Today is a very special day in my family. Today the leader of the pack, my wonderful mum, turns 50.
When my brother and I were growing up, life wasn’t easy for my mum. My dad was away for long deployments and we lived 200 miles away from family down in Plymouth for the first two years of my life, moving back when my brother was a few weeks old. Life wasn’t easy, mum would count the meals in the freezer and go without meals herself to make sure my brother and I were fed.
Eventually we moved to the house my great great grandad built on the seafront and my brother and I had the very best childhood. Full of adventures, running in and out of the sea and always surrounded by the love of our mum. From a very young age, I always knew my mum loved us unconditionally. There isn’t a thing she would not do for her family, friends and even strangers she’s never met. She is a selfless, generous and loving woman. Exactly the type of woman I hope to be.
My teenage years were not easy. Being in an abusive relationship aged seventeen to nineteen turned me into a different person. I was not nice, I was deceitful and I lied a lot. I did things I am not proud of but still my mum was there by my side the entire time. Watching over me and caring me for at my very lowest, nursing me back to health. When the day were at their darkest and I didn’t want to be around anymore, she pulled me out of the darkness and kept me going. I owe her my life.
Countless times, my mum has dropped everything and charged across the country to be at my side. When my friend died at university she was on the next train to Manchester, packed my room up and drove me home the next day. When my husband left me heavily pregnant, she hopped off her boat down in Devon and came straight back. No hesistation, no resentment at ruining her holiday. She came straight back, scooped me and Tilly up and took care of us at her house for a week or so. In times of crisis, I know my mum is coming and that she will be there holding my hand long after the storm has passed.
When I fell pregnant with Tilly very soon into a new relationship, my parents did all that they could to help us. Gave us both jobs, a house and all the support we could’ve needed. Nowadays they pay for Tilly’s extra nursery hours and private therapists, nothing is too much. Last year they sold their lovely apartment to buy and renovate a house that is more suitable for Tilly. I would struggle massively as my delightful husband doesn’t contribute financially to his children’s upbringing at all, but with the help and advice of my parents, we get by and my children want for nothing. It is a blessing.
It’s not all about the material things though of course. My mum is the other parent to my children. She is the best nana in the world. Never too busy to stop everything and play. Forever taking them on adventures and giving them the same love I grew up with. My children are very lucky to have a nana who is so hands on and so much fun. They love her and their grandad so very much. Arlo and grandad have their own dinosaur egg (a rock) in the garden that hatches a new dinosaur every time he goes over there – my children love being at their house, there’s always something fun to do. During the hardest times with Tilly, I am lucky to have my mum by my side to keep on fighting and help me to keep going when I’m tired.
The lion also has a kind side, my mum would do anything for anyone. Christmas at mums house usually involves a few extra guests that had nowhere else to go. There’s always room at the table.
I hope to be the same sort of mum to my children, I hope my children feel the same unconditional love and support that I have grown up surrounded by thanks to my mum. I hope they know I’ll get on that train too and be back in a crisis. I hope they know I’m behind them 100% and feel the same confidence to follow their dreams as I do, thanks to my mum for always believing I could do whatever I put my mind to. There’s no way I’d be starting uni next month without my mum believing that I could.
Happy Birthday Mum. I hope you know just how much we love you.