International Women’s Day: The Women Who’ve Guided Me

International Women’s Day is a global event which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women throughout the world.

International Women’s Day is this Wednesday (March 8) and when I look back over my life it is women, on the whole, who have helped to shape the person I am today.

I’m a much different lad to who I was years ago.

For many years I was an angry man struggling to deal with the hole left by a father who didn’t give a toss about his kids, and some of the ladies on this list most certainly bore the brunt of my temper because of it.

It was nobody’s fault but his, but I lashed out at anyone and everyone for a very long time.

With a lack of male influence in my life other than my granddad, it fell on the women, mainly, to attempt to guide me through it.

There were many occasions I didn’t deserve their love, understanding and effort, regardless of what I was going through mentally and this is the first time I’ve ever spoken out loud of this to anyone outside of my close circle of friends.

However, everybody on this list deserves to be appreciated and told what they have meant to me at different stages of my life, and I think International Women’s Day is as good a day as any to share my reasons why.

The ladies I’d like to say thank you to on International Women’s Day

Super mum

Let me start by saying how I’m still alive after what i put this lady through, I’ll never know!

My poor mum bent over backwards for me growing up, see she knew what was going on with me even when I had yet to work it out.

I’ll always be sorry for the sleepless nights I caused her over the years, and be forever grateful she never gave up on me –  even when I was pushing boundaries to whole new levels.

My mum went without food to make sure we didn’t, worked three jobs whilst going to college in order to improve her chances of earning a better income, yet still found time to have a home cooked meal prepared from scratch on the table every night.

She barley spent a penny on herself to make sure we could have a holiday, was selfless in every way and will ALWAYS be my hero.

She is quite literally Super Woman.


Standing less than 5ft tall, this was not a lady you messed with.

Luckily for me, I was the apple of her eye and she wouldn’t hear a bad thing about me, which I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been for my poor mum at times.

I spent so much of my early childhood with my grandparents, going for my lunch daily when we still lived in Warrington and my school was next door, and spending countless school holidays away in the caravan.

Along with mum, she taught me good manners, to be grateful for what I had and started my love of cooking.

When I was too scared to ask for money to go on my first school holiday, she found out and told me anything I managed to save myself she would match.

What she actually did was put it into my savings account and covered the lot herself, however, the lesson was there not to expect something for nothing.

I miss her everyday.

Maxine Griffiths

Like my mum, poor Maxine (or Miss Griffiths as she was known back then), showed unwavering patience and courage in the battle with a teenage David.

She understood me, challenged me, didn’t let me walk over her, and ultimately turned me around.

Maxine never gave up on me in school when plenty of other teachers had.

I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without her to guide me through the majority of my high school days.

We spoke recently and she said she always knew there was a nice young man underneath all the anger.

Respect for seeing that through all the crap I threw your way Maxine, ULTIMATE respect.

She really was the best teacher you could ever wish for.


My sister from another Mister and someone who has shown me nothing but loyalty and support over the last twelve years.

If anyone in my life is going to stand up to me and tell me I’m being a knob, it is Rachael.

Digging me out of many financial holes over the years, she made me realise I could do more with myself if I put my mind to it – which I ultimately did in the end.

She waited patiently for me to grow up – it takes much longer for most boys –  and there was nobody prouder when I finally got there at 32 than her!

What’s more, just as I had resigned myself to never being a parent or uncle, she gave me my Princes Angel Face (Ava) and considers me no less an uncle to her than her own brother and brother-in-law.

Something I will always be eternally thankful for.

Carmen (Lady Bam) Hunston

Quite simply, she teaches me to be a better person each and every day.

This lady is one of the most selfless, caring, beautiful souls you could ever wish to meet, who puts everyone else’s problems above her own without so much as a thought first.

I’ve said it a million times, everyone should have a Lady Bam in their life, I’m certainly glad she’s in mine.

With a sixth sense for knowing when I am feeling down, she’s always the first one at hand to offer a shoulder to cry on.

An angel sent from above is the best way to describe this lady.


She has the ability to make me talk about my problems.

I’m pretty much a closed book when it comes to personal issues, usually never discussing them until months after I have dealt with with it all alone.

I had an instance where one of my oldest friends and I had a major falling out.

Just like childhood, the anger came out of me again.

I couldn’t deal with it, I was lashing out again in moods and tearing myself apart over it, until Anna stepped in that is.

She made me realise carrying around such hatred was doing me absolutely no good at all, and I wasn’t dealing with the issue.

I put that fall out to bed, worked out a way to be civil and crack on.

As promised, I felt much better for it.

We’ve only known each other for four years, but I can’t imagine life without her now.

Final word

International Women’s Day is celebrated for a variety of reasons, but without these ladies above, my life could have been a whole lot different.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart ladies!!!

Who are you thankful for on International Women’s Day?

Thinking Thrifty

Thinking Thrifty

David Naylor is the editor of the Thinking Thrifty blog. An award winning personal finance and lifestyle blogger, he shows how it is possible to live extremely well for less.
Thinking Thrifty
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6 thoughts on “International Women’s Day: The Women Who’ve Guided Me

  1. Hi, David, I have been through a similar experience in my own life and somehow this is still following me to date. I can totally relate and I am so grateful for my mom who in many sick days got up and went to work in the field all day only to buy a bag of rice to feed us all day. More I watched this more I got angry at my dad who would spend the same time drinking (spending money) I still have that fire in me toward people who can’t be responsible enough. My innocence was murdered 🙁
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  2. You are a very smart and loving man, David! Honoring women! Now, I want to honor YOU! Kudos for all of your accomplishments, owning your sh*t and moving forward. You have such a big huge heart!

  3. Beautifully written. You are brace and completely relatable throughout this journey you’re on. Without our village helping to raise us, even as adults, where would we be? So grateful you have these amazing women in your village.

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