So it’s Mothering Sunday this weekend and for lots of you it will be hard if you, like me, have lost your mum.
As soon as March begins I think about Mother’s Day practically every day. It sounds daft but it feels like there is someone tapping away on my shoulder constantly saying, “your mum isn’t here anymore”.
Of course I think about her every day anyway. Often I wake up and she will be my first thought of the day.
I dream about her all the time especially if I’m struggling and feel confused about something.
I only have to look at my daughter and I see her – Ava-Lilly has the same piercing blue eyes and smile.
Loved ones never truly leave us; there is always a reminder of them in our daily lives.
It can be a song you hear which reminds you of them, something someone says or a smell that shows us they will always be with us in some way.
My daughter makes Mother’s Day truly special for me.
It’s like a pain in my heart is almost healed when I look at Ava-Lilly, she is everything. No matter how sad I feel about not having my mum to honour on Sunday, being her mother is the best feeling in the world.
The night she was born was without doubt was the best night of my life. As soon as the surgeons told me I’d had a girl I felt so lucky. “A best friend for life,” I remember thinking, along with “I’ll never let her down”.
My mum was everything to me but rather sadly I didn’t have the close relationship with her that I yearned for.
Her addiction to alcohol meant I never came first, second or even third for that matter.
She was a beautiful woman, so clever and so kind but after a drink or several she was no longer someone I recognised.
My relationship with her from a toddler to an adult felt like a constant battle. A battle for affection, a battle to have a proper mother and daughter relationship, and a battle to keep her sober.
She was desperately unhappy and I grew up blaming myself. I spent years thinking if I hadn’t come along she wouldn’t have become depressed and turned to alcohol to cope.
Since becoming a mum myself I’ve realised this is simply not true. Being a mother is the greatest gift a person could receive. I’m so privileged to be Ava-Lilly’s mother and I never take that for granted.
Having her has made me a better person, I strive to be the best at everything, although this is impossible and often ends with me collapsing in a heap! I have a little person to impress, to look after, to succeed for and most importantly to protect and love.
I will never betray that honour no matter how I feel or what is going on at work or with anything else in my life, she will always come first.
I find it’s the smallest things that make me appreciate being a mum.
I had a few days off at the beginning of the week and being able to plait Ava-Lilly’s hair and walk her to nursery makes me feel so lucky.
I told her I didn’t want to go back to work because I would miss her and she responded by saying: “Mummy if you go to work I will give you a sticker when you get home”. That’s my girl, always being positive.
I hope there were some Mother’s Days in my own mum’s life when she felt blessed to have my brother and I.
Sadly, I will never know if there were; I don’t even know how many Mothering Sundays I spent with her.
What I do know is how this Sunday is all about my girl; being her mum and the best person I can be for her, always.
Us mums may have the hardest job in the world but it is the most special, rewarding job there is.
Complain about bad service
So TV presenter Cat Deeley has gone to town on a restaurant in LA after enduring what she described as “terrible food and a rude and unhelpful manager”.
She urged all her Twitter followers to avoid the eatery at “all costs”.
I say good for her!
There is nothing worse than looking forward to going out and having a lovely meal but being disappointed with the food and service and I believe you absolutely have a right to complain.
Recently my husband took me out on a date night. We had pencilled it in the diary months before as we don’t go out a lot on our own so I’d been looking forward to it for ages.
It was a disaster! The food was average and the waiter chased my husband as we left to ask for a cash tip even though we had given him a tip via our card payment.
I wished I’d complained but I’m sad to say I did not.
I think sometimes we just accept bad service and poor food and think “oh well”.
We absolutely should not though.
Next time I have a bad experience I’m going to do a ‘Cat Deeley’ and I urge you to do the same.
My heart goes out to Mel B
My heart goes out to Leeds Spice Girl Mel B who has called time on her marriage after 10 years.
I can’t imagine how hard it is to make a decision like that after investing so much time, effort and love into a relationship.
Having recently lost her dad, she said the decision came in a moment of clarity after his passing.
We’ve all experienced those “life is too short” moments, when you just realise the situation you’re in isn’t worth it and is having a negative impact on your life.
According to reports she had been planning to leave the marriage for the last two years.
Of course it won’t be made any easier for Mel B by the press who will be raking up any dirt they can on to make it sound juicy and exciting and forgetting in the process that children are also involved.
Marriage is hard work and it’s terribly sad that sometimes the investments we put into our relationships don’t pay off.
But if Mel has been ready to make this break for a while then this will feel like a massive weight has been lifted.