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Celebrating our lovely mums and being mamas ourselves!

March 11, 2015


Jo-anne and I wanted to appreciate and celebrate our mums this Mother’s Day, they are both intelligent strong women who continually inspire us.
We discussed what it means to be a mother now and in generations gone by. It felt great to share our stories and it is fascinating to find out what it means to each of us to be a parent. Generational and cultural influences have made our experiences differences but having said that it so wonderful that being a mother is the one thing that unites us and creates a lovely sense of understanding throughout the conversation.


What is your fondest memory of your mother? 

Nilu- Cooking the best meals for her children. The hours she would spend to get the dishes right.

Jo-anne to Nilu: Must ask, do you have a fave dish that your mum cooked ? And do you know the know recipe ? - It's not a cunning way of getting a dinner invite I promise ;)

Nilu- yes she had a few favourite ones but would not write down the recipes. So I can guess some. She loved to cook rich heavy food and spend time doing it.  I try to avoid cooking rich food. Sadly you will not get that kind of food from me. 

Parul - One specific memory is when we lived in sunny Dubai in the 80’s, which was so different to how it is now, my Mum would drive her jeep on to the beach and my sister and I would sit on the bonnet to enjoy the bumps while our dog was running along side us. When I think of my Mum generally, I love her unconditional support of me through out my life.  

Julie - My mum has a wonderful sense of humor and loves a party. She is now 91 but give her a celebration and her eyes light up and that fun loving young girl can still be found. She pays attention to detail and will not leave the house without her make up on.

Jo-Anne - My mum has always been there. Not in a shout out, amazing, wonderful days out memory way but just in a always there in the background doing things way. It's these quiet constants that create an overriding love for my mum. The smell of perm lotion is also a funny thing i associate with mum. As a little girl I would love to smell her hands as we had a cuddle on the sofa on a saturday night after her day at work. 

Julie - I had forgotten about the perm lotion bit!!! Did you mind that I went out to work? Do you think you and Colin gained from it or was it detrimental to you? - I know you hated the trips to DIY shops with dad! 

Jo-anne - I never minded, it was just what you did ! It came in handy when i needed a job at 11 to save up for those fashion essential trips to C&A!

In what ways do you think your children are like you? And not like you?

Jo-anne - Creativity! There's not much difference designing jewellery to making paper rocket jet packs, and toilet roll tram trains complete with pantographs! I love his eye for the finer details in his exhaustive model making. I admire Isaac's confidence which I certainly don't think I had at his age.

Parul to Jo-anne - okay so I am a mum of two girls and stereotypically we don’t know or use much train jargon, so please explain, whats a pantograph?! 

Jo-anne- Seriously Parul I though you knew everything! A pantograph is the sticky up metal thing on top of some trains and trams that connects the electricity from the overhead cables to the train/ tram. 

Nilu - We share a love of art & design. More than me, they have determination to pursue what they want to do. 

Julie - Both my children are creative, like me. We have all channeled our creativity into our chosen professions. However, I am organized- not sure either of them have taken this from me.

Parul - They are also creative and chatterboxes!  Malena is fearless at sport, which I think she gets from Marco.  Paloma is more decisive than I was when I was young; she is strong-minded already.  Both are differences that I love!


What’s the one thing you would have done differently as a mom? 

 Julie - Be stricter with my children in their teenage years!

Jo-anne -Remember more of the 'little' things. I always planned to write down the funny phrases Isaac would say - probably in a lovely little book!  That, along with a photo album to document each year, this never happened funnily enough and i can only vaguely remember those cracking first sentences and muddled first words which is such a shame 

Parul - Enjoy the time together more and not sweat the small stuff as much as I did when they were really little - more for my sanity than theirs.  


Do you think it’s easier or harder to be a mother now than when you were raising our family? 

Julie - This is a difficult one- and I have decided that it is harder now. Lots of pressure and big decisions to be made, to return to work, to stay at home… and whatever they choose, guilt to deal with too.  When my children were growing up, yes I worked, but for the extras, holidays, new furniture, I remember saving hard for a washing machine! We also had lots of family who lived locally and they helped with childcare while I worked. With families spread far & wide now, that support is not always available to young families. 

Nalini – It’s certainly more difficult now. More demand on their time and they have higher expectations from themselves.


How did your mum and dad meet?

Jo-anne - I always get a bit confused by this one- a dance ? a church hall !!? Knowing my mum, i don't think this last guess is true! They did though get engaged after 6 weeks so however they met it was a swift wind that caught them. 

