I am sitting here writing this letter to you as your now adult daughter. One that is no longer under your roof, that has married and had her own family. There are some things that only a mother knows, only a mother experiences. There are many things I want to tell you, things that I didn’t know before becoming a mother myself, things that I believe are important to say.
Thank you mum, thank you for experiencing the ups and downs of pregnancy that changed your body forever, followed by the agonizing hours of labor in order to finally meet me. Thank you for waking up to nurture me time and time again even though all you wanted to do was sleep through the night, even just once. Thank you for letting me sleep on your chest on those long nights that I was sick, teething or just needing you close by. For changing thousands of nappies, doing endless loads of washing, eating last, showering last, and for cleaning up the mess.
For putting so much time and effort into planning our family trips while sitting through fights, screams and sibling rivalry. For tending to scraped knees, nappy rash, cuts and bruises. For letting me believe in the tooth fairy, Santa, magic bananas and spaghetti trees. Thank you for making Christmas and birthdays so special and instilling in me a sense of spirituality. Thanks for the Vegemite soldiers that you made when I was sick. Thank you for baking those treats that were waiting when I got home from school. For making up the voices of characters in my favorite stories. For letting my imagination grow.
Thank you so much for making sure that we had one on one time even if it meant taking a day off school, just to connect. For our special shopping days and for teaching me that its okay not to be okay. For the sacrifices that you made and the independence that you gave up, for doing it with no family support and little thanks along the way. Thank you for creating a home that always felt safe. Thank you for bearing with me through the piercings and tattoo phase. For supporting me as a young adult when we weren’t sure that I was going to make it and being a shoulder should i ever need it. Thank you for you amazing ability to not reign me in too tight but also not letting me loose.
And for all the other things that were part of your mothering experience that I am yet to encounter or may never encounter. Mum, you were just always there, I didn’t know any different, the house always felt like a home, food was always on the table and I always felt loved. Only now as a mum myself do I realize that these things didn’t just happen, you gave, you sacrificed, you spent time intentionally making my childhood special. I know there must have been moments when I wasn’t easy to love but you did, moments that you struggled and wanted to switch off but you didn’t. I am sure there were times you wanted to hide, sleep, scream…… but I never saw this, I didn’t realize at the time…. but I feel it too now. So mum, I now thank you for everything that you have done and continue to do for me, for always being there when I need you not only as a mum but also as a woman who has experienced so much, has so much wisdom, whom I admire respect and love….
Thank you Mum.