An Ode to Mothers (and one in particular)

University: a time to spread your wings, leave the nest and pop the proverbial bubble. For many of us as we leave home, there is a sense of excitement for the unthinkable freedom and autonomy we are sure to have without our parents. So why is it that I have seen, during my first few weeks of university, so many people frantically calling their mothers for help or expressing homesickness? I guess I could give you the psychological answer of attachments and imprinting, but I feel as though the mother-child bond is far too complex to be addressing here. I can only speak of personal experience of my wonderful mother and all that she has provided me with during my thus far limited university experience. 

I, like many others, have experienced frustration at times with my mother and her well-meaning wishes such as her insistence upon certain methods of suitcase packing or her constant advice to wear a coat or take an umbrella at the first sign of grey skies. So, when the prospect of university arose, with much apprehension and fear, I was looking forward to some freedom of my own. With my mother's advice still ringing in my ears, I embarked upon freshers' week, determined to forge my own path. Initially, everything seemed exciting and new and I revelled in the fact that I could go out in a short skirt with no coat and have no fear of judgment or reprehension.

Only a couple of weeks later, however, I found myself crying on the phone to my mother over my sore throat and high fever and wishing that I could be in my own bed with her to care for me. Upon her genius recommendation of visiting a doctor, I discovered that I had a bout of tonsillitis and soon received the appropriate medication to alleviate this. Even a few hours away in London, my mother was able to take better care of me than I could of myself, truly epitomising the unconditional and entirely vital love that a mother can provide. Similarly, when I required a book from home, I only had to text my mother and it was soon sent first class in the post with a loving note attached that affirmed her love and support. 

No matter how independent and free I may profess to be, only one FaceTime call from my mother can reduce me to tears and make me instantly yearn to hug her; only one text expressing love and support can brighten up my day. I think it is this subtle balance of independence and youth which characterises this time in our lives. Our reliance upon the wisdom and care of our parents negates total independence and yet the absolute freedom of choice we have to forge our own paths can be startling. Establishing and managing this balance can be crucial in determining one's university experience as the level of contact continued with home can heavily influence one's personal enjoyment and development. 

To many of you now reading this article, you may be disinterested or confused as to why I have chosen to write on such a topic. Honestly, I think we should all be more grateful and aware of what our mothers do for us. No matter how far away we may be from them, they still manage to display such love and care that is unrivalled by any other (except perhaps fathers). When attempting to think of profiles on inspiring women, my mother was one of the first to come to mind, for who else has had such a profound impact upon my life and character and for who else could I be equally grateful? As I sit here writing this article, it is my mother's 50th birthday and, as I am sadly unable to be at home to celebrate with her, I have decided to declare my love and appreciation for her in a public forum which I hope many of you can relate to and, if not, can appreciate my mother for how truly incredible she is. So happy birthday Mum and thank you so very much.