Tue, 4 Sep, 2018
Michelle Bridges’ beautiful tribute to her single mum
Michelle Bridges has opened up about her childhood hardship and credits her single mum Maureen for the woman she is today.
"Back in those days, bosses were really unsupportive of single parents," the personal trainer tells 9Honey. "Mum's boss would say to her that if she had to leave work to look after sick kids, then she shouldn't bother coming back at all.
"I mean, can you imagine a boss trying to pull that now," Michelle says. "Plus, when she wasn’t at work, she was then cleaning the house and mowing the lawns (somehow Mum managed to save enough, along with a helping hand from my grandparents, which she paid back with interest).
"She was very house proud and there were always things to do."
But times were tough for the family of three – Maureen, Michelle and Michelle’s sister.
"We were poor but she always managed to have us looking neat, get us presents on our birthdays and at Christmas, and really taught us the value of working hard and saving for things," she says.
"She worked so hard so that we could have as good a life as possible."
These days, Michelle is still very close to her mother.
"She bought up a very independent girl and then woman, probably a bit to her demise, in so far as I’ve been out there in the world absolutely going for it and not spent a lot of time at home," Michelle says.
"I know that the family part of my life has had some sacrifices to be where I am today, and bless my mum, she’s so behind me in it all, even if it means she doesn’t see me as much as we’d both like.”
"She's never really hung around saying 'woe is me'," Michelle says. "She might give herself a day to lick her wounds, and then the next day she’s up and at ‘em! She’s also extremely organised which is something I wish I could be more of."
Michelle says her mum adores being a grandmother to her son Axel, two, as well as her partner Steve 'Commando' Willis’ children from his previous relationship.
"She absolutely loves coming to spend time with Axel, and all her step-grandchildren," Michelle says.
"She spoils Axel to bits and he just loves his Nanna," the fitness guru continues. "It's so wonderful to see them together because mum has the time now to really enjoy Axel as a wee bubba and as he grows.
"When she was a mum, she missed out on being able to really relax and just enjoy that time with my sister and I, because she was always working to put food in our mouths and clothes on our backs," she says.
Enjoying more time with her mother now, Michelle is grateful for the lessons her mum instilled in her growing up.
"No matter what life's circumstances are, you must accept that this is the way it is right now and if you want it to change, you need to put your head down and work like the clappers to build a better life for yourself," she says of what she’s learnt most from her mum.
"That principle of focusing forward and working your butt off is absolutely how I've lived my life and the successes I've had are very much based on that foundation handed down from mum," she says.