In a recent interview, I was asked what made me a doer and not just a dreamer. My response was: “the absence of fear”. It is the difference between being aware and being afraid. Often women are concerned with what could go wrong, what people might say or think, their finances, or the fact they may not know exactly how life will all work out. And it quells their dreams. I am lucky in that I have taken many risks and dared to dream – and I know exactly why this is; it’s because of my mother.
My mother lived a life without fear. At least, that’s how I perceived it as a child. As a woman, it is more likely that she had worries and simply made an effort not to let them get in her way. As a self taught dressmaker in the local village where she lived my mother eventually went on to become Via Veneto’s (the most elite fashion strip in Rome) most requested designer and couturier. She achieved it all with a humble and selfless attitude of just ‘getting on with it’. From this, I saw her steadfast courage and determination, and I copied it. It wasn’t even such a conscious choice; I inherited it.
As a child I was always a dreamer. I loved dreaming and visualizing and creating – whether it was visualization boards, sketching or imaginary friends. My Mum allowed me to pursue those dreams and be who I wanted to be. She instilled in me her creativity and constantly nurtured my imagination.
As mothers, women shape their daughters—consciously or otherwise. In fact, all women set an example for younger girls on what it means to be female. And when the phrase ‘like a girl’ stops meaning fragile or silly or anything less than amazing, then we will know we’ve finally started doing it right.
When I’m around young girls, I hear their worlds being shaped by comments like, “be careful, sweetheart”, or, “you’re a good girl”, and I do question if these are truly helpful observations for young girls.
This Mother’s Day, I am—naturally—making my mum a card. And in it, I plan to thank her for the traits I inherited, because I count myself very lucky to have been raised the way I am. This year, I would like to remind her that she gifted me with unwavering courage as well as a broad emotional spectrum and appreciation for all things beautiful.
I do love the feminine glamour of Mothers Day. And I do enjoy the occasion to embrace all things traditionally ‘girly’. So I’m not suggesting we downplay the beauty and charm of female nature—on the contrary, I’ve built my life on it. But I do advocate for balance and well roundedness. I believe we, as females, must lead the way to gender equality, starting with how we conduct ourselves and in turn, shape our younger generations.
What part of your character are you glad you inherited from your mother?
If you can remember a moment when you were really moved by something she did, and examine the character attributes that made her do it, that’s probably where you’ll find the answer. For example, what appears as generosity may actually be forethought. What comes across as sweetness may actually be empathy. Your mother’s ability to go out in a tracksuit with no make up may have given you the self esteem others missed out on.
Further down, I’ve constructed a poem you can fill in and use inside your Mother’s Day card if you’d like to share these feelings with your mum. I have also included some gorgeous card designs you can make yourself. Nothing says ‘I really care’ like a handmade card.
And finally, I’d like to share a snapshot of my favourite High Tea goodies so you can spoil your mum with a glamourous morning or afternoon treat of homemade sweets (probably her recipes!) and elegant teas. It reminds me of my childhood back in Italy, when I used to have tea parties with my mother… not much has changed!
Wishing you all meaningful and memorable days with your families this May 10th for a very special Mother’s Day.
A Mother’s Day poem. Simply fill in the blanks.
To fill in your own version of the poem follow the below instructions:
1. Name or nickname you use for your mother
2. Your age (optional!)
3. A positive characteristic you share with your mother
4. Something your mother does that you admire
5. A physical/visual attribute
6. In a word, describe her soul
7. What did you learn/inherit from your mother?
8. Growing up, how did you mother make you feel?