Dear Mum…the things we don’t take the time to say
I don’t know about you but time just seems to be flying for me at the moment, which means it’s hard to find the time to tell the important people in our lives how we feel. So in honour of Mothers’ Day I have written a letter to my mum, to say all the things that I don’t take the time to say.
I suppose the main aim of this letter is to say thank you. I always knew you were a fab mum, when growing up you taught me “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”, when you always encouraged me to be the best I can and to follow my dreams, when you listened to what was going on at my 15 and 16 year old parties without judging, when you let me have totally unsuitable boyfriends so I could figure out for myself what worked and what didn’t, when you took me to hospital (on your day off from being a nurse) to have my broken arm fixed after falling down some stairs drunk and you comforted me in my hungover and nil by mouth state, when you accepted with no reproach, criticism or negativity my decision to move to France even though it was hard on you, and so much more. But I really discovered quite how amazing a mum you are when I became one too.
In 2006 I gave birth to L, in a foreign country and in a foreign language. You had been staying with us for 2 weeks around my due date, but had to fly back home empty-handed when L refused to be born, only to fly back a few days later when she was finally born, for a 24 hour visit. That meant so much to me.
Over the last 6 years I have come to realise more and more what a great mum you were to us when we were younger, and what an amazing mum you still are to me now as I need you in a different way (not to mention what a fab grandma you are too!). I have two children who I love more than words can say, but who can also drive me crazy at times, but you, you had 5 children over a 10 year period and you didn’t even get to escape to work like I do. How did you do that and stay sane?!? I have no recollection of you attempting to kill us, but you must have wanted to so often!
You were, and still are, so selfless as a mum, far more than I have ever been with my own children, yet you have kept your own identity and although you are “Mum”, to me you will also always be a nurse, a bereavement counsellor, an NCT counsellor, someone who does yoga, plays badminton, squash, swims, reads and who instilled in me that I can be who I want to be, regardless of my gender.
Whilst I wouldn’t call you a feminist you taught me that gender has nothing to do with what is achievable in life, or who should play what roles, raising your sons and daughters identically whether it be regarding goals in life or chores around the house.
The most special moment in our relationship came in November last year when you were present at the birth of your 5th grandchild and my second child, not only were you helpful and knowledgeable (I suppose that having 5 children and being a nurse and trained midwife count for something in these situations!) but you were also a calming influence during this high speed labour! Thanks for bringing a fan to the hospital too – I didn’t realise I’d need one!
Thank you again for being the best mum anyone could hope for, if I manage to be even a quarter of the mum you are to my daughters then I will be happy.
Happy Mothers’ Day!
Lots of love,