This year we did something a little different for the most special person in our lives and it didn’t cost a thing. We took time out to sit down with Monica (Axel's mum), and Terry (Ash's mum) to ask them a few questions and get to know them on a deeper level.
Describe what it’s like being a mother.
Monica: Being a mother is a lifelong love to a child (they’re always a child in a mother’s eyes). A mother always cares about their kids even when they are grown up people.
Terry: I think there are responsibilities, lots of rewards and lots of hard times which develop character. Having responsibility for their lives and guiding them the right way even when they don’t understand. A mother always holds her title as a mum, even when her children leave home. Your children will always need you as you need them. That is what being a mum is about, it has great rewards.
The best parts?
Monica: The best parts are when I am together with all 4 kids and their families.
Terry: Listening to the problems they go through and helping them where it is needed and seeing their accomplishments.
The hardest parts?
Monica: The hardest parts is when some of my kids don’t feel their best or when they’re unhappy.
Terry: When all your rules are challenged. You have to carry on and still maintain them to show them what is right.
What was the first year of motherhood like for you?
Monica: It was wonderful but I realised that I had to change my thinking on how to raise a kid. From the beginning I thought that I could talk to my first son when he didn’t behave well but I realised that I had to be a little tougher on him.
Terry: The first year of motherhood, I remember the excitement knowing that I am responsible for this tiny little baby girl, Lori-Anne. She was so precious. Her honey blonde hair and blue eyes. Lori bought a lot of joy into our lives being the first baby for so long. We were learning to be parents and also getting over the birth where there were complications. I remember the excitement you feel when they hold their head up or sit up, or when they start to crawl or take their first steps. It is a journey you go through the ups and downs.
Do you have a favourite child? ;)
Monica: I have four favourite children.
Terry: No I treat them equally, they are unique, very different and loved all the same.
Growing up, what did you think you wanted to do for a living?
Monica: I wanted to be a flight attendant.
Terry: Interior Decorator / Commercial Artist.
What was it like being a working mom at that time? Would you do it all over again? What would you change?
Monica: I was lucky being a mum at home for a lot of years and later on I worked four days a week in the evening. If I could I would be a mum at home until my kids were grown up. If I could change something I think I would to change my work from evening work to day work so I could be home with my kids every evening.
What was it like being a stay-at-home mom at that time? Would you do it all over again? What would you change?
Terry: I enjoyed being home looking after my children, house and gardens. I always knew where they were, you teach them so much, you are there everyday, especially when they come home from school. And when one parent is there, it means so much to them. I never got bored, because I am a planner and organiser - even to this day.
What would you change? For Gordon (Ash's dad) not to be on nightshift at that time. As it was very hard to look after four children by yourself, he was on nightshift for 15 years.
Would you do it all over again? Yes. I am so proud of my children, each one for their achievements. Even through the hard times, we are a close family.
How have your notions of what it means to be a women changed over your lifetime?
Terry: I think there has been many changes, back then people were coming out of the depression years after the War and trying to find jobs whether it was clerical or machinist etc. The jobs were advertised in the papers, everything was different, even the trams and buses. The city was the highlight of the day, people used to be friendly just going about their day, you knew your neighbours and basically treated them like family. Today, there is so much more opportunities for women and they are been recognised more and more, things are beginning to become more equal or at least highlighted. I am glad my daughters have had these opportunities.
What are some of your favourite things about me?
Monica: My favourite things about you, Axel, are that you always cares so much about other people - you are always willing to give a helping hand. You make me feel so good when we see each other, you always make me laugh and with you, I can do funny silly things.
Terry: I like your strong determination in the right way, how you learn quickly, how you have taken on this business no matter what comes against you, you still persevere with the task. When it’s hard, thats when you grow in order to change things for the better.
And your not so favourite things?
Monica: You live to far away from me, you have too much stress in your life that isn’t good for you. You have clothes everywhere in your apartment and in my house when you are at home.
Terry: When you leave your ironing board out.
