To you, Mum.

Thank you. Thank you for all that you do.

For every discarded sock that you scoop up from the floor.

For every packed lunch that you arduously prepare.

For every time you read them a book.

For every time you collect them from school.

For every bit of guilt you feel when it seems like it’s never enough.

For every jigsaw piece you spend hours searching for.

For every time you risk the screen of your phone, so they can watch unboxing videos on YouTube.

For each time you’re overlooked, but you carry on anyway.

For every meal you prepare.

For every load of washing that you do.

For every outfit that you don’t buy for yourself, because you’re buying for them instead.

For making their home a safe space.

For always having open arms.

For tucking them in. And tucking them in again. And sometimes again.

For wiping away their tears.

For wiping away your own, before they have a chance to concern anyone else.

For cleaning grazes.

For rubbing bumps.

For letting them watch Paw Patrol far more than they probably should.

For dancing around the kitchen with them, even when the neighbours can see.

For taking every snot stain in your stride.

For spending so much time worrying about them, that you forget to worry about yourself.

For sacrificing your body.

For loving fiercely.

For planning parties.

For the days out.

For treating their friends as though they’re your own.

For being present (even when you’re not).

For treats and surprises and brightening their day.

For teaching them right from wrong.

For learning songs about the alphabet, to sing them to sleep.

For answering every question, as honestly as you can.

For encouraging them.

For supporting them.

For understanding them.

For knowing them.

For smuggling vegetables into every dinner.

For apologising when you lose your temper.

For caring enough to do the above.

For being there, even if you don’t always want to be.

For working to support them.

Or not working, to support them.

For making their happiness your priority.

For hurting when they hurt.

For every coat you hang up.

Every shoe you trip over.

Every giggle you evoke.

Every thought you have that’s about them.

For being a mum, a wife, a partner, a friend; all before you take the chance to be yourself.

For the late nights toiling behind the scenes.

For the things that no one notices.

For the things that they do.

For wiping bottoms.

And changing nappies.

And emboldening independence.

For the effort it takes to reign in your swearing, so you mightn’t corrupt little ears.

For the crazy stories that you tell.

For being the one they can tell anything to.

For