An Open Letter to Mum on Mother's Day

The Young Mummy says thanks to her mum

By Sophie Shaw

Dear Mum,

Until having Bobby you were ‘Mum’. You were my mum. I loved you, and I thought I appreciated you enough.

You were the one who gave birth to me - and cared for me - whilst already having three other children under the age of six.

When you were pregnant with me and caring for me as a newborn, you were busy raising my three older sisters. And all whilst simultaneously being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease – an illness that saw you hospitalised and bed-bound for weeks on end.

You started me in a variety of sports at an early age, and for many years you were taking me to training sessions and games up to four times a week.

You drove me to sports training after your own long, hard day of work, giving up the chance to be at home with your feet up.

You were the one who would yell at me to go to bed earlier so I could wake-up in time for school. And you were the one to drive me in a mad rush to the bus stop the very next morning after I'd slept-in again.

When you’d rush me to meet the bus at 8am you had already been up for an hour preparing my homemade lunch for the day. All before you’d even had time to grab a quick shower, or eat breakfast for yourself.

You sent me to a private school in the hope I would be successful in my year 12 exams.
 A decision that saw you separated from Dad for three years while he went off to work in Perth. I know this was a city you would have loved to have experienced with him. But we stayed – you stayed – all so I could get a good education.

I hope I made you proud, Mum.

My memories of you are so endless that I could sit here for hours on end and write. But as a mum myself now I realise that these experiences are not just memories, they are sacrifices. And that’s what I’m learning about every day - this is what being a mum is all about. It’s not what you’ve done for my sisters and I, it’s what you’ve sacrificed for us over the past 31 years.

So, as I enter into my second year of motherhood with many lessons learnt - with I’m sure another million to come – I want to say thank you, Mum.

Thank you for being game enough to take us on a family holiday every year. I dread taking my one-year-old Bobby on a holiday now, let alone a full car with four young children. So thank you for allowing us to see so many beautiful places at such young ages. I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate it until I was older and learnt the value of money.

Thank you for not letting me go to those parties, or to go to that nightclub with all of my friends. I’m also sorry for saying I hated you. The thought of Bobby ever telling me he hates me, when I'm just trying to do is protect him is shattering.

Thank you for supporting my decision to have a baby at a young age. Thank you for having that freaky maternal instinct and telling me I was pregnant before I even knew! You never doubted Jaryd's and my decision to become young parents, and have been an unbelievable help ever since I fell pregnant.

I’m sorry for the amount of times I spewed in your kitchen sink when pregnant, and I’m sorry for swearing at you in labour.

My first Mother's Day with you and Bobby
My first Mother's Day with you and Bobby

I sometimes struggle to handle my life at the moment, but upon reflecting on yours as a mum, you are truly an inspiration that you can just keep going.
I’ll never forget your advice you gave me as I sat on my couch with a two-week-old Bobby as I cried asking you, “How do you do this every day?”

And your response, “You just do.”

I'm so grateful for your selfless, no-complaints style of mothering. You’ve put your four daughters' needs before your own at nearly every opportunity.
Thank you.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mum. x

Written by Sophie Shaw

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