Would you apply?
- Women wanted for long term, unpaid work.
- After an initial traumatic physical experience, your responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: caring, cooking, laundry, cleaning, nursing, shopping, teaching, safeguarding, counselling, financially supporting and loving unconditionally for the rest of your life.
- Client is unpredictable and prone to temper tantrums.
- No experience or qualifications necessary.
- Rewards: infinite, but not financial.
Mums are amazing. (I know Dads are too – don’t write in.) But I’m putting mums in the spotlight as it’s nearly Mother’s Day – Sunday 31 March, don’t forget!
“You’re a good mum”
When was the last time someone offered you these four reassuring words? In 12 years of parenting, they’ve been directed at me twice. The first time was from my psychotherapist, who was treating me for antenatal depression. She said it in response to me explaining that I wanted to throw my son out of the window, but didn’t. Yay me!
The second time was much more recent – offered as a verbal hug by a kind friend during a challenging week. And it felt like one of the nicest things anyone had ever said to me.
Most of the time, I feel totally out of my depth and like I’m still only a child myself. Which is when I call my mum.
Parenting is one of the hardest, lowest paid, longest job in the world and yet we’re seldom told we’re good at it. I’m not saying we’re not rewarded – of course we’re paid with love, and the joy of seeing our children grow and thrive. But recognition is hard to come by.
Here are a few things mums have to deal with – apart from what’s in the official job description:
Cleaning up and advising on bodily functions
When it comes to my health, from nits and worms in childhood, to periods, all the way through to peri-menopause, mum is my go-to, completely unqualified, medical expert. There may be a doctor in the family, but mum knows best.
Putting adult activities on hold
ie entertainment which doesn’t involve animation or puppetry, dinners which don’t include penne with tomato sauce. And only being able to go abroad during school holidays, thereby suffering the company of other people’s children.
Dealing with raw, unfiltered emotions
I cringe as I write this, but I did once tell my mum that I wished I’d never been born. I seem to recall it was because she wouldn’t let me go to the school disco. Seemed like a reasonable response at the time. I get similar abuse from my kids. On one occasion I locked myself in the bathroom, until Thing One slipped an apologetic note under the door.
Dealing with deception
Kids keep secrets. Even adult kids. So mums are meant to be supportive during times of crises without knowing the circumstances.
My boys are still dependent on me, so I’m obviously going to worry, but have some control over their actions and whereabouts. According to my mum, the worry never stops. Our kids fly the nest, go travelling, get jobs, have relationships, get on with their lives without ever looking back to ponder if they’re causing their parents anxiety.
Also recitals, exams, school reports, boyfriends, girlfriends, break-ups, make-ups. The list goes on.
And don’t get me started on World Book Day.
My mum also has to put up with my blogging antics, where she’s put in the spotlight (like this). Although there are perks. This month, I took her along to a Moonpig event for bloggers and their mums, which inspired this love letter. We arranged flowers, designed Mother’s Day cards and made cocktails – so it’s not all bad.
I tell my mum I love her quite often, although not often enough, and usually in a text (sorry mum). I don’t recall ever thanking her for any of this, or praising her parenting skills.
So to my darling mum, and to mums everywhere, thank you. Thank you for your sacrifices and hard work. Thank you for caring for us and loving us unconditionally, even through the most difficult times. Thank you for putting your children first and being number one cheerleader.
Mums, you got this! You’re a great mum. Pass it on…
Much love, Vx
[Disclosure: Not sponsored, but thank you to Moonpig, who invited me and my mum to an event celebrating Mother’s Day. Don’t forget to send your mum something special on 31 March. I use affiliate links.]