VIDEO: Mum's The Word

SO Bedtime Stories

Sunday, May 14, 2017

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 Storytelling by mother is as time-honoured a tradition as after-dinner ice-cream and birthday party playdates. This Mother's Day, SO – keen to discover a story of our own – crafts an ode to the nurturers and guiding lights in our lives. What are the morsels of truth that the fabulous mothers of today are looking to share with the next generation (or vice versa)? The Spanish Court Hotel (and one bedroom nursery visit) holds the key; the room key, that is. Serving as Operation Mommy Central, 11 multitasking mums – with blankies, and Peppa Pig and Nemo plush toys in tow – carted along their little princes and princesses to share their literary hand-me-downs.



MARIAME McINTOSH-ROBINSON, President and CEO, First Global Bank, and son: Patrick-Julian McIntosh-Robinson, 2 1/2 years old

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

I would like my son to read A New Earth, which is a book I read every now and then because of the practical and profound life lessons. Love this book! I want my son to learn about the value of gratitude, achieving a strong spiritual self and level of consciousness (which requires constant work), being authentic (which includes really getting to know yourself), giving back, staying in the present moment, and hard work. My mom used to read to me a lot when I was young and over the years she has taught me life lessons found in this same book: hard work, being authentic, gratitude, and not dwelling on the past but “getting on with it”. She is an amazing role model to me.

JAMI SPENCE/JAMES BLACK, Head Designer, YC, and son, Spencer-Rein McPherson, 8 months

As clichéd as it sounds, becoming a mother truly changed my life. It changed how I saw myself and the person I wanted to become. It was with these significant life changes that I decided to document personal life lessons in the form of a book. Initially, I thought it would be a book to only help other young women who are going through similar struggles in relationships and some of the insecurities and obstacles that sometimes come along with the journey of motherhood. However, I realise the recurring theme in my incomplete book is something that I also want the man I am raising to adhere to. It is the ability to have emotional control and knowing the importance of being aware of your feelings, so that you may be the master of them and they not be the master of you. As I have learnt, it is when your feelings are in control that your life becomes out of control. Especially if he tries to do this without God. I want Spencer-Rein to know that to be angry or sad is normal and he shouldn't be ashamed of it. But he doesn't have to act on everything that he feels. I want my son to be someone of discipline and integrity, not void of emotion, but one able to make decisions not birthed out of temporary feelings.


LAUREN TENN, Managing Director, Just Landed Couriers, and daughters: Gabrielle Millwood, 10 years old, and Leah Marie Millwood, 5 years old

Growing Strong Daughters: Encouraging Girls to Become All They're Meant To Be by Lisa Graham McGinn


I chose this book as it teaches my daughters that parenting is not an easy job; it's messy at times but I try my best, with the help of God, to get through. Growing in today's world especially for girls is very difficult, as body image is top priority for some and it puts a lot of pressure on them. McMinn helps me instil in them that they are strong, capable, confident women of God's family, and society as a whole. They can speak and think for themselves and have a healthy perspective about their bodies and sexuality.

TAMIA FRANCIS Co-Principal, Live Stush & Fashion Designer and daughters: Aria Francis, 4 years old, and Amara Francis, 2 years old

The Laws of Success by Napoleon Hill

I would say by far it's been the most influential book of my life. This book outlines 16 lessons which teach you that success in life depends on the effort you are willing to put into these 16 areas and having what is called a “definite purpose”, a clear goal in mind, of what you want to achieve in life. Hill was chosen by the legendary Andrew Carnegie to study the most successful people of his era and not so surprisingly the contents within the book remain as relevant today as they did 100 years ago. I think this is the ultimate self-improvement book and I would want my daughters to read this book once they have finished college and started a life of their own.


SHARON ROPER Director, Sian Associates and daughter, Georgina, 5

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I read this inspirational autobiography of the early life of Maya Angelou in my teens. It inspired me to dream beyond the small confines of my world. Every and anything is possible if you believe in yourself. Believing in the strength that God has placed within you is probably one of the hardest things, as it sometimes means going against the norms that define your immediate environs. It requires you to question the status quo and demand something different. It requires that you follow your heart, and define your own path. Maya achieved this through the power of her literature. My wish for Georgina is that she has the courage to write her own life's song.


