A letter to my Maman

It’s Mother’s Day in France today, so let’s celebrate my Maman!

Just a quick letter to say Merci.

Merci for always making me look nice, like a little princess when I was younger. You were the one who was doing it all: waking me up, preparing my breakfast, helping with homework and most importantly, brushing my so long and tangled thin hair with talent! I say that because Papa was barely able to do a ponytail.

I can still picture it. He would make me stand up on the chair next to the window dans la salle à manger so that I was at his height. It was the puzzle of the day for this tall and clumsy man: ‘Oh La La, ces cheveux! Il faut les couper!’ and eventually, after a good 5 minutes, it will be done, a ponytail, a bit bancale but there. No need to cut anything, we managed it. But with you, easily done in two minutes and looking just parfaite.

Merci for having been a strict mum. A la maison, rules were clear with you. My brother and I would not even bother arguing. We just knew there was no point. Huit heures, au lit and we were better off having brushed our teeth correctement.

But, I have to say pardon. I am sorry because I am pretty sure that sometimes, I behaved like a diva in my teens. It probably got a bit wrong when I started looking at boys. Especially when I fancied that mysterious dark year 11 guy who had the coolest scooter (I thought so at the time, but it wasn’t really the case…) au collège. I am sorry I had some tantrums. You remember that time we went shopping and I absolutely wanted those expensive Cimarron trousers? I don’t know how I convinced you to go to the shop in the first place. It was the most expensive place on the high street. Those bloody Cimarron trousers… Everyone had a pair, so I had to have one too.

I still remember trying them on. You agreed with me; they were perfect for a party I was going to. The shop assistant was all smiles; l’affaire était dans le sac. But when you asked for the price, your face just changed ‘Quoi, 400 francs?!’ ‘Take it off and let’s get out of here!’ How embarrassing… The worst was to come ‘We will go to Tati and get you un pantalon moins cher!’ Bloody Tati! I was going to end up with some cheap trousers to turn up to THE party of the year! I was 14 years old at the time and c’était l’horreur absolue. £80 for some clothes. Now, I would easily spend three times more on a handbag.

But I was fuming. My mum was allowing my brother to get some flying lessons at the time. It was costing my parents a fortune and I was not allowed a pair of trousers. Quick explanation for my readers. My brother was a very naughty boy at school. Like literally, he would be in trouble every single week. So when he eventually found his path and became l’élève modèle in a new vocational school at the age of 17, my parents rewarded him with this treat. He was the new king of the castle. Mum and Dad thought that would keep him on track. ‘That’s bloody unfair, I have been a good girl for the last bloody 14 years and I get fuck all!!!!!’ I probably got smacked at this point, I can’t remember.

Merci for standing up to me. Indeed, you were actually right. I didn’t need that expensive pair of trousers. And the point you had at the time was quite simple. You didn’t want me to be a spoiled brat. So merci for raising me up with (I hope!) good values. Even if it seemed a bit harsh at the time, it was the right thing to do. But to be fair to you Maman, you always told me to go for it.

So I did, even if it means that I am away from you. I am sorry I left home and moved to the UK. I am sure that’s not what you planned for when you told me to pursue my dreams. Pardon for sometimes being a rubbish daughter who doesn’t call you often enough. ‘It’s not my fault Mum, I am mega busy at work!’ Pardon for sending you quick emails full of mistakes or with punctuation missing. I am typing too fast and don’t bother proofreading. ‘Chérie, you are a French teacher! Surely you must spell correctly in your language!’ I know, I am just a lazy baobab. C’est la vie…

Forgive me if I gave you a grandson who you will barely see. I know how difficult it is for you when I describe what we do at the weekend. You probably think that Grumpy Boyfriend’s mum is well lucky to be able to see, talk and play with Baba whenever she wants. And you have only pictures of him to put on your wall.

I know it’s unfair, especially when you were there for Baba’s birth (thank god for that, I am not sure Grumpy Boyfriend or most importantly I would have survived it without you!). You’re the one who held my hand and told me to keep it up when all I wanted was giving up. Merci for being, yet not a perfect mummy but a good one in my opinion (proof is you did a good job, even big bro ended up well ?).

