I’m lucky enough to be able to call my Mum my best friend. We are very close, possibly because I am her only daughter. She would tell you that I was a nightmare teenager… looking back that might be true! But she hasn’t held a grudge.
I can sense as soon as she says ‘Hello’ when she answers the phone what sort of a mood Mum is in. Whether she is happy, upset or worried about something. I know that she can tell the same when talking to me. There’s very little that I don’t confide in Mum and I think she would say the same.
I know how lucky I am to have this relationship with my Mum. I can only hope that my (only) daughter and I remain this close as she grows into an adult and beyond.
Mum is also a great source of inspiration for me. She left school at 16 with no qualifications and went straight into work doing various office jobs. She got married at 19 and had my brother shortly after. Five years later I was born and she didn’t return to work at that stage. In order to keep a second income coming into the house she became a childminder and looked after several children as well as my brother and I.
Once I went to school Mum started working in Boots the Chemist, Belfast but she also decided to go back and gain some qualifications. My Dad (also a great source of inspiration but that’s for a different blog) worked full time. Although he was very supportive of what she was doing he’s a typical Irish man of a certain generation and so wouldn’t have been much help in the house! So after working all day, getting my brother and I to and from school, helping us with homework, making dinner, doing the laundry and all the other housework Mum went to night classes twice a week to get her English and Maths ‘O’ Levels. She then studied for her bookkeeping qualifications and got a job in the PE Centre at Queen’s University.
Mum loved this job and I remember her as being very happy during this time. But she had also caught the studying bug and she studied part-time and gained a BSc in Business Studies at Ulster University.
It makes me very proud to look back on the family photo that was taken on the day of her graduation. I know the commitment and hard work that it took for Mum to get her degree.
Mum has instilled a work ethic in me that I am proud of, as well as a belief that I should always strive for more in life. For that I will always be grateful.
Mum recently retired. Thankfully she and Dad are still young, fit and healthy enough to enjoy lots of well-deserved time travelling, relaxing and spoiling their grandchildren.
Happy Mother’s Day Mum!