NASTASSIA MORRISON Events Manager, J Wray & Nephew and son, Kai Morrison, 2 years old

Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic


Nick Vujicic was born without limbs but is today travelling the world, mentoring and motivating hundreds of people to live a ridiculously good life. This book is an absolute inspiration to me and I have tried to live by some of its very simple philosophies. Through this book I developed by own philosophy in life, that there is an opportunity in everything. I want my son and my future kids to know this book cover to cover, and appreciate how to trust, to have a strong sense of service, to love and accept themselves, to always be hopeful, to appreciate their purpose in life and, most importantly, to have strong faith in God and to always put God first. When we look at someone like Nick, our first thought would probably be to have pity on him because he is without limbs. Nick has no pity on himself and he is standing firm in his purpose to motivate others to become their greatest selves. I want my kids to learn just that.



ARNELLA GOUBAULT Sales Controller, Porsche, ATL Automotive and son Xander, 2; daughter Zuri, 8 months

Of Thee I Sing, A Letter To My Daughters by Barack Obama


It's my favourite bedtime story for my son and daughter. Written as a letter of praise, love and inspiration from President Obama to his daughters, this book highlights influential and diverse figures in history. Although my children are too young to fully understand the message of this book, I take pride and mostly enjoy reading the words to them outlining all the positive qualities that they are beginning to possess and are learning to embody. The book compares those qualities to iconic individuals who used those talents to make a difference in the world. I want my children to learn about the endless possibilities out there and inspire them on how they can use their talents along with hard work, passion and dedication to make their own contributions to society, whether big or small.

NIKOLETTE WILLIAMS Marketing Communications Officer, The Best Dressed Chicken and daughter, Lianna Milligen, 16 months

The Holy Bible


To date, the most impactful book on my life has been the Bible. It is the manual that my parents used to raise me and similarly what I strive to apply to my daughter's upbringing. Simple principles like “love your neighbour as yourself” go way deeper than just Christian indoctrination. It is the main component of the moral fibre that seems to be vanishing from our society these days. If I can teach Lianna to understand fully and live by the general principles of the Bible — of respecting your body as a temple, respecting others and the environment in which we live — I think I would have done a great job as a mother. What can I say? I'm a country girl at heart with good old-time “brought-upsy” and no matter where I go in life that will never change.


NATASHA LEVY Group Marketing Manager, JN Money Services and sons: Noah, 8 years old, and Elijah, 6 years old

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran


The book was given to me on my 16th birthday, but I didn't actually read it until many years later when I was in University. Imagine discovering that the 'answers' to many of my soul-searching questions had been in this book...sitting on my bookshelf for many years. It offers such guidance on so many things.. it's like a perfect little guide book for life. It speaks about Love, Marriage, Children, Giving, Joy and Sorrow. In their reading of the book, I want my sons to jump in and explore life... To give themselves fully to life. To not be afraid to love, to experience joy, sorrow, disappointment and success... To know that they have the power within themselves to create their world. As I write this, the following quote from the book seems very timely: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.” This is something I have to remind myself of.

ELIZABETH SWABY Brand Manager, Pepsi and daughters Summer Allen, 2, and Skye Allen, 9 months


7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R Covey


I want my girls to be successful in any venture and any relationship, and this book has proved time and time again that effective principles can be replicated and utilised in any situation. I think the one I most value and which has helped the most in my life is: seek first to understand, then to be understood. Making this a habit can effectively eliminate conflicts, bringing about better relationships. Even utilising this with my kids has brought great rewards and I hope my daughters will understand and replicate the same habits.

Hairstylist & Attorney-At-Law
and mother: Businesswoman Judy Ann Shields, 65 years old


Conversations With God, An Uncommon Dialogue, Book One by Neale Donald Walsch


Our mother read this book when we were teenagers and the impact it had on her was felt by us. During that time she was searching for inspiration and a whole host of these books were on her bedside table. But Conversations with God and In the Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant were impactful. We hope our sons will walk in love and faith, honour God and His ways. The last sentence in one of them states, “Every human thought and every human action is based in either love or fear.” We hope they will always choose love! As we strive to impart upon them good values, this above all else is key because from love flow honesty and fairness. In every situation they may face in life, every interaction and every problem, if they respond with love they are honouring God. In order to do that they must have a relationship with our Creator.




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