“But both my girls encouraged me and told me that it’s finally something ‘you can do just for you’,” she explains.
And since entering the Big Brother house, Mary, 56, has quickly become the mother hen, making sure that everyone is well fed.
“Ever since I was 10 years old, I would look after my three younger sisters because my mum worked from home, and then I became a young mum, so it’s in my nature to nurture,” she adds.
“It wasn’t my goal to be the mother hen going into the house, but it just happened very naturally.”
Of course, cooking with rations in the house was a concern for food lover Mary, but she reveals that she has adapted very well.
“I am quite creative with food and I’m getting good at making great dishes with just three ingredients. The rations are hard, but I make it work,” she says.
And as for whether she has passed on her cooking skills to her own three children, Mary admits they still have a lot to learn.
“Martha is a very good cook but the rest, forget it,” she laughs.
“I am teaching my son Nick to cook because I said, ‘if your partner can’t cook, then you can help.’”
If Mary’s Big Brother experience is anything like Martha’s reality TV stint, she’ll be leaving the house happier than ever, as Martha is one of the few MAFS alum to have left the experiment positively loved-up. And Mary is certainly a fan of Martha’s partner Michael.
"Michael and Martha I just want to say, you guys have come so far," Mary wrote on Instagram back in January.
"If I went back five years ago and told you both that you will be going on a show MAFS and you will meet someone. You would just laugh, but here you both are, going onto three years. Amazing, you have both added the missing link to each other and are now totally complete.
"Michael what a great story to tell your kids How I Met Your Mother. Martha even tho you never wanted to go on, look how happy you are today. Enjoy the journey, may the force be with you."
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