A List for My Mum




So young! (Both of us).

Mother’s Day is behind us, but  parenting is about doing something extraordinary day in day out. Ultimately it’s about putting another person before yourself, which my Mama has done in spades.

So given the time of year, I thought it was about time I write her a list. Don’t worry I’ve got her a pressie too, I’m not that tight.

Here’s ‘A List for my Mum’:

  • First of all WELL DONE. Raising 5 kids and staying (fairly) sane is a remarkable achievement.

  • 30 years of school runs (THIRTY YEARS OF SCHOOL RUNS!!) is mind-boggling.

  • And the pack lunches. Even writing that makes me age.

  • The fact that you look better in a pair of Topshop jeans in your 60’s than most 30-somethings is also impressive.

  • Sorry for the sleepless nights. In the beginning and  then later during my teens. 1996-1999 were not my proudest years.

  • Sorry for the times I didn’t return home after school because I’d ‘accidentally’ missed the bus back. And with no mobile phone to get hold of me on (reverse charge call anyone?!). I can’t imagine how stressful that was. 

  • Sorry about the arguments. Especially that one Charlie recorded when I was a teen.

  • In time I may even admit you were right not to let me go to Ayia Napa the Summer after my GCSEs. Not quite though. For now I’m still cross.

  • Thank you for all the small things. Tiny gestures that I remember as special. Like filling up my water on your way to bed. Excellent tuna pasta, hot-toddies, and so many kind words.

  • I *may* occasionally have faked a high temperature by warming my forehead on my bedside lamp, just to wangle a day off school. Can you blame me when you were so good at taking care of us?

  • Your washing skills are magical too. Things seem to leave the wash basket and be back folded on the bottom of the bed in a matter of hours. It’s a dark art indeed. One trait I’ve categorically failed to inherit.

  • There are some things I wish I hadn’t inherited: the big rib cage and that ‘habit’ of having to go for a wee before leaving to go anywhere.

  • But I’m very pleased to have your bone structure. And the emotions! Though we may not always be the easiest to live with at least you know where you are at with us. There’s never a hidden agenda or a dull moment.

  • And our large feet. Big feet = large pelvic floor = easier for giving birth.

    Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 9.12.14 PM

    Look how far we’ve come since those early years in hospital.

  • Attending The Tommy’s Awards last week was so moving because it dawned on me how tough your start to Motherhood was. Giving birth at 32  weeks. Terrifying.  

  • Then those endless weeks keeping vigil beside my incubator. Unthinkably stressful and lonely. Especially 35 years ago with no phone to connect you with the outside world and the support groups and information we have today.

  • As you say: you knew in your heart I was going to be ok and I was!

  • You survived and so did I.

  • Not only that, you were brave enough to go on to have so many more babies. 

  • Thanks to you I embarked on motherhood with an absolute belief that I could do it. Ofcourse  it’s been a hard journey. But I’ve always had an unshakable faith in myself as a Mother. And that is learned from you.

  • In challenging moments I say to myself: if Mum could cope with 3 kids under 3.5 years old. I CAN DO THIS.

  • If I can bring my boys up to be as individual as you have allowed the five of us to be then I’ll be SO proud.

  • Thank you for supporting and believing in me relentlessly and giving us all such an incredible start.

  • And now it’s a new chapter. The last of your babies has finally left home. I hope you have surprised yourself with how well you’ve adapted.

  • Forget ’empty nest syndrome’ what a bleak expression! Now is the time to be free, after giving so much of yourself to us kids, it’s time to be you. 

  • You will always be our rock, but now you have earned the right to have no responsibilities, no obligations, no school runs! So go do things that make your heart and soul feel good.

  • Do stuff on a whim and do some things that have been on that ‘maybe one day list’.

  • Go be selfish, be silly and be self-assured.  You’ve bought up 5 humans you can do anything and most of all YOU DESERVE IT ALL. 

    Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 9.12.59 PM

    Mum, far right, me, my siblings and partners and of course my boys.

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