Of all the titles I hold, the one that I am most proud of is “Mother”. Of all the groups that I am a member of, it is the sisterhood of mothers that I am most honoured to be part of. There is nothing that means more to me than being the best mother I can be to my kids and I can only be that mother with the support of all the wonderful mums that have surrounded me on every step of this journey. So, on the occasion of UK Mother’s Day, I would like to say a big thank you, to all the mums:
To the mothers who came before me, for your wisdom and experience and for showing me that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
To the mothers who came after me, for letting me hold and snuggle your little ones long after my own had lost their newborn smell and for letting me pay it forward by sharing the benefit of my own hard earned experience.
To the mothers-to-be for reminding me where my journey to motherhood began, those first days of disbelief and wonder at the baby growing inside my belly, the nerves and excitement, the flutter of first movements and the overwhelming joy and fear when that bundle was finally placed in my arms.
To the baby group mums, my comrades in arms, for living each stage of the journey with me. From helpless baby to teething, weaning, crawling and running toddler. From our coffee mornings to the first day at nursery and the first day at school.
To the mums in the Facebook support groups, for always being there with an answer, no matter what the question or what the time of day; the power of your collective knowledge and support is incredible. And for the laughs with some of the more ridiculous posts – we all know how these things sometimes go!
To the expat mums, for your willingness to help a stranger, for always remembering what it was like to be a new mum in a foreign country far from your family and support network and for being that family and support network whenever you can.
To the mums in my neighbourhood, for being a friendly face in the park, playmates for me and the kids, lending me whatever I need in a pinch and making this place feel like a community.
To the school class mums for the constant reminders and updates, I would have missed a lot of dress up days, meetings and class events without you.
To the mummy bloggers and instagram mums, for opening up and letting us share your family’s journey, for the inspiration, the reassurance, the laughs and even the tears.
To the mothers I read about in the papers and see in the news, trying to look after their babies in such difficult situations, be it war, famine, poverty, illness or other challenge, for fighting. For showing the world the strength of a mother. For reminding me that as hard as my hardest days may be, I am one of the very lucky ones, with my babies safe and well in my arms, for reminding me to hold them a little closer.
To the mothers with the most generous of charitable hearts, who put their time and energy into helping those families less fortunate, you inspire me. I hope one day to have such time and energy and to contribute in my own small way (I just need to get these kids to sleep through the night first!)
To the working mothers, the stay-at-home mums and the mumpreneurs, for each doing what is best for your family, what you need and what you enjoy, and for showing that each is a valid option. Whether you work at the office, at home or in your home office, neither choice (where it is even a choice) makes you any less of a mother, any less of a woman or any less hardworking.
To our nanny, who takes care of her children by helping me take care of mine, your sacrifice is a gift to them and a gift to us, we appreciate it.
And closer to home….
To my mother for raising me, for always fighting to do what she thought was best for us, even where that meant fighting against convention and culture. For continuing to always be there for me and for my kids, still looking after me and not thinking twice about jumping on a plane to support me in my times of need.
To my mother-in-law, for raising my husband, for being a big part of making him the husband, the father and the man he is today. It is only now that I have a son of my own that I can understand the special relationship between a mother and a son and how hard it must be to step back from being the main woman in his life as he grows up and has a family of his own.
To our grandmothers, for helping to raise us, for being our second mothers when our mothers were working or could not be there. Our kids are so unbelievably lucky to have had the opportunity to meet their great-grandmothers, this may be the last generation for which this is even possible.
To my sisters, whether by birth or marriage, for loving my children like your own. For giving them wonderful cousins that I love as my own. For sharing with me the responsibility of keeping our families close and passing on the traditions and culture that might otherwise be lost, I am not great at the second bit so I’m so glad that you are!
To my old friends, who knew me before we were mothers, for loving that old me and still seeing her hiding somewhere below this new mummy me and for reminding me to let that old me out again every once in a while. Also for never holding it against me when I take days/weeks/months to reply to messages or properly catch up, whenever we do it is just like old times, I do miss you though, even when I haven’t called you.
To all you mothers who have taken the time to read to the end of this list or follow our journey, for supporting me in this, my creative outlet, for validating it and for making me feel like what I have to say means something. I always say I write for myself, and I do, but still, it is really nice to know someone reads it!
And to the mums who I may have left off this list – for knowing that mistakes happen, busy mums don’t remember everything, and it doesn’t mean I am any less grateful for you!
To all the mums out there, THANK YOU and Happy Mother’s Day!
Which mums in your life would you like to thank and honour this Mother’s Day? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you!