Hot on the heels of International Women’s Day, it has been incredible to see the global outpour of love and support for women around the world. Throughout the day I was thinking about all the women in my life that have inspired me and moulded me into the person I am today. I have been lucky enough to grow up with what felt like two mothers. There is a significant age gap between myself and my only sister which meant that as a baby I had two mammies to look out for me and to teach me how to become a decent young woman. Watching my sister become a mother to her own three children makes me want to be like her one day when I decide to start my own family. She continues to inspire me with the love and dedication she has for her family. My mum and my sister were the first women who showed me what it was to live a good life and made me want to become a better person and as I’ve grown up I have seen more and more of them in myself.
Mothers are our first friends in life, from carrying us for nine months to changing hundreds of dirty nappies, sending us off for our first day of school and raising us from tiny babies to grown adults. My mum became a mother for the first time at a young age but she never let that hinder her and she was determined to get the best out of life. She never complained about being a young mother and I think in a way it made her more determined to get the best out of life. She has always worked hard and has never let anything keep her from achieving her goals. As a child my mum gave me every opportunity to learn new skills, try new sports or take up ballet (for one class just so I could get the Ballerina costume before I hastily jumped ship...sorry mam!) While we were never rich, I was never left wanting for anything and I will always be grateful to both of my parents for opening up a whole world of opportunities to me.
Mums are often villainized, I’m guilty of doing it myself after an argument but at the end of it all mothers are the ones who will look out for you the most. I will forever be thankful for all of the mistakes my mum let me make and all of the catastrophic ones she prevented me from. I could never forget all of the nights she has spent cradling me as I sobbed about a broken heart, friendships ending or worrying about my future. She has shown me that it’s okay to completely crumble as long as you pick yourself up and start again.
A couple of years ago I fell into a serious illness and was admitted to a hospital ward for a long period of time and every day without fail my mum came up and sat by my bedside and kept my mind off the severity of everything. I’ll never forget how she used to sneak into the ward with cream buns from my favourite bakery, chinese takeaways and chippers all to make me feel normal and to give me a chance to forget about what was happening. When I had no idea how serious things were, she knew exactly how bad it was but never hinted that things wouldn’t be okay. Her strength and optimism inspires me every day and when I face something difficult I can’t help but hear her voice in my mind reciting her favourite quote “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
My mum is my best friend, my greatest teacher and everything I hope I can be one day to my own children. One of my favourite quotes that I find so inspiring and empowering is “Here’s to strong women. May we know them. may we be them. may we raise them.” I only hope that one day I can be half as good a mother as my mum and sister have been to their children. This Mother’s Day step back and think about what your life would be like without your mammy and make sure that you show them just how loved they are.
Thumbnail by Micah. H
Photo by Noah Hinton