Lessons from our mothers

Jeanette Thomas with mum Carrol.

Women can feel they are “turning into their mothers” as they get older – and recognise certain inherited traits, especially when they become parents themselves. Hibiscus Matters asked some local mothers what they learned about mothering from their own mums.

Radio host Jeanette Thomas has two teenagers – Charlie, 19, and Mia, 17. The family moved to the Coast 18 years ago, to be closer to Jeanette’s mother, Carrol.
“ Mum was my greatest teacher. She taught me patience, empathy and acceptance – and also how to vacuum without a vacuum cleaner! We had two golden retrievers growing up and they shed a lot of hair. Something I’ll never forget, is how Mum would ‘vacuum’ it up off the carpet by scraping it into a pile with her bare feet. Guess who’s doing that now with her own dogs’ hair? Thanks, Mum! Above all, my mother showed me unconditional love and, by simply being the woman that she was, how to foster great relationships with my own children.”


Sharon Morris and her mum Shirley

Sharon Morris is a solo mum with two children who has lived on the Hibiscus Coast since she was 10 years old.
“ My mum, Shirley, has always been very hard working and taught me morals and values in life. She is 87 years old and known as ‘0800 Nana’ – all my friends love her. Mum taught me that our house is always open, to share the love, and that family is everything. She taught me to cook her famous chocolate caramel cake and how to run a household. She learned this from her mother, and now I am teaching my daughter – ‘just get in and do it,’ mum says. She is my rock and my best friend.”


Abbey, right, with daughters, from left, Camilla, Lara and Faith and her mum, Julie Parsons.

Abbey Fouché and husband Taynon have four children – Camilla, 10, twins Soul and Lara, 4, and Faith, 2. She is the founder and chief executive of The Mums Clique Charity, which runs The Haven in Silverdale.
“ I learnt from mum that juggling it all is often fuelled by coffee and a wine - or three! I also learnt that you can only do the best you can with what you have, and if you want more, then go after it and never take ‘no’ for an answer. My mother is a strong woman, and because of her I am also strong. She taught me that anything is possible and working hard is a big part of success. To stand up and fight for what you believe in, and always finish a conversation with a hug and a smile.”


Leanne Willis with her mum, Gaye Dickey.

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board member Leanne Willis has lived on the Coast with husband Ken for 31 years. They have two girls, now 20 and 25 years old.
“ My Mum taught me many things, including perseverance. She was great in the kitchen and was always supportive of my cooking efforts. As a teenager, I decided to make cheese scones. They were a huge success and, feeling proud, I shared with mum the ingredients that I had swapped out. I can still remember her look of horror when I told her that there was no table salt, so I’d replaced it with Epsom salts! She encouraged me to be the most authentic version of myself and I hope that I have passed this on to my girls, one of whom is about to become a mum next month.”


Tania Adams and daughter Maria

Unichem Manly owner, pharmacist Tania Adams, is the mother of Maria, 16 and Adam, 14.
“ My mother is a person who leads by example. Like me, she was a pharmacist and pharmacy owner. She showed me what it was like to be a strong independent woman. I have always appreciated a great sense of community through my mum’s involvement across many voluntary groups such as Hibiscus Hospice and school PTAs. In the same way, I hope to lead by example to my children.”


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