Me and four of my children, the fifth one took the photograph

Me and four of my children, the fifth one took the photograph

Mum’s the word and I have plenty of experience in being a mother. Now I am even a grandmother 4-fold at the moment and more are on the way.
Most mothers I have met here in East London are all excellent and dedicated parents now even more so since smacking has been outlawed.
I very much welcome this development because now children are much more respectful to each other and the adults around them.
I think children that get smacked at home come to school in an aggressive mood and often pass on the punishment to others. I distracts them from learning and feeling good.
Children need to feel happy to learn and be sociable little gritters.
I also want to write about children with learning disabilities and how I think one best cares for them once the condition is diagnosed. Especially the Baby P case is an example of how a person with learning disability can fail as a parent because there is no adequate peer pressure to steer her in the right direction.

When my children were small we were so poor we could not even afford a TV, a washing machine or a car. I spent all day going bargain hunting and just picked the best bargains out of the various supermarkets in the locality.
I think one doesn’t need much money to buy healthy food, one just has to be able to cook to make something yummy out of basic ingredients. Just today most people just by ready made and it is often cheaper to buy ready made than make yourself.
Things change.
My children have all grown up now and have their own children but there were times when I thought they are not going to ever be happy in life because we suffered lots of harassment over my German origin but in the end my children got jobs, are now starting to make their own lives and all seems OK and wonderful.
I have never been very much interested in money, I was always just happy to make do with the necessary, as long as I could live. I didn’t even realise how time passed because I was either washing the clothe in the bath for a family of 7 at times because also I did not like the Laundrette and cooking and cleaning. No computer in the early days, so no distraction.
I just worked on a few important principles, make sure they are physically clean and healthy, have the essential nutrition and get exercise, enough sleep and school.
I had all my children naturally, no cesareans and it was better that way. I think I benefited from the natural birth, as I am still very healthy apart from my permanently bad eyesight.

Sometimes when children are small problems can become quite overwhelming especially when a child is troublesome and one thinks, oh what have I done not knowing that all will work out in the end, as long as one as mother can give love and guidance to ensure that this love doesn’t allow any tolerance towards criminal tendencies. I always ensured that my children behave within the law.
This led at times to them being bullied and when my children were small, widespread loitering on the housing estates and often destructive behaviour coupled with school truancy were common place.
A far cry from my own upbringing in a privileged Grammar school and as only child with plenty of money in the home.
Until I came to England and had children I did not know that actual poverty existed, e.g. that people actually squatted because they are homeless or that there are people with learning disabilities. I never met anyone as a child who had a learning disability and therefore I could not understand why one of my own children had one.
The concept of housing estates was also new to me because in Germany one would just look in the newspaper and rent a room somewhere and I never gone out with a bloke that didn’t have a job or was homeless in Germany so I had to fall in love with a homeless and totally poor guy here in London.
My father said, where love falls it ist.
Wo die Liebe hinfaellt.

I stuck it out with my decision to get married to the man I loved and I always remained true to him even when the marriage had formally broken down and we lived apart, I never took another partner or even wanted to. Even when my ‘husband’ died in 2004 I felt more as a widow than a divorced woman whose former partner had died. We still and always had a very strong bond that was formed by having had 5 children together.

I had to get married prior to having children and this was the only man that ever made me feel that way. I never ever before fancied having children. I thought I was never going to have them.
My husband’s great love and dedication to his children did them a world of good. Their father, though poor spend time with them and always loved them. He was very tolerant, I could never have been that tolerant, too tolerant in my view but then we fell apart on that point and I was the one in the relationship who kept the discipline whilst my husband was the playful and understanding father to his children who did not ask any achievements of them nor show disappointment when they did not achieve or didn’t want to achieve. That was a definite drawback but still my children have all become sensible adults and I am happy with that.

My husband was a total contrast to my father though who was the complete opposite but my father always respected my choice of partner.
I think that is all one should expect.
One of my grandchildren is quite bright and does well in school, that is just natural.
In any case one has to love a child the way it is or children become disaffected adults. One must never abuse a child in any way or the future is less bright. I think chilren who are treated without respect treat others without respect and it continues a chain reaction.

I had a wonderful childhood and I think very fondly of it.
To be a good mother without money one has to be happy just with oneself and with the children or one cannot manage.
Today women are encouraged to work and the concept of the housewife and mother is a little old-fashioned but I did not get any other stimulus than to be that way.

What puzzles me to this day is that my children did not inherit my love of reading. When I was a child I had my own library, hundreds of books and I loved nothing more than reading and borrowed books out to the poorer children in care in my class because there was no school library.

I spend each and every spare penny to buy books for my children to read but because their father was not too interested they just did not want to read books either and that was quite frustrating for me. But I rather have children who go through life as law abiding citizens as long as they are happy rather than trouble makers who read books all day.  I suppose one always has to make the best of it.

Today TV and computing also stimulates other forms of reading rather than books and films present stories ready-made without having to spend long hours reading a book.

What I like about reading books though is that I can imagine what the figures and secens look like and each and every time when I see a book made into a film and I’ve read the book I am disappointed because the films are never that good as I imagined the scenes to be.

But in the end a film is quicker than reading and today one has to take in so much more information then when I was a child.

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