“Aughhhh! I’m turning into my mother!” is a cry I often hear from despairing women, be it on their blog posts or when I’m out and about. (Yes, sometimes I do manage to leave the house these days!)
When I hear these words I often wonder what these women have endured to make them feel this way. Is their mother some sort of hairy faced monster? Has she done something unmentionable? Maybe she’s a criminal? Has she caused them some horrific embarrassment that they can never recover from? Or maybe… just maybe was she a mum, doing her best, just like the rest of us.
I am very fortunate to come from a family of very strong minded women. Women with gumption, women who follow their beliefs and faiths, women who do what they believe is right, women who are not easily held down by the weight of the world and women who have always tried to do their best in their role as “mother.”
My paternal grandmother had an idea one day to start a school. She thought about it for a while and then she did it! She never once lost faith in her idea and, with the help and support of her family and her unwavering faith in religion, she succeeded. Her vision is now an extremely successful prep school, still growing by the day 30 years on.
My maternal great grandmother raised my Nan during WW2, she worked in a munitions factory (in her spare time) and was often found in her later years flashing her pants at people and doing ballet moves whilst hanging onto her handrail in her hallway! (Think of the nan in Catherine Tate sketches!) She was a legend and she lived until she was 99 and a half!
This isn’t a blog post that’s going to make headlines or change the world. This is simply a blog about how I too am turning into my mother, who is also a part of this amazing family of women, and why I couldn’t be prouder.
My mum had me at 21 and my brother at 25. We didn’t have much money, who does when they have kids? But we were happy. As well as bringing us up my mum also worked incredibly hard. She learned to speak French, which changed her life and secured her a job at Eurotunnel. She then worked full -time, looked after her family and ran the house whilst she completed a degree, which is no mean feat!
She has been there for all of my ups and downs. Through the sleepless nights, coughs, colds, and stresses of childhood. Through the time when I smacked her in the face with a fistful of keys when I was a baby (Ouch)! She still loved me unconditionally.
She was there through the teenage years, the many boyfriends, too much alcohol, bad skin, bad hair, exams, college, learning to drive and so much more.
She supported me through university… twice! She has been at my side through wedding planning, through fertility treatments, through losses and through the amazing happiest times.
My mum was at the birth of all three of my children. She was the first person to hold me when I arrived in the world and she was one of the first to hold each of my babies. She is a phenomenal birth partner, she has seen so many episodes of one born every minute that she’s practically a midwife! She was calm, she was supportive, she knows where they keep the tea and biscuits in the birth centre, and she is on first name terms with many of the staff!
My mum is a life saver – literally! Now she has ‘retired’ my mum has trained as a First Responder. This means that she is called out to emergencies before the ambulance arrives! She has trained and fundraised to pay for her kit and does this work every week as a volunteer. She loves it, and I am so very proud of her.
My mum looks AMAZING! It’s a worry at 36, when your mum looks better than you! I’ve noticed that since my brother and I have moved out she’s had much more time (and money) to treat herself to trips to the hair dresser (more than once a year!) And she has some rather nice clothes that I sometimes “borrow!” She also looks a lot less stressed! I can’t think why!
My mum and I are so similar in so many ways. Our voices sound identical, we both have the same (expensive) tastes in clothes, shoes, interiors, houses and yummy food! We are both sensitive little souls and we both use humour to get us through, sometimes very tough, situations. My mum and I have been known to spend a good half an hour on the phone with tears of laughter rolling down our cheeks. Nobody else “gets it” but we do!
There is a bond between me and my mum that I now recognise in the bonds with my own children. I talk to my mum every single day, without exception, sometimes more than once! I am very aware of how fortunate I am to have my mum, to have this relationship and to have her 10 minutes away… I tried to get her to move closer, but she looked at my children and went a bit pale!
My mum is more than my mum. She is my best friend, my listening ear, my voice of reason, my support and my sanity. If I can be half the mum that she is, I know that my children will turn out just fine.
So Happy Mother’s Day Mum! I love you more than you know.