Happy Mother’s Day


I’ve always been fascinated by the nature/nurture debate.

How much of who we are comes from our genetic make-up, and how much from how we are raised?

Because I was adopted when I was 10, Flea’s the first person I’ve known that I’m related to – and it’s weird sometimes to see the ticks and traits she’s inherited from me – from twirling her hair when she’s tired to her habit of becoming infuriated if she can’t do something perfectly the first time.  It’s like looking through a window into my own past.

At the same time, though, I don’t think everything about us comes hard-wired. Because I see how much of my own character was informed by my own Mum – who isn’t a blood relation.

My adopted Mum taught me that women should be strong and smart and independent. That there’s no such thing as a ‘friendly’ game of Scrabble. That it’s okay to get knocked down, so long as you get back up again and keep going. That you never judge someone until you’ve stood in their shoes. My Mum gave me a conscience (annoyingly) and helped me understand that we all have responsibilities and they matter more than we’d like sometimes, but you can’t shirk them if you want to look yourself in the eye later.

Although she’s getting older, I still talk to my Mum most days and she’s my compass on so many issues. She has a natural understanding of people that I lack completely, she is unfailingly fair and open-minded, and she’s one of only a couple of people in my life who will point out to me when I’m doing something completely stupid. 

I should point out that while she’s a moral compass, she’s a rubbish actual compass. Seriously. We once went to Ilkley for the day and ended up in Harrogate. Mum was navigating. Our driving holiday in Wales deserves to go down in legend.

Anyway, this time last year I wrote about my memories of my birth mother, but this year it’s all about the woman I consider my ‘real’ mother. I’m very lucky she picked me. Happy Mother’s Day, Mum.

PS – Thanks for looking after Flea last night and sorry I'm late for lunch. Teeny, tiny over-sleeping issue. Cough.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 3rd April 2011 / 10:15 pm

    Oh I am in tears again reading this. I think your mum is ace and she has done a fab job, but I do think that she had good material to start with and you are a super mum to Flea. She is a smart, indepentant, charming little lady. happy mothers day to your mum and to you too.

  2. becky
    6th April 2011 / 10:43 pm

    Lovely post full of respect for what you have been taught . great you see that and can say thank you and acknowldege it and lovely she is a big part of your life. Great stuff x

  3. 8th April 2011 / 12:15 am

    Thanks, my Mum is definitely the person in the world I respect most, which is a nice feeling to have, I think.