Judy Murray has recently had to defend, again, the accusation that she’s a Pushy Mother. She has rightly pointed out that if she was the father she wouldn’t have been labelled as pushy and to call her so is sexist – I couldn’t agree more, where young girls are called bossy little boys are called leaders, women who sleep around are sluts and men are ‘players’ and so it continues. However, I think it goes deeper than that. Accusing Judy Murray of being pushy isn’t just about sexism, it’s about a misunderstand of how she has approached (this aspect) of motherhood. She is a role model of mine – she has passionately nurtured her children having seen their natural ability and enthusiasm and as a result of their work and their talent they are who they are today.
I recently listened to her Desert Island Discs and she talked about the sacrifices her family had to make so that Andy and his brother Jamie could train in different parts of the world to nurture and develop their different tennis talents. She didn’t decide that – seeing as Andy was likely to be more successful – he should be the only one to pursue his dreams. She had two sons training, in different parts of the world, at huge financial cost. She described it as a logistical nightmare, but she did it. She did it because she wanted the best for both of them. Nothing but natural, primal, motherly love is communicated in that interview. I think she saw they were good and interested and she enabled them to give their all to pursuing their dreams and reaching their potential.
That’s the type of mother I’d like to be. The type of mother who encourages, enables and empowers her children to be the best they can be. That’s what Judy Murray represents to me – a mother who has committed a lot of time, effort, money and certainly emotion to ensure her children can fulfil their potential. Of course she isn’t jolly and laughing when, I don’t know, her son is in the Wimbledon FINAL. As she has said, he doesn’t want to look round and see her laughing. He wants to look round and see a mother who is as concerned as he is that the most important game of his career to date is taken as seriously as it should be. I don’t believe for a second that he would have got to that final without loving tennis – all his mother has done is nurtured that, you cannot possibly ‘push’ someone to be that good.
I hope to follow her example with my own children. If they show an interest in something I want to enable them to do it. From playing the recorder to climbing a mountain. I want to find a way for them to find the things they most enjoy, that they are good at and help them do it the best they can. If that ends up branding me a Pushy Mother, Judy Murray style, then so be it.