Musings on Mother's Day


This mother's day seems quite poignant for me, because two of my sisters had baby girls this week - they were born five days apart.  For my parents it was their tenth and eleventh grandchildren.  Less than three months ago my brother and his wife had their third baby girl.  So when I go back to England this summer I will have three new baby nieces to meet.

I have also been thinking about diversification recently (there is a link, bear with me).  Diversification is one of the key tenets in investing.  Don't put all your eggs in one basket, because if you drop that basket, you may find you have no eggs left.  But diversification isn't just important in investing.  The principal applies to lots of other parts of our lives.

Let's take relationships and friendships.  How much should you diversify?  Since my childhood I have always had just a few really good friends - a large network, but just a few girls and guys that I would call my besties.  I don't know if I ever made a conscious choice around this, but it's how I have always felt happy and fulfilled.  But there is a danger, because friendships can go up and down, they wax and wane just like the markets.  So what happens if you only have a few and they 'go down together'?  Maybe someone leaves the island or your home town, or perhaps your lives just drift apart.  I wonder if there is a point of perfect diversification when it comes to friendships.

What about our other relationships? If we think about our children, there is a pure evolutionary and biological reason for having more than one child.


With some relationships though, we can't diversify.  Certainly you can only have one spouse (at least legally only one at a time).  You can't diversify that very easily, so you have to take the approach of investing in and nurturing that relationship and valuing it above all else.  And so it is with your mother.  There is only one.

With our spouse we can choose.  Hopefully we choose well.  But we don't get to choose our mother.  There is an element of luck involved in that.  A relationship with one's mother is not always full of love.  It can be complicated, fraught and stressful.  But whatever it is, it shapes us.

I count myself one of the lucky ones.  My Mum is a light in my life.  Whilst she is 5000 miles away, she is there every minute of every day.  She is in my head in the decisions that I make, and in my heart in the compassion and love that she has taught me.  I strive to be the mother and person that she is.  I could hear no greater words from anyone than 'you are just like your Mum'.

I hope that in the decades to come my kids wake up one day and realise that they are one of the lucky ones too.