Sunday, 3 March 2013

Guest Post : A Tribute to My Mother

This week I am dedicating my blog to Motherhood. With Mothering Sunday fast approaching I wanted to spend a week enveloped in Appreciation for Motherhood, in all it's guises. In a series of amazing guest posts we are hearing what Motherhood means to an array of writers. Our guest writer today is author Anne Coates. All contact details for Anne can be found at the end of the article. Enjoy.

A Tribute to my Mother
Perhaps it's only when a daughter becomes a parent herself that she truly realises just how much her mother has always loved her.  This was certainly true for me.  Mum was with me when my daughter, Olivia, was born and as she has been growing up, each and every stage has made me think of mum - even little things, like plaiting Olivia's hair would remind me of mum doing my plaits and now, of course, I understand why she couldn't get to sleep before I came in from an evening out as a teenager.
One of the many wonderful things about my mother was the way she attracted people to her.  She was like a second mum to many of my sister's and my friends and she was always interested in those she might not have met but had heard so much about.  I must admit to feeling a little jealous sometimes until I had matured enough to understand love isn't finite.
I am so fortunate to have thousands of happy memories: mum drawing me a bride; reading Alice in Wonderland to me; introducing me to books and libraries; choosing a dress for a special occasion and saying "Oh have them both!" when we had so little money.  I remember the fun we had the day we went to buy my books for college and a few years later she flirted with my tutors at my graduation.
When she visited the magazine where I worked, she was treated like a queen and loved every moment.  She was always so encouraging and read everything I wrote but I think my first article on my attempts at tap-dancing (she had trained as a dancer at the Italia Conti stage school) made her laugh the most.
Whenever I think of her now I see her laughing at something.  Even though her life was severely restricted by rheumatoid arthritis, she rarely complained or lost her sense of fun.  She never thought of herself as old, or disabled but I don't think she ever realised how much other people valued her wisdom and company.  Her legacy is the love she had for her family and friends and her courage.
My grandmother died when mum was only 37 and many years later she told me that not a day went by without her thinking about her mum and telling her something in silent conversation - I think that has been the same for me.  Shopping for presents the Christmas after she died, I was dithering over which earrings to buy my daughter.  I heard her voice so clearly : "Don't be mean.  Buy them both!"  Needless to say I followed her advice.
My mother loved Mothering Sunday - in fact she loved celebrations of all kinds - but one year she told us not to bother giving her anything.  We didn't get her cards but we did buy her a rubber plant.  We hadn't realised how disappointed she would be - she adored receiving cards.  However she did love and cherish the rubber plant which seemed to last forever - a constant reminder that written declarations of love were needed too!
Joan + Olivia Coates.jpeg 
Mum, Joan, with Olivia
About Anne Coates

Anne Coates is the founder of and the author of seven non-fiction titles, the last two being Parenting Without Tears Living with Teenagers and Parenting Without Tears Guide to Loving Discipline both published by Endeavour Press.
    Anne also writes fiction and has recently published: Cheque-Mate & Other Tales of the Unexpected and A Tale of Two Sisters. She is currently working on a full length crime novel.
Twitter: @Anne_Coates1 and @ParentingWT


  1. This was such a lovely post - your mum sounded like a wonderful woman, with a very big heart. And we only begin to appreciated our parents when we have had children ourselves. So much gratitude in your words. :o).

  2. Thank you so much "Older Mum"_ she was indeed a wonderful woman :)

  3. What a wonderful tribute to your mother. She sounds fabulous. I love the fact you heard her voice and bought both the pairs of earrings for your daughter.

  4. This is such a beautiful post and a heart warming tribute to your mother. I think, as parents, we can only hope that our own children will remember with such fond memories!

    I remember as a child my mum telling quite a few people that she didn't understand why her father was so "strict" when she was a child, until she was a mother herself and realised that what she as a child found overly restrictive was only a father's protection of his daughter, and that she found herself doing the exact same things. I think when we become parents we see our own parents in a whole new light.

    Thank you for writing such a lovely piece.


I would love for you to quack your thoughts along with me and will always try and quack right back.