142#grateful or my lovely Mum, all that she has done and all she continues to do. My inspiration in so many things. #100daysofgratefulnessday13

Okay, so we are skipping ahead a bit here in the 100daysofgratefulness posts, but I think as it’s Mother’s Day, it’s apt.

I really don’t know why my Mum went off to have two more children after me, she and my Dad must be absolute gluttons for punishment. By all accounts I was a nightmare baby. I had severe colic/reflux which meant I was angry and cried all of the time. My Mum tells me that I was also bored, if she didn’t talk to me I would cry, if anyone else held me other than her or my Dad: I would cry. I never slept. I didn’t sleep through the night until I was five *shudder*. My Dad used to have to take me out in my pram around the streets of Lewisham to try and get me to stop crying and go to sleep, and also, presumably, to keep my Mum from going insane after being with me all day whilst I screamed.

Obviously, this was a phase, which I thankfully grew out of. However, I was never an easy child; I had two imaginary friends Nackley and Nacey, or y’know the more affectionate monikers Nack and Nace. I also had ear infection after ear infection, I was sick (through anxiety) at almost every birthday party I went to, I slept walked and talked frequently, and once, infamously, unwrapped all of the Christmas presents upstairs that my Mum had wrapped because she was due to have a baby any minute. Honestly, I don’t know how she managed to be so patient with me and my incessant questions and also on every frequent night when I was sick all over my bed.

My Mum has worked full time, in a career, for pretty much my entire life, with three kids, she made our packed lunches every day and always listened to us read. My Mum was strict (as was my Dad, but he’ll get his own post later on), this meant that there were always clear expectations of our behaviour and we always felt very secure with those. My parents took an interest in school work and our school friends and ferried us around to a host of extra-curricular activities that were intended to broaden our education. Whilst at school I went to Brownies and then Guides (although the latter was short lived), played recorder, violin and keyboard (very badly), and was a part of a drama club.

We weren’t allowed to watch much TV. This causes a lot of hilarity now when friends are talking about TV shows and I usually have to say “oh we weren’t allowed to watch that”; examples include “Grange Hill”, “Casualty” and any Soap Opera. My Mum actually admitted to me when I was talking to her about it recently “I know it sounds snobby now, but we only let you watch BBC!” Amazing. Of course I revealed this to some friends who now often (good naturedly) ask me if I am going to watch a programme and then follow it up with something along the lines of “it is on that terribly common ITV though, so you might not be allowed”. They are all comedians the lot of them.

I am so grateful to both my parents for working so incredibly hard so that they could provide a nice life for us, but I am especially grateful of the example.  My Mum set the bar high for what my sisters and I could achieve: that we didn’t just have to settle and be frustrated. That we could have a family and work in a meaningful career that was enjoyable. It was expected of us, and therefore none of us have doubted that it is possible.

I am also especially grateful to my Mum for passing on her love of reading and her faith. She took us to Church, although we were never forced to go, and she answered all of my many questions about Jesus and God, she still does in fact, even if sometimes those answers are “I don’t know. Maybe that’s where our faith has to come in”. To me she is a wonderful example of a Christian. She always tries to see the best in people and make the best out of a situation, she works hard and serves others in the best way she can, often by showing kindness and compassion of which she seems to have a never ending supply.

I am incredibly lucky, I had a pretty idyllic childhood, I had two parents who loved me and my sisters and we never doubted that, not for one second. That is a rare and wonderful thing. I know not everyone is as fortunate.

As all of my friends now start to become Mothers for the first time and I see their struggles and their joys it makes me even more grateful for my Mum. If I have children one day I know that I will be able to rely on both of my parents, I know that they won’t interfere and they won’t go against my “rules” even if they think they’re wrong.

Mum and I were talking the other day and she said that her Mum, my Grandma, was the best example of a Grandma: she was brilliant with us but she didn’t smother us, she did everything according to what my parents said, you couldn’t play Grandma off against Mum or Dad and she was firm. We loved her for it. I know my Mum will be exactly the same, and if I can be half the Mum my Mum has been to me to any children I may have in the future I’ll be doing alright.

Happy Mother’s Day Mum. You rock.