Life&Style’s Deyna Grimshaw reflects on her relationship with her mum this Mother’s Day, writing candidly about the life lessons given and how they have stayed with her

English Literature Student :)
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Images by Deyna Grimshaw

How many of us buy a card every year for Mother’s Day, and maybe some flowers, without giving any thought to what it actually means to be a mother, or to what our mothers have done for us?

As my siblings are much older than me, and my parents split when I was ten, it has been just me and mum at home for around ten years now.  Although I am sure some people would dread the thought of having to live alone with their mother, and we definitely did struggle at times, it has led to an incredibly close bond between us. I am very similar to my mother, both in the way I look and my attitudes towards life, and she has taught me a huge amount in my 21 years on the planet.

Perhaps the most obvious aspect of my personality has come directly from my mum. She has always taught me to be unapologetically myself – to be bold and confident, to take up space and use my voice in a world where women are all too easily dismissed and ignored. She is not boastful, however, she fully acknowledges her own beauty, strength and intelligence, and has never made me doubt my own attributes in these areas either. Most importantly for my confidence, she taught me a life lesson that is truly essential for happiness: no one cares about you! This is not meant in a harsh way, but rather, you should not be embarrassed by your actions, as the chances are nobody is paying attention anyway. Once you are able to live life without the fear of what other people might think or say about you, you will experience true freedom, and this is something which Mum and I try to embrace every day.

She has always taught me to be unapologetically myself

My mum is the reason I am at university in the first place. It is her who fostered my love of reading from a young age, and that is what led me to study English Literature. She has always been a champion for my education, whilst encouraging me not to place too much pressure on myself, and to ensure that I follow my passions in life. She has no issue with the thought that I might live at home as a struggling actress once I leave University, as long as I am happy (I, on the other hand, would definitely have more of a problem with this!).

Above all else, my mum has shown me that it’s okay to make mistakes, and to learn from them. Despite what we may believe when we are small children, nobody is perfect, and my Mum is completely honest about that. She is truthful about regrets she might have from her youth, and understanding her journey through life has helped me to think about my own actions and goals on a deeper level. Life is short, so you should try not to have regrets, however this does not mean that you can’t learn and grow from your actions, and this is something which I see my mum do every day. She strives to be a better person than she was the day before, and I aspire to do the same.

She strives to be a better person than she was the day before, and I aspire to do the same

In truth, it is not until we sit and truly think about what we have learnt from our parents, that we begin to understand just how much they have influenced us. As I have entered adulthood, my mum has not attempted to become my ‘best friend,’ however she is someone whom I genuinely look forward to spending time with, as an equal. Oscar Wilde writes in The Importance of Being Earnest, ‘All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy.’ But if I can be even half the woman my mother is, I will be happy with the person I have become.

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