Mother’s Day – Sophia Loren and Me

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. 
A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”

Italian film actress and mother -Sophia Loren.

If you’d asked me, I would have said that I had little in common with Sophia Loren! However, I am a mother of two adult children, and I have to agree with her comments about being a mother – it’s a job for life. Whoever or wherever we are, we all share this fact in common – we all have a mother. She may be a beautiful international movie star, or she may be famous only to you and your family but, she is your own mother.

Whoever she is, your mother will be an extraordinary woman, who daily managed not only her own life but those of her family. She was always able to multi-skill, long before the term became known, in that she could be preparing the family evening meal, cutting lunches for everyone for the following day, running a load of dirty school clothes through the wash, as she supervised the children’s homework from school. Running a household, often with the budget constraints caused by hungry, growing children is not a simple task, even in this century but mothers cope.

Imagine how mothersmanaged during the Great Depression, or during either of the World Wars of last century, when there were shortages of almost everything. My mother, a young WWII service wife told of having to sew her own underwear, using buttons to hold both upper and lower garments together because of a world shortage of elastic!

Not only did mothers keep all family members fed, washed, clothed and bedded each night, but in most homes, mothers also had an unspoken set of manners that were to be taught (gently but firmly) and passed  on to each child. What values and social customs did your mother instil into you and your siblings?

Probably the most important role your mother played within your family was that of Chief Memory Officerof the family, a role that Kodak has recently identified and is now targeting with a new advertisement campaign. “We have to bring her on board and keep her for life,” said campaign manager, Ms Dance. 

This year, for Mother’s Day, why not try one of my top four unique gift ideas?

  • Give Mum a Memory Jar, filled with questions you have always wanted to ask her and a pretty notebook for her to write down her answers. Repeat it again next year…..
  • Make a collection of all of those humorous emails she has sent and put them into a collage or a notebook for her.
  • Why not mount an item of jewellery into a recessed picture frame for her to hang onto the wall as an object d’art? Ensure that the details of the piece are printed on the back.
  • If possible, drive Mum back to a memorable place from her childhood (first home, first school, the local hall where she attended her first dance) and gently coax her to talk about the memories associated with the place. Write down the answers, take some photos and try to locate photos of how Mum remembered the special place.

Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mother.

Annie Payne, Personal Historian since 1988,  

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