I look just like my Mum and from her I have inherited my kindness and friendliness, a lovely singing voice and my English Rose complexion (which can be both a blessing and a curse in Australia’s climate). We were both born in May so our birthdays are right around Mother’s Day. My Mum always says I was the best Mother’s Day present she could’ve asked for.
My Mum was a 10-pound Pom and she arrived in Australia as an 11 year old who used to practise her Aussie accent every day so that she’d stop being bullied at school. Today she is a true blue Aussie, with the citizenship certificate to prove it. She’s also a diehard Broncos supporter, proud Nanna and great grandmother and one of the nicest people you could ever meet.
My Mum was married at 17 and had me at 19, so we’ve always been more like sisters than mother and daughter. Because she was so young my Mum was a fun Mum. Playing, singing, dancing and reading were more important than getting the housework done. We talked through everything and when I would go out as a teenager Mum would always stay up and listen to my stories when I came home.
Our home was bustling and tea and a chat were always on the agenda. Our door was open to everyone. Dad trained international boxers, so boxers and footballers were always wandering in looking for a feed , some patching up and counselling or a bed for the night, sometimes even staying for months.
We didn’t have much but what we did was shared with everybody. I never felt deprived because we knew we were loved and special. I have followed Mum’s example and all of my son’s friends and girlfriends know they are always welcome in our home. Many boarders from the boy’s school are now honorary Beesley’s, they’ve all spent so much time at our house.
My education was important to Mum and I am forever grateful to her for supporting me in my studies. I didn’t have to do housework as a girl as she knew there was plenty of time for that in my future. I remember her buying a set of encyclopaedia and paying them off for years just so I had references for my schoolwork. Mum, they were treasured and appreciated. When I was married Mum cried and cried as she packed those encyclopaedias. She knew that meant I was really leaving home.
I was the first in my family to go to university and now my own sons are following in my footsteps. Queen Raina of Jordan says, ‘ If you educate a woman you educate a family. If you educate a girl you change the future.’ My future certainly changed because my mother valuing my education and happiness above all else.
Mum’s favourite sayings were, ‘You’re as good, if not better, than anyone else’ and ‘Just be the best YOU that you can be. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.’
My Mum taught me to just get on with what you need to do without fussing and complaining and that life is fun and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. She taught me life skills like how to do my make up like a professional after her years of working on the cosmetic counter and to value and be intensely loyal to my immediate family and true friends above all else. I learned from my mother to be kind to everyone and that a smile will take you a long way.
I also need to apologise to my Mum for all the times I said, “ This is the most beautiful dress in the world. If you buy me this I will never ask for anything again.” It happened every second week. Sometimes the rent money was late because of these indulgences.
So Mum thank you for your unconditional love, guidance and pride in everything I did and do. You’ve made me the confident, happy woman I am today. Happy Birthday and Happy Mother’s Day.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).