Maman, you will probably never read this letter. I am not sure I will ever dare to show it to you. But that’s fine. I will keep it for myself and in 30 years’ time, I will show it to Baba. Just to remind him how an amazing mum I was in case he forgets like I did for you.

Bonne Fête Maman! Bonne Fête to all the mummies around the world. You are the best!

PS: yes, it’s indeed a picture of my mum at the maternity. I am the gorgeous baby in her arm, while my mum was in between my two grandmothers. Spot my naughty big brother . It’s not difficult, he has the cheekiest face ever ?

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  1. May 28, 2016 / 11:42 pm

    Ah I love this! What a great idea. We made my mum a big scrapbook for her 60th birthday and it was so much fun making jokes about her strange habits and reminiscing about our childhood.

    Funny how you appreciate your mother a lot more once you become one yourself, isn’t it? It must be hard being away from yours though.

    • thefrenchiemummy
      May 29, 2016 / 9:35 am

      Thank you for commenting ?
      Sometimes it’s difficult to have my family away but I made the decision. It’s more that I feel guilty now that my mum can’t see the baby as often as she wants. You are so right about appreciating our mum. I never really realised everything she’s done for me until now. And it’s just the start.

  2. Emilie Bosson
    May 30, 2016 / 7:20 am

    Nicely written and so true for me too! I loved it! Keep it coming French Mummy 🙂

    • thefrenchiemummy
      May 30, 2016 / 11:34 am

      Merci for commenting ? so easy to forget what mummies do for us.??

  3. June 6, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    You definitely appreciate what your mum has done for you more when you are a mum yourself! I’m lucky to live near mine so she sees her grandson frequently and I don’t have to feel too bad. And I get some free babysitting!!x

    • thefrenchiemummy
      June 6, 2016 / 4:08 pm

      lucky you. Enjoy ?

  4. June 8, 2016 / 7:33 pm

    Oh this is tres bon! It’s absolutely lovely and I really think you should show your Maman. It made me tearful and think of my own Mama. Thanks for linking up. #bigpinklink

    • thefrenchiemummy
      June 8, 2016 / 8:03 pm

      Thanks ?

  5. My Petit Canard
    June 11, 2016 / 12:49 am

    Such a sweet letter. You should definitely share it with your mum, I am sure she would enjoy reading it. She sounds like a fabulous mum who did a great job raising two children with sound principles and boundaries which is all I hope for my children. Much easier said than done I am learning with my current two year old! Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Lovely to have you 🙂 Emily

  6. June 11, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    This is a beautiful letter – I love the way you write some in English and some in French. In my head my accent changes as I read – maybe from when I lived in Italy. I think we all appreciate our mothers a lot more as we grow up even more so when we become mothers ourselves.

    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

    • thefrenchiemummy
      June 11, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      Absolutely true. I had no idea how she did so much for me until I became myself a mum.

  7. Petite Library
    June 13, 2016 / 10:53 am

    I too loved the little hints of French you added. And I know what’s it’s like being separated from your parents, living in a far away land, sometimes life just puts us where we need to be. #ablogginggoodtime #MarvMondays

  8. June 14, 2016 / 6:07 am

    Such a beautiful letter to your mother. I know it would be hard to show her this but I really think you should consider it. I think it’s a wonderful compliment. She sounds like she was firm but fair- the type of Mama I want to be 🙂 #dreamteam

    • thefrenchiemummy
      June 14, 2016 / 8:47 am

      she was indeed 🙂 thanks for commenting

  9. June 14, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    What a lovely letter, did you end up showing it to your mum? I think we all go through funny stages as we are growing up… it’s just part of finding out who we are. Thank you for linking up to the #DreamTeam x

    • thefrenchiemummy
      June 14, 2016 / 10:22 pm

      I emailed her my blog page yesterday. She called me today and said she looked horrible on the pic ahaha. But I think she liked the letter ?

