Once we’ve munched through plenty of pancakes and (hopefully) received some Valentine's flowers, the next event on the calendar celebrates something just as beautiful; our mums. From first steps to first grandchildren, they support us through all of life’s little journeys. That’s why they’re more than deserving of a little love in return. Some days it’s as simple as a heartfelt hug, other times a pampering trip to a spa. This month it’s all about Mother’s Day.
From families that need a van for school runs to single mums who play dad too, parenthood comes in all shapes and sizes. It also comes with many ups and downs because we all know that life rarely goes smoothly. That’s why I’m commemorating Mother’s Day by chatting to the mums I know about the best and toughest bits of raising children.
proud moments and favourite things
Our little ones sure do give us plenty to be proud of, from mastering walking to saying their first word. For Trusha, seeing her daughter dance in front of 400 people at just 4 years old was definitely a highlight! And then there are moments where you couldn’t be prouder of who they are. Just ask mum of two Noella who takes great joy in “watching [her children] grow into happy, kind and thoughtful individuals”. That’s enough for her.
Of course, your children aren’t the only thing you should take pride in. How about yourself as a mum? For mother of two Claire, birth is her proudest moment. “Everything that comes after is, of course, wonderful but nothing will ever beat the feeling of holding your newborn for the first time and knowing you and your partner did that.”
Claire’s answer goes hand-in-hand with something Bev (that’s my amazing mum) said. Her favourite thing about being a mother is simply that; getting to be a mum. “I have single friends who don’t have children so I’m grateful and glad to have been able to have children.” With twin girls on her hands (and I assure you we were a handful), it’s just as well she feels that way! Her years of care and kindness are definitely proof of it too. That’s mums for you.
it’s a bumpy ride sometimes
If talking to these wonderful women has taught me anything, it’s that being a parent is incredible but tough work. As my mum put it, “A privilege with responsibilities”. On the days when nothing goes to plan and you’re running on pure adrenaline, you won’t be the only one. The daily difficulties, big or small, are something all parents have in common.
The toughest thing for Noella is letting her children go as they get older. “It’s such a wrench and seems to happen so quickly”, especially since her daughter is now 20 and her son is 15. But she reminds herself to “think about how lucky you are to have two happy and healthy children.” Such heartfelt thoughts help her make it through.
For Trusha, being a mum has been her dream come true but it hasn’t been without its struggles. The hardest challenge she’s had to overcome is “Being a single mum and making the decision to be a single mum.” That hasn’t meant that she’s done it alone though. Her method of getting through the tough times? “Call my mum!”
a touch of motherly advice
Any family’s journey is packed with lots of learning moments, and not just for the kids! With that in mind, I wanted to know what these fantastic mums would say to their pregnant selves. Perhaps some of their advice in hindsight can encourage and reassure all you mums out there. If the Noella of today could go back, she’d give herself this simple message of support: “Stop worrying about everything, you can do this.” What a perfect mothering mantra.
Claire’s message to herself was just as beautifully supportive -“It’s going to be okay, just trust yourself and Anthony and you will get through it.” Having children herself has also given her a new appreciation for her mum and “how amazing [she] was for having 5 of us”. What better time for such wonderful sentiment than Mother’s Day!
Beyond messages of support, Bev and Trusha would encourage their pregnant selves to do things a little differently. My mum would urge herself to “Keep in touch with your friends (whether they have children or not). They’ll help to give you a life beyond babies!” As for Trusha, she “regrets not taking any pictures of [her] growing bump” as she would love to look back on them now. So, however you mother, make sure you trust yourself (and get snapping!)
celebrating mother’s day
I’d like to think that my sister and I did well for Mother’s Day over the years. There was normally breakfast in bed, a handmade card and a little gift or two. Now we’re older and not always home for the occasion, mum just likes “A lovely bunch of flowers and perhaps having a meal cooked for me.” Simple pleasures and definitely deserved.
She’s not the only one who doesn’t want much for Mother’s Day either! Claire is wishing for “A family selfie where both kids are looking at the camera” and Noella just wants everyone together for the day. I think that’s partly what makes them so wonderful. After everything they do for us, they just want a bit of family time with their loved ones.
One last thing I asked all the mums for was their words of wisdom to expecting or new parents. They want to make sure that you “Enjoy every moment (even the pressing ones)” and don’t forget to “Stay calm. . .everything will be alright.” Oh and “Be prepared for a rollercoaster ride!” You’ve got my mum to thank for that last piece of honesty.
So, however you celebrate Mother’s Day, I hope it’s filled with love and appreciative children (no matter their age). After all, a mum’s role doesn’t stop when your little ones are too big to sit on your lap! To all you mums out there, thank you for putting up with the mess, for the reassuring hugs and for your unwavering love. Happy Mother’s Day.