Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pushy Mums? We'd Be Nothing without Them

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pushy Mums? We'd Be Nothing without Them

Article excerpt

ONE of the odd but widely circulated theories about the William-Kate split is

that it is the fault of her "pushy mum" for trying too hard to marry off her daughter to a royal.

Quite in what behaviour Mrs Middleton's pushiness resided, beyond some advice to her daughter on how to dress and keep her cool when stalked by paparazzi, no one can reliably say.

Yet rumours have long been rife that the scheming Mrs M sent the young Kate to St Andrews to capture the Prince. A neighbour tells the newspapers that she had her wisteria trimmed and a new gravel drive laid in the hope that this would ensnare him. Will she stop at nothing? Envy of the overeager mum is even more ridiculous and petty than the pushiness itself..

The derogatory tag sticks because mothers are particularly prone to wanting the best for their offspring.The ambitious mother is a literary staple, from the daunting Volumnia in Coriolanus whose military glory is dismissed by the envious tribune "though soft conscienc'd men can be content to say it was for his country, he did it to please his mother" to Mrs Bennet, who would certainly have had Kate married off by now.

All parents are pushy in the eyes of someone else. Those who spend three nights a week driving their youngster to a dusty tennis hall are immediate marked down as some ferocious Mrs Sharapova in waiting. Why is being a lazy parent OK and being an energetic one not? Naturally I do not consider myself a pushy mother because officebound parents can't be: we barely get time to push the prams, let alone push the children. We soon find out that it is impossible to write a note to anyone else saying: "Please expedite this child's early development by the time I get in." But on Saturdays I do take mine to music school and brood on the sheer number of parents who prod their offspring out of bed to murder a sonata or two. Why? Not because they all think their child will be a concert soloist by 2015, but because they have that parental hankering to share something valuable. I had a far more modest musical education, taught by two septuagenarian spinster pianists (in tandem). But the instinct was the same: to pass on knowledge, pleasure and accomplishment.

The drive to improvement is human and a far nicer way of saying "pushy". Lewis Hamilton, the first black driver in Formula One, was trained by his dad on the go-kart track. Lewis pere will escape opprobrium, though. It is the aspiring middle classes who bear the brunt of the "pushy" allegation.

If you have everything and many of the Prince's friends do, give or

take a bit of moat-envy you do not need to push. That is not necessarily to be envied.

Look at William the world at his feet and all he wants is more nights out with the Army boys and the Boujis girls. I rest my case..

ONE of the odd but widely circulated theories about the William-Kate split is

that it is the fault of her "pushy mum" for trying too hard to marry off her daughter to a royal. …

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