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 actor and mother -Sophia Loren.

Sophia Loren in the 1950s

If you’d asked me, I would have said I had little in common with Sophia Loren! However, I am a mother of two adult children, and I agree with her–it’s a job for life. With Mother’s Day around the corner why not try something different this year? Read on.

Whoever or wherever we are, we all share this 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 multi-skilled, long before the term became known. Did your Mum cook the family evening meal, prepare lunches for the following day, run a load of dirty school and sports clothes through the wash, and supervise your homework? I know I did.

Running a household, often with the budget constraints caused by hungry, growing children is not a simple task but mothers cope. Necessity breeds invention.

Step back and imagine how mothers managed during the Great Depression, or during either of the World Wars of the 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 have also had an unspoken set of skills that were taught (gently but firmly) to each child. What values and social customs did your mother instil into you and your siblings?

One the most important roles your mother played was that of Chief Memory Officer of the family, a role that Kodak has identified and is now targeting. “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 make try my top four unique gift ideas?

 Give Mum a Memory Jar, filled with questions (download the questions here) you have always wanted to ask her and a pretty notebook for her to write down her answers. Repeat it next year...

Mum's Memory Jar with notes.

 Collect some of those humorous emails she has sent and put them into a collage or a notebook for her.

 Why not mount a piece of old unused piece of jewellery into a recessed picture frame for her to hand onto the wall as an ‘objet d’art’? Don't forget to write the details on a label the back.

Family heirlooms can be easily saved in recessed picture frames.

 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. Take photos, perhaps a video or write down her reactions.

Time passes, memories fade.

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