  10. June 16, 2016 / 6:00 pm

    Ahh Maman’s are the best aren’t they 🙂 Such a lovely post! Thanks for sharing with us on #fortheloveofBLOG x

  11. nikkifrankhamilton
    June 20, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    Isn’t it amazing when we get to the point in life when we realize how right our parents were? That we were wrong? LOL What an eye opening moment. I love this letter, and isn’t even more wonderful that our parents taught us right by not giving in? This had to be so hard for them. They knew we’d be upset and pouting at them, but they stood their ground and did it anyway! Now that I’m the parent I really hate getting the pouts from the kids, it’s harder than I thought!

    Hope you had a happy Mother’s Day!

    • thefrenchiemummy
      June 20, 2016 / 4:44 pm

      I am sure your children will be thankful later on. I had my moments with my mum but I do respect her for how she raised me.

  12. Over Heaven's Hill
    June 21, 2016 / 2:19 pm

    Oh this is so beautiful. I really enjoyed reading this. Since becoming a mum, I appreciate my own mum so much, and only now do i see how much she has done for us. When I tell her this, she just smiles and hugs me #AnythingGoes

    • thefrenchiemummy
      June 21, 2016 / 3:20 pm

      The same here, I wish I understood it earlier.

  13. July 22, 2016 / 6:48 am

    What a fab post and so great to hear about your relationship with your mother. She sounds like a wonderful mother, just like you. Tor xx #PoCoLo

    • thefrenchiemummy
      July 22, 2016 / 7:10 am

      Merci ?

  14. acornishmum
    July 22, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    Such a lovely post and ha I think it is the natural order of things that teenagers should be a slight nightmare to live with 😉 Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  15. organisedjo
    July 24, 2016 / 4:07 am

    This is a really lovely post. I remember the little white lies I would tell to my mum about where I was going or where I had been, but she always knew the truth. And I thought I was being clever ?? #PicknMix

    • thefrenchiemummy
      July 24, 2016 / 7:49 am

      mummies always know ☺

  16. July 24, 2016 / 8:46 am

    Love this post – I definitely appreciate my mum so much more now I am a mum too. Looking back, I must have put my mum through so much worry! I am also thankful she was strict with me as it always made me strive to be the best I can be. #picknmix

  17. July 24, 2016 / 10:08 am

    Great post Frenchie. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. #PoCoLo

  18. July 27, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    This is such a lovely letter. I can remember doing something similar in my teens and I’m sure my kids will do it to me too. Thanks for linking to #picknmix

  19. rhian226
    July 28, 2016 / 8:17 am

    Oh you really do realise how much your parents did/do for you when you get the job as Mummy! Love the vision of your poor Dad desperately trying to do your hair (as I watch my husband doing it with my daughter!). Thanks for linking up #ToddlerStories xx

  20. July 28, 2016 / 5:55 pm

    What a lovely post – and I love how your Papa used to do your hair. I don’t think mine ever really pulled it off either. Thanks for being such a super newbie showcase and like others have said I don’t think we realise just how much mums do for us until we’re older. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo x

  21. Morgan Prince
    July 29, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    What a lovely letter to your mum! I think you should not only keep it to show your little one but you should show your mum too. I’m sure she would love it!
    Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo – sorry for the delayed comment.

    • thefrenchiemummy
      July 29, 2016 / 2:46 pm

      She actually read it as she saw my blog. It was very good and she was really happy, even if she said the pic is horrible ?

  22. August 3, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    Ahhh what a lovely letter 🙂 I think the photo of her is lovely too! #brilliantblogposts x

  23. Nige
    August 4, 2016 / 6:29 am

    A beautiful post and wonderfully written. So nice she read it and it made her happy love reading your posts #brilliantblogposts

  24. August 7, 2016 / 10:40 pm

    I have a similar problem with my poor long suffering mother who I put through so much, yet still had the nerve to think treated my well behaved sister better.

    She has a grandson she barely sees and a 17 month old grand daughter she hasn’t seen at all.

    It is only with the wisdom of age we appreciate what a job it was for our parents to raise us.

    A wonderful post.

    • thefrenchiemummy
      August 8, 2016 / 5:17 am

      Thank you very much for stopping by and leaving such a great comment.

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