It’s that time of year again, where Twitter and the internet go crazy for Mother’s Day, and I sink into a temporary panic, because I forget (every year) that it’s American Mother’s Day tomorrow, not British Mother’s Day, which was already celebrated some months ago.
But as I’m sure any child who adores their mother would say – Mums are definitely worth celebrating twice. Because of this, and because my Mother’s Day gift to Mum was a hair cut she couldn’t redeem for weeks, making things the first time round a bit of a non event, today’s post is dedicated to my lovely Mum, and all the reasons I think she’s fabulous.
1. She tells it like it is
So, I phoned Mum the other day and somehow dropped into conversation that I could now jog round to hers (a distance of about…. yeah, probably less than half a mile. Okay, I did Google Map it, it is less than half a mile) in under four minutes.
‘A bit full of yourself, aren’t you?’ was her acerbic reply.
Mum has always been as liberal with her criticisms as with her praise, but while that can sometimes be a tad difficult for the artistic temperament to swallow (I went through an art phase aged 15ish. I sucked.) it was always constructive criticism that challenged me to be better in what I was doing. I would have been ashamed to do less well than I was capable of, and that drove me to great academic achievement (I got a C in Art – a bloody miracle!).
And because she’s so honest when things are bad, you know you can trust when she turns round and says, ‘You know what, that’s brilliant.’
2. She still loves me, even though I tried to run her over
Haha, that sounds so much worse than it actually was. I may have mentioned before about the lowest point in our lives – when we moved house after Mum’s first marriage officially broke down.
It wasn’t because of the ongoing relationship issues, or the fact that we were leaving the home we’d loved for nearly seven years, or that I was even upset about the divorce – it was just a culmination of the stress of everything we’d been through, symbolically brought to a head by the stress of moving house. I’d been working a shift at Morrisons all day and was tired and grouchy. She had been packing boxes all day and was tired and grouchy. We bumped heads. Hard. Which resulted in me trying to drive away while Mum tried to sit on my boot so I couldn’t. Which involved a lot of me revving my engine until Mum’s new partner came and took her away and told her to let me go and blow off some steam.
Now she likes to tell people I ran her over, and we can both laugh about it, and look back at that time when we were both under so much pressure and feel glad that we had each other to pull ourselves through. Because once the fireworks had been let off and the smoke cleared, the foundations of our relationship had not been damaged. And even though the next day I got locked in the bathroom and cried, and Mum laughed, I still look back on the whole messy experience and think: I never would have got through without her. I like to think she looks back and thinks the same about me.
3. I know I could always come home
There reached a point when I was eighteen when, despite an intense reluctance to leave the Boyfriend behind, I was desperate to go to Uni. I just couldn’t face living at home anymore. I wasn’t because I didn’t love my family, or appreciate them – I was just ready to leave the nest and start building my own. But even though Mum turned my bedroom into a spare room almost instantly (she knew I’d almost never come home) I knew if I needed to, I could always go back, and space would always be made for me. And I still could now.
4. She’s always ready to share advice and experience
I’ve been having a bit of a rough time lately. I’ve been suffering with Depression on and off for about a month because (TOO MUCH INFORMATION ALERT!) my new contraceptive implant is playing havoc with my already fragile hormones. I’ve had good days and bad days. And some days that are good and bad alternately throughout the day like some kind of manic-depressive see-saw.
I know I can always talk to Mum about stuff like that, and she’ll always have a helpful word or two to give. On a particularly bad day, I went round, moaned for about an hour at her, and left with an exercise plan, instructions to drink lots of water and a weight off my chest. She knows what to do, because a lot of the time, she’s been there, and she’s always ready to make sure I take the easiest route out of whatever trouble I get myself into.
5. She invests in me
And I’m not just talking money, although she did lend us some, with no hesitation, to help us get the house. She’s invested her time and expertise into helping us get the house where it’s at today. I’m looking at the walls of my study right now and thinking, ‘Mum painted those,’ with a smile.
We will pay back the money in time, and have, between us, invested much time in their house (the Boyfriend is always on standby to help in the garden with boy stuff, and I always try to help out somehow when I’m round for a significant length of time) but I know that Mum will always be ready with a paint brush, or curtains expertise, or whatever we might need next week, with no thought of what she’s going to get in return.
I could go on, but I’ll leave it at that. Happy Mother’s Day Mum, and to mothers everywhere, not just in America, who deserve a bit of extra love for everything they do for us. If you’re anything like my mum, you definitely deserve celebrating twice!