Monday, 23 October 2017

My Mum


I've spent most of my time on this blog of late, talking about parenting.  I feel like it's just inevitable that when you become a parent, it mostly consumes you.  You can lose your sense of self for a while, and although I definitely think some of that has come back to me - I still spend most of my time thinking about what kind of Mum I'm trying to be; what kind of Mum I want to be.


I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about my own Mum.  It was her 62nd birthday yesterday.  Reid and I had our family over to our place for the afternoon with a few of Mum's favourite foods (cheesecake, good cheese and biscuits {she really loves cheese}, coconut cake and coffee/herbal tea).  Birthdays are a time to be truly grateful for someone and show them love and appreciation.  I try to do this as often as I can with my Mum, because she really is amazing and I would be lost without her; but on her birthday, I sat watching her flit from person to person, conversation to conversation, ducking away to play with her youngest grandchildren the minute they asked for her and it made me realise that I'm just so beyond proud that she is my Mum.   


Here are a just a few reasons why:


~ When I was little, I used to make her necklaces out of weird and wonderful craft supplies - she would always wear them proudly to the supermarket while I sat in the front of the trolley, thinking I had made the most amazing jewellery in the world.
~ She always played games with me.  Nothing was ever dismissed as silly, she never said she didn't have time.  I honestly don't know how she physically did everything.  Our house was always immaculate, meals always nutritious and organised, but she still played and laughed and imagined with me.
~ Mum had to go back to work when my Dad was no longer able to work full-time due to health issues, and she has been so successful at every job she's done.  She was a stay at home Mum for over 20 years, other than the odd cleaning/basic admin job and now she is a successful teacher, adored by her students and colleagues alike.  She is a bit of a workaholic and definitely a perfectionist, but somehow, she seems to have time for everything (as much as we nag her to please slow down).
~ Her family comes first.  No question.  Not a single thing could ever get in the way of her spending time with us as much as she can.
~ She is incredibly thoughtful and unfailingly generous.  On more than one occasion she has sneakily taken my ironing basket from the spare room, returning everything ironed much more immaculately than I would do it.  I have often come home to a clean load of washing on the line, a few treats in the fridge and a lot less weeds in my garden.  When Reid and I were struggling a bit financially before I came back to work, she would pop in with washing powder and toilet rolls that were "on special" - among other things!
~ She is the most natural mother I've ever met.  All kids LOVE her. She rolls around on the floor and laughs and plays, but also knows exactly what to do if anyone is unwell or hurt. I have called her in a panic on more than one occasion concerning myself, Reid or of course Isaac.
~ Mum is a really good cook.  This point might seem irrelevant, but trying to cook like Mum is next to impossible.  She never wastes food, somehow turning sad leftovers into a brand new, delicious dish of some sort.  She throws in handfuls of whatever is on hand, always has an INCREDIBLY well stocked fridge and pantry (it's seriously like going to the supermarket) and going home always involves some kind of treat.  Her vegetable soup is the best, her banana cake is next level and don't get me started on her roast lamb!
~ She is incredibly kind and supportive.  She has put up with a lot of crap from all of her kids (why on earth would you have 4?? Haha).  It takes a lot for her to snap and get angry (watch out if that happens!) and for the most part she is level headed and ready with advice, a hug or a good "snap out of it" conversation.
~ Mum is the most positive person I know.  Sometimes, annoyingly so!  No matter the situation, she can find a silver lining - something I really struggle with.  She offers a constantly happy perspective and is pretty much a walking ray of sunshine, even on her worst days. 
~ She loves and feels, so very fiercely.  It's a bit of an ongoing joke in our family that Mum cries at the drop of a hat, usually eliciting a few giggles from us all, even a bit of competition about whose birthday card made her cry and whose didn't.  Don't even get me started on the reactions to a sad movie!  While it is a bit funny, it's actually a really beautiful part of her personality.  She is so empathetic, so sympathetic, so invested in the people she loves and even people she hasn't met - her displays of emotion are actually incredibly lovely.
~ Her willingness to help me as I've struggled so much with anxiety and depression over the last year and a half especially, brings tears to my eyes.  She visited nearly every day in the Mother Baby Unit, (she was basically one of the only people I wanted to see).  She drove me to every psychologist appointment and then looked after Isaac while I was there.  She has Isaac for me once a week so that I can get some rest and regain a bit of sanity (as guilty as I feel for needing that time), I know she absolutely loves it.  She has spent as much time as possible with me while I have hated to be at home alone.  She has gone above and beyond not only as my Mum, but as Isaac's Nan.  We are both so incredibly lucky.


I could literally go on and on. The one thing I wish she would be better at, is self-care; but I think that's a battle none of us will ever win.  She will always do too much, for too many people.  I am also a very needy daughter as you can see, and while I try to do as much as I can for her, I know it pales in comparison when I think about the love and support she has consistently shown me throughout my life.   She is an incredible role model when it comes to things I want to emulate in my own parenting journey, and while no parent is the same, I hope that Isaac will love me as much as I love my Mum.


Mum, you are a force to be reckoned with, the best Mum I could ever hope for, not to mention one of my very best friends.  Thank you for everything - I could never say that enough.


  

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