Like mother like daughter

Four well-known mothers and daughters tell Catherine Butler about their special bond.

KIM WILDE, 50, a singer and TV gardener, is married to actor Hal Fowler. They live in Hertfordshire with their two children, Harry, 13, and Rose, 11.

If I thought I was happy before I had children, it was nothing compared to how I felt afterwards. It’s lovely to have one of each as well. The best thing about having a daughter is all to do with those bonds that women share. I don’t see my relationship with Rose as with a child but don’t subscribe to that idea of “my daughter is my best friend”, either. Rose is my friend, but I never forget to be a mum and lay down the law.

It’s rare that you can give Rose good advice. I hear myself saying, “Darling, if you listen to me, it really will make your life much simpler”, but it’s no good. I don’t mind, though – learning from your mistakes is the best way to live your life.

Rose and I often clash over clothes. When she was four, my husband and I were in Paris and bought her the cutest little outfit with a kilt and black leggings, but she wouldn’t let it anywhere near her. After that I never bought clothes for Rose again until she was with me.

Music is a big thing in ourhouse – someone is always singing, and there are musical instruments everywhere. Rose is really excited about music, but we keep it fun – it’s not about grades or learning Bach, there’s plenty of time for that later if she wants, so I’ll teach her the chords for a Britney Spears track instead. It’s better to harness a child’s natural enthusiasm by teaching them the things they love to play.

Having the kids inspired me to study horticulture. I wanted to create a garden for them, but never in a million years did I think it would lead to a new career. I wrote a book about gardening with kids a few years ago, which Rose helped me with over 12 months. To this day she says it was one of the best years of her life.

ROSE FOWLER, 11, will start secondary school in September.

There’s nothing I would change about my mum. She is young and fun, and not very strict at all. I’d have to do something pretty bad for her to shout at me, but she does nag me about being untidy. When I say I’ve got nothing to wear, she says, “Just look on the floor!”

We both like softie films, especially if they’re sad. We watched Marley and Me the other day, and it made us both cry. Sometimes we’ll go into London and have our hair done. Then we might go somewhere like Yo! Sushi for lunch. Those are my favourite days.

Mum is really funny and is always doing silly things like making up songs for our dog, Jess. Sometimes she sings to her in front of my friends, which is really embarrassing. When she came back from working in Germany last year she lifted up her top and showed me a tattoo on her back made up of hearts and stars. I couldn’t stop laughing.