It’s Mothering Sunday tomorrow. My second with Samuel, for which I feel very privileged. I think by now regular readers will know how I feel about my role as a Mum. But I thought given the day it is, I should tell you something about my Mum. She’s a bit daft. She’s quite quirky. She sometimes drives me bonkers. She is very, very fond of Alan Titchmarsh. But she’s my Mum and I absolutely adore her.
My Mum had a very rough start in life. Her father died when she was only five and that left her in the care of her mother. Her mother was not designed to be a mother. She suffered from schizophrenia and manic depression and while of course that doesn’t make her a bad person, she couldn’t help it, she wasn’t maternal or particularly interested in the care of my mother.
My Mum was essentially brought up by the nuns who taught her and cared for her at boarding school. They were strict (and she did get expelled from a couple of schools, so wasn’t an angel), but they did show her love. My Grandmother (who I never met) would often tell my Mum that she was ugly and no man on earth would love her and she would never have children. She told lies to my Mum and about my Mum. She hurt my Mum both mentally and physically. My Mum did have relatives who cared for her, but they didn’t want to intervene for fear of being banned from seeing her. My mother was born in 1946, so Social Services wasn’t like it is today.
But then when she was aged 25 she met my father and her real life began.
I’ve grown up always knowing, never ever doubting how much she loves my sister and I. As we grew up she swamped us with love. Even when I had hideous dress sense and probably looked a state, she’d always tell me how beautiful I was, how I was her beautiful girl. Many cats, rabbits and friends of mine along the way have benefited from her natural maternal love!
Sure, she probably made the odd mistake, she’s not perfect, but that’s only because she’s human. She showed my sister and I what it was to be a mother and the enormous capacity we have to love as mothers.
She’s a Grannie now. Yes a Grannie with an ie at the end. She has two Grandaughters and well, you all know Samuel. She adores the children. She talks about them all the time to anyone who would listen. She is very proud of her family. She makes the children lots of beautiful handmade things and I know that in every single thing she makes, even the bobble hat to match Sam’s cardigan, so much love and care has gone into it.
When things were tricky when Sam was in NICU she was there on the phone for me to cry to. I told her my worst fears. I’m very frank with her about his condition, I don’t sugar coat anything. She rings up all the time to see how we are and how the boy is doing. She wants to know every detail about how our appointments have gone.
I tell her a lot that I love her. We always end our phone calls by saying ‘I love you’. If I ever lost her, my heart would break beyond repair. She’s my Mum.
(My Dad’s pretty cool too, but that’s for another day.)