a cup business. Nope, with Sandy it was always the good shit. Look, she probably installed the tea snob in me at a young age but I’m ok with that. Life’s too short to drink shit tea. I’ll always stand by that.
I’m grateful that she taught me how to brew a proper pot of tea. Sure, it’s a skill that I can’t put on my resume (unless I’m going for a job at a tea shop) but, goddamn, you can bet your sweet ass you’ll enjoy a good cuppa when you come round to my joint.
Pasta sauce – a constant in my life
Mum is a bloody good cook and she taught all three of us kids to cook at some point. I must admit, my sister and brother are probably a bit more skilled in the kitchen than I am but one thing I am proud of is my ability to knock up a beaut pasta sauce.
My Dad is Italian and Mum is Australian so of course Mum had to learn how to make a good pasta sauce from scratch. She learnt from my Nonna but over the years I’m sure it’s changed in slight variations from time to time. Mum’s sauce is the bomb (I feel like that line could be narrated by Dale from The Castle. Non-Australians, please see this clip to enhance your knowledge of a classic Australian film). It’s so good that if she’s just made a fresh batch when I’m over for a visit, I’ll have a bowl of it on its own. And I’ll generally leave with a container full too.
Naturally, Mum taught me how to nail a good batch of sauce before I moved out of home. This was to ensure I always had something decent to eat apart from Nutella sandwiches. Pasta is my all-time favourite food and I’m glad Mum armed me with the ability to make an amazing sauce. If she hadn’t, I’d probably have diabetes from the amount of Nutella I would have consumed during those first few out-of-home years.
Always pack the unexpected things – Mum’s method
This one might seem a bit over the top, but this rule has helped me out many times. When we head out of town for a few days I’ve learnt to always pack a few extra handy items. If you’ve got the room in the car for an extra bag of supplies, just whack it in. Mum always thinks of the things that other people don’t normally think of, things that when you’re at your destination you realise they would be bloody handy to have.
Case in point, a while ago a bunch of us went down south and stayed in a big holiday house. Generally, those places are stocked with most kitchen items but I decided to use the ol’ Sandy trick and pack a few extra items juuuuust in case. Well, that bag of goodies turned out to be a life saver more than once. Simple things like cling wrap, paper towel, empty containers for leftovers, butter, tongs, a good knife and disposable baking trays were a hit with my friends. I know, I need new friends. But none of them had thought about these sort things so they were suitably impressed that I managed to save the bacon.
The Sandy method of thinking has paid off in more ways than one in the past and I think it’s why I tend to go that one step further when I’m prepping for something. It’s not a bad trait to have, except for when I’m trying to fit a tea pot into my luggage, and I know I really don’t need it but what if I want a cup of tea and they don’t have a tea pot?! #crisis
Family and food – both very important
This is probably my favourite thing Mum instilled in me. Growing up, Sandy would always cook a smashing dinner and make us sit around the dinner table to eat. It was a non-negotiable option. It might not seem like a big deal but looking back it was an important time for the five of us to be together and talk. No tv, just actual real-life talking in-person. What a concept. Or, in my brother’s case, no talking, just be annoying and throw peas at me.
I always remember this as being important to Mum but as a kid you’re like “but Muuuuummm I wanna eat in my room” or something ridiculous. I’m glad she made a point of making us do it and I know it’s something I will continue to do with my own family.
We still do it to this day but it’s a bit different now. After my parents divorced, my family unit was broken for quite a number of years and it was pretty shitty, but that’s not the case now. Mum is remarried, and we have regular family dinners with everyone, including Dad, coming together to catch up. It’s a bizarre concept to outsiders and yes, it’s completely bonkers most of the time as we’re all loud and a bloody mad, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m glad we take the time to be together as life gets pretty hectic and sometimes we forget to take stock of what’s really important. Being around family is one of my favourite things and with our family expanding rapidly with little ones it just keeps getting better and better. I hope our little one is ready for all of the noise it’s being born into…
Some of these things might sound a bit trivial to most people but for me they each mean something big in their own little way. Mum taught me a lot about being a good person and values too, but I like that she taught me these five things. Without her I would have bad skin, be drinking shit tea, pasta sauce would probably come out of a jar, I’d be lost without packing those extra items and I wouldn’t know that family time is really bloody important.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mums out there.
Take a load off, pour a glass of chardonnay and enjoy yourself.
You bloody deserve it.