Julie - My parents met during the war- my mum arrived in London from Steyning to live with her sister who got her a job in a factory where they made parts for bombs & bullets.  During my mums induction, my dad saw her and basically chatted her up! They arranged to meet at the local cinema for a date- mum was a little late, when she arrived, he had gone!!! He often said that he was afraid that she had stood him up, so he left to avoid being shown up! Anyway- it all turned out okay in the end, three children later and 60 years of marriage before they were forced to part.

Parul – Their marriage was arranged by their parents and they were married two weeks later. I remember my aunt telling me the story that on my parents second meeting my two aunts were in the back seat of the car as chaperones! 

Julie – Parul Now this really intrigues me! I thought my romance was quick, rick proposed to me after 6 weeks- but 2 weeks- wow! Nilu, I understand it was maybe tradition but were you happy to have your marriage arranged? 

Nilu - We were introduced by Anil's uncle & aunt who were our family friends.  Anil & I both had the option to refuse if we wanted to.

Julie- So Parul how did you meet Marco? When did you know he was the one for you? I bet it was that lovely French accent! 

Parul -   Marco's brother was dating my good friend and Marco was visiting London so they brought him along to a bbq I had one summer. The lovely French accent definitely caught my attention!  So did the bandana he was wearing but luckily the bandana was gone the second time I met him! When I met Marco, we both lived in different cities for almost 18 months and that was quite hard start to our relationship so when we got through that I realised we were strong.  By the time he moved to London I had already fallen for his amazing sense of humour, kindness and constant support of me. 

Which is your favourite item of jewellery?

Julie - Now this is a hard one, how can I choose?  Each piece of jewellery I own reminds me of different aspects of my life. Wedding ring, engagement ring- of course are high on my list, but I also have a marquisate dress ring that belonged to my mum, which she gave to me many years ago (or maybe I acquired it!) that I love. I mislaid it for a few years and I recently found it, in with my needles and cottons-(who put it there?) I was delighted that I found it.  I also, as you would expect, own several pieces of OAK jewellery, Every day I wear my stacking `I will always remember rings` I think these were my first OAK purchases!  My other favs are my `bear cuff`, I do like a cuff!  `You make my heart spin necklace` is so easy to wear too – I get lots of comments on this, but my absolute fav at the moment is my `Nature is king ring`- a real statement piece.

Nilu - No one piece, I choose one that seems right at the time. 

Parul - I can’t pick one, there are a few pieces that stand out…I have fond memories of a pair of dark blue & white enamel bangles my mum wore when I was a child sitting in her lap. When I got married I was given some indian jewellery and there are a pair of large dramatic umbrella shaped yellow gold earrings that are bold and simple and just fabulous! I definitely can’t pick only one item of OAK that I love, I am excited by our new range of charms and how I can interchange them with some older pendants that I have to mix them together and create some new looks for Spring. 

Jo-Anne - Actually my mums jewellery sparks lots of memories and takes me back to key childhood holidays. I loved her name pendant in greek spelling which i think was bought in Cyprus- pretty big in the 80s i'm sure! The bejewelled mask brooch is also something i love of hers and has some how made its way to my treasure trove!


What were your favourite moments of being a mum?

Parul - I love just spending time with my girls, we really laugh together.  I feel extremely proud of them and easily am over-whelmed by emotion when I think how lucky I am that they are mine. Marco and I often look at each other and say ‘can you believe they are ours!?'

Julie - All of it- They are mini me`s in one way or another and are my best friends. Without being a mum- I wouldn’t be a nan- and that is beyond wonderful too.

Parul to Julie - Talking about becoming a nan, were you re you surprised by Jo-Anne’s parenting style or did you expect her to be the style of mum she is?

Julie - Was I surprised? No I don't think I was- Joanne is a very gentle and thoughtful person and this is reflected in her parenting style. When she is not working, she dedicates her time to Isaac, she sees this, rightly so, as precious time and it is not shared with the TV!! Trains yes but not TV.  What does surprise me is that she sets boundaries with Isaac and sticks to them. That was something that I never did as a mum- the children could get around me easily... Colin used to say that if I said "I would think about it" it would mean yes!!

Nilu - Doing things with the girls when they were little, like gardening, cooking, swimming etc.

Jo-anne - Doing those quiet little things.

We would love to hear your experiences and how you and your mum would have answered some of these questions if you had joined us for a cuppa?  Please do comment here or chat to us on twitter or facebook 
We've linked up this post with blog Honest Mum and her Brilliant Blog Posts linky.