They’d mostly drawn mums with extra arms (some robotic…!) doing super cleaning, washing, ironing and cooking. I thought it was sad that these 8, 9 and 10 year olds thought of that first when they thought of their mums. They didn’t think of the love and support, they just considered the physical aspects of caring.
And then I thought about it more, and realised that at that age, if you have the unconditional love and support of your mother (as all children deserve), then you take it for granted. It has always been there and as far as you are concerned, that’s the way it should be. The things you notice are the physical, because they do change. But the love you mum gives you is always there. A lifelong constant.
I think you need to be a little older and wiser to understand how much your Mum – and your Dad – love you. To understand that not everyone is loved unconditionally, and that not everyone has a mother who can take care of them. And that’s when you realise what a sacrifice your parent have made and are making, everyday, and they’re doing it because they want to. Because they love you.
I may not love myself all the time, but my mum is always at the end of the phone line, to make me laugh, and tell me I’ll get through. She has always believed that I am enough. And whatever I choose to do, if I’m happy and satisfied then I am enough in her eyes. She knows when to be sympathetic and when to say ‘pull yourself together girl!’. She knows when to send me money, and when to send me a funny email.
So she’s rarely serious, and always tries to do too much and ends up stressed. She’s got a wild temper – one that blows up, but just as quickly blows over. She has occasional bad taste in clothes and music, but a great eye for decorating. She is a tough cookie, who doesn’t take any crap, but feels hurts deeply, and finds it hard to forget an insult. But she doesn’t hold grudges, because life is too short. She knows heartache, but has the best laugh. She thinks that fart jokes are the height of humour, and sings loudly to the radio. She’s obsessed with the Archers, and puts great emphasis on ‘class’. Not as in social class, but having a bit of class.
But with all her attributes and faults, throughout it all, she is the best mum I’ve ever had, or ever wanted. Thanks, Mutti!
PS Take a minute to spare a thought for all those whose mothers don’t or can’t love them, and for those without their mothers today, young and old. Send them a little bit of love with a prayer, or a wish, or whatever you believe in, because it won’t do any harm.
And who knows, maybe it will do some good…