A brief interruption from the daily challenges.

Today, I’d like to do something a little different to the current writing challenge and spend some time giving a bit of love to my mum Barb.

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It’s actually her birthday today (so if you are reading this mum, have a superb day) and if you are reading this and aren’t my mum, why not send her a Happy Birthday from around the world?

I should say, she’s going to hate some of these pics probably so wish me luck that she takes them in the spirit it was intended!!

My mum is great. Yes, ok, I know most people say that but I’m actually right! She and my dad have always done their best for me – in every way and I cannot thank them enough. They have both supported me, and although I tend to wax lyrical about my dad more frequently, I felt it was time to share the love of my mum.

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I know that during my life, we have not always been the best of friends, a lot of the first few months in Spain we bumped heads a lot, we are, I feel, quite similar and unfortunately we didn’t always see eye to eye. I know looking back on it now she was doing her best but I know that a lot of hurtful words passed between us and when I moved back to the UK, I really tried to bite my tongue. If mum said something that would normally piss me off, I definitely tried not to rise to it. I knew that arguments would not help our relationship and I’ll be honest, there have been times when she has said something really hurtful, or cruel as far as I see it and I’ve just not bitten because what would come afterwards would be far worse. Over time I’ve also learned that this was the same towards my mum, I know i’ve said some really unkind things and also said things that to me didn’t mean anything but to her cut to the bone.

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I’m making it sound like we were constantly at each other’s throats which isn’t true at all, I feel we’ve both mellowed as we’ve got older and I know that due to the few periods of stress and  depression I’ve had we’ve had to learn how to talk and more importantly LISTEN to each other properly – I think we’ve both been open and realised how much we have hurt each other in the past but now are actually working to improve and try to be more loving.

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I know my mums relationship with her mum is very important, they were both so close and loved each other so deeply and I know my mum wants that with me, it may not be as close but I’d like to think that we are friends now and will be able to carry that on for many more years.

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I know that when I was at my lowest, it was my mum who dragged me out of it, she was willing to listen to my sadness, to feel my lethargy and to (thankfully) not judge. I know sometimes I wouldn’t have been 100% honest with her during those times as I know that if I had been, it would have been more hurtful (I mean, how can you tell your own mother that you’d sat looking at a bottle of pills for over 4 hours just debating who would be the one to find you, how to make sure it wasn’t her, how to look after her even when I wasn’t here) so although I know I lied, I’m so proud of her for just taking everything I said and not making me feel bad for struggling. I think we both learned a lot during that time (if nothing else that things we had both said in the past had really affected the other person so to be more mindful of the off the cuff comments we make, as we do not know what the other person will be going through) and I think that our relationship really matured and became much more close at that point. I know now I can be honest with mum, I can treat her as a person not just my mum and that helps a lot.

One of the few things that I took from my last bout of therapy was about learning to accept your parents as human beings, people capable of both good and bad things as we all are and to not hold them up to a higher standard. Everyone makes mistakes, just because they are your parents doesn’t mean they have all the answers and throughout my childhood, my mum and dad made the best decisions as they saw them at the time, doesn’t mean they all worked out that way but that I should stop holding them responsible for things which they didn’t know the outcome of. I used to hate the fact we moved (when we moved there) as I felt so alone and scared, but ask me now and I say that Spain was the best thing to ever happen to me, it strengthened me, it shaped me, it formed me into the wonderful person I now am and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Like I say, they thought it was a good idea but I cannot blame them for the bad things I went through by them making the decision in the first place.

Now we are closer, I try to go away with mum every year (we didn’t this year but hopefully next year?) and we tend to go up to London, wander round, see the world, catch up, do touristy things and generally just relax. We don’t really do much in depth stuff but we spend time together, eat, drink, put the world to rights and just enjoy each others company. Last year when we were in London we took a boat tour on the Thames and saw one of the boats my dad used to work on back in the day – The Will, I had to take a pic of her with it, 2 of my dad’s favourite things in 1 pic 😀

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I do genuinely love my mum, she is caring, kind, a bit stroppy upon occasions but when she wants to show her love, she will do so. I wish she and my brother were closer as I feel that would make her happier but I hope that no matter what, she knows how important she is in my life. I genuinely don’t think i’d be here still if she hadn’t been there when everything went bad, even from letting me cry in her lap when my heart was broken, or just taking photos away from me that a friend sent of me at her wedding and they made me cry. I looked so awful and I’ve never been a fan of myself but these were simply appalling and I wanted to throw them away but mum kept them for me as I didn’t want to offend my friend in the first place. She has influenced me and made me a lot of the person I am, a fighter, someone who is opinionated, brave, silly, loving, very sweet towards her friends and someone who will help out in a crisis.

One of my favourite things about my mum is her humour, I love making her laugh and I am very grateful she puts up with my dire jokes and still laughs. I know there’s times I really tickle her and I love that, I’m hoping that no matter what happens in our future, I can keep her laughing for as long as possible.

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I suppose this can be summed up as a massive thank you to my mum, for everything she does. She is brilliant and caring and I am so grateful she is in my life, I know not everyone’s relationship with their parents is strong as mine and I know I’m lucky for having them. I know we don’t always get on, or see eye to eye but I hope that our relationship is better than it was and continues to improve that way. You drive me mental at times, but I wouldn’t change you for the world.

Love you so much mum, hope it’s a great birthday and you have a wonderful time, see you Thursday and then Sunday for a lunch and presents xx

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