Mother Knows Best?

Originally published at the Yummy Mummy Club, under the title ‘What I Taught my Mom’

I grew up repeating the following mantra: You were right, Mom. For every decision of any importance, I looked to my mother for input and advice because she was invariably right on the money. We were and still are very close.

I was one of those kids you read about who live at home until they are 25. When I finally did move out, it was to a small apartment 5 minutes from Mom’s house. Even after I was married, my husband and I bought our first condo mere minutes away from her, a fact I appreciated more than my husband did. But life changes were afoot and when my husband and I decided we wanted to run a business from home in order to even think about having children, we searched and found one to buy: a community newspaper. The downfall? It was located in a small town, almost two hours away from my Mom.

How would we speak every day, as we were used to? How would we stay connected? I knew the answer: technology. My Mom? Not so much with the technology world! Her work as a translator compelled her to use a computer but her interest in it stopped exactly at the point where it was no longer assisting her to earn an income. I convinced her of the value of technology in allowing us to communicate daily without racking up $1000 phone bills and helped her to purchase and set up her first laptop, complete with Internet, an email account, a webcam and MSN Messenger. She and I sat together for hours, as I taught her the basics of using Google and email and how to initiate a video call. Her occasional frustration with technology, punctuated by some colourful language, was always easily assuaged and I realized, for the first time, that our relationship was really a two way street.

While I had learned much from her over the years, it had never previously occurred to me that she could learn from me too. Suddenly, I felt like I had something to contribute to our relationship, beyond the bond itself. It was a real reward for me.

Years later, this point that was heavily reinforced for me after my daughter was born and I saw how much I learned from her every single day. Apparently, it was a reward for Mom too as the student has since surpassed the teacher. My Mom trades stocks online, watches Business News Network via her laptop – a newer and sleeker model purchased online without my help – and has built up a substantial portfolio for herself that surprises even her personal financial manager. She Skypes with her brother in Europe, reads on a digital e-reader and even owns a cell phone.

Now if I could only convince her to turn the cell on once in a while, I could consider my work done!

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