real life

BOOK EXTRACT: Growing Up With Mia Freedman (AKA How I Learnt What Not To Do).

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Thanks to our brand partner, Bad Moms 2

The following extract is from the chapter Mia Freedman’s son wrote in her book, Work Strife Balance.

“Imagine if I wrote a book one day about what it’s like having you as a mum” is a threat I’ve waved around a lot in my life. Every bizarre parenting decision she makes, every controversial or downright ridiculous thing she says. That’s the response I whip out.

But it would never happen. Who in their right mind would give a kid the creative space to write about how unique (read: insane, immature, bat-shit crazy) his mum is. As far as we knew, it was an empty threat. A threat that made the pair of us giggle on countless occasions.

And yet here we are.

Listen: Usually, mum interviews people on her No Filter podcast. But this week, I had the chance to interview her and we both ended up in tears. Post continues after audio. 

Mum and I are close. I’d say far closer than the average mother and son. Pull a young adult off the street and ask them about their relationship with their mum: “Yeah alright I guess. Like, she’s cool. We’re pretty close”. Insecurity with a serious lack of enthusiasm to boot. Ain’t none of that here.

My mum is my best friend. A woman I love and idolise and respect and cannot live without.

She is responsible for the person I am today in every aspect. So when she asked if I was interested in writing a chapter for her book, I was floored. Speechless. To have someone who I admire as a woman, journalist, publisher, mother (usually) and friend ask for my creative input is an indescribable feeling. Honestly no words.

You know when you’re cutting wrapping paper and the scissors start to glide? That.

Between mum and I exists a dynamic role reversal. It’s fast and loose. Ever-changing. I am not the traditional son and she, by no means whatsoever, the traditional mum. In fact, the aforementioned role reversal is so extreme that for the majority of my life we seem to have swapped roles entirely.

Mum and I. Image supplied.

There was a brief period after I was born in which this wasn’t the case. Mum changed my nappies and (usually) remembered to feed me just frequently enough to dupe me into thinking she had her shit together. Simply put, she fooled me into believing she was a respectable figure of authority. Not that I was a very naughty kid, but discipline was key: it’s human nature to respect and listen to those that discipline us.

If I didn’t throw the ball for the dog, she’d punish me. Stole some Freddo Frogs from grandma’s house, she’d punish me.

If I’m honest, 'punish' is a harsh word for the consequences she imposed. It was more of a mild inconvenience. Not grand enough for me to dwell on it for any length of time, but just enough for it to be somewhat of an annoyance.

She didn’t smack me, shout at me, or make me do any physical labour. Rather, I wouldn’t be allowed to use the Playstation for two days. And usually those two days turned into one. Then six hours if I baked her some cookies, or gave her a cuddle.

But now, I know the real Mia Freedman. And I want you to as well.

I want the world to see the Mia that I see. The Mia that I live with. Not the one who writes books, appears on television, and edited some of Australia’s top magazines. Rather the one who has the time management skills of a fish…the one who spits food into her napkin at fancy restaurants… the one who is directly responsible for the young man I have become.

You can listen to Mia's full No Filter interview with Luca, below. 

You can read the rest of Luca's chapter in Work Strife Balance.