What are some of my quirky habits?
Monica: Your quirky habits are that I don't know if you have a home or if you are a travelling gypsy. Another quirky thing is that for some reason you often work all night and sleep half of the day.
Terry: You’re always drinking out of the milk container. You also had a habit of hiding, I couldn’t ever find you anywhere. You used to get into boxes, or hide in your wardrobe or make cubby houses out of the lounge room. You used to put boxes or tents in the lounge room.
What are some of your favourite memories of me?
Monica: I have a lot of favourite memories, one is when you were a small girl, about 3 years old one day you just disappeared at home. I looked for you everywhere and found you walking into the neighbours house. You had dressed in my blue high heels on and taken a walk in them nearly naked - just dressed in heels and a jumper.
Terry: There is a lot! Especially, when you wanted to be Michelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and practice moves on your sister, Kareena.
You were always first to line up for the rides. You were up the top of the line before we could see you, ready to go by yourself. You had no fear. You were going down this big steep ride and yell out ‘Mum look at me’ and I was nearly having a heart attack.
What was life like for you at my age?
Monica: At your age I got pregnant with you and I really wished it was a little girl.
Terry: I was busy looking after the family in my 30s, arranging holidays, your dad was busy taking you to sports and activities.
What are three bits of advice you would love your children to follow?
Always take care of the people you love.
Don't think negative thoughts, try to be positive even if things go wrong.
- Always listen to your partners. By listening to them you gain knowledge. When they do wrong or a mistake, just show them the right way.
- Live one day at a time.
- Don’t carry the burdens of yesterday, don’t let them weigh you down, let them go. You will then succeed.
Three of your favourite things you’ve ticked off on your bucket list.
Take a trip to Australia.
Build an outdoor deck.
Take my grandkids for 1 week trip to another country.
- Having a beautiful family
- Going to Melbourne and travelling down the Great Ocean Road
- Visiting and travelling all around Coffs Harbour
One of your biggest dreams that has come true.
Monica: The dream that come true is my 4 lovely kids, their partners and my grandchildren.
Terry: When I went on a plane to Melbourne with Ash, stayed at the Stanford Hotel. Had high tea at Hotel Windsor. We travelled on trams and visited all the museums. Walked over the Yarra bridge, walked through Victoria park. It was the best 60th birthday present I could imagine.
One of your biggest dreams that has yet to come true.
Monica: A trip to the Maldives.
Terry: My mission is to help people where it is needed. Some dreams of mine are around my children, like my daughter Lori health to be better and she's at the job she chooses, she will be an asset to any company she chooses - Ash to be successful in her business. Once you have your family & your health you have everything, anything else is an added is just a bonus. We have to make the best wherever we are put in our life.
How do you take time to pause?
Monica: I just relax with a book in my new sofa.
Terry: I love gardening so I might just go out and hose the gardens. I will read some recipes, read my bible or put a face mask on. Or then I might just relax on my bed watch a bit of TV or do my exercises. Whatever it is, I just find something that I like to do.
Why is it important to take time and pause for you?
Monica: For me it is important to take time and pause so I can be a happy woman. Because everyone is so stressed and they have no time to be together because they always have a lot of ”must do this and this”. I really think it is important to pause when you have children. I think that parents need to spend some time together without kids. Also It's very important for mums to take time for themselves! It's okay to do things and just think about yourself every now and then, and you'll be a better mother for it!
Terry: It is very important to take time out for you because there are so many demands on you on an everyday basis. By pausing you see things much clearer, it brings joy and it refreshes you. Just taking time out for you, doing something that you want to do for yourself - it makes you feel good and it’s important that you have that balance in your life.
We had so much fun spending time with our mums, laughing, looking back on memories and discovering things we’ve never thought of asking before!
Why not do the same and spend time with your mum by asking her some of these questions? Need some more inspiration? Spoil her (as well as yourself) with our special mix and match journal bundle, exclusive for Mother’s Day. There are hundreds of questions in each book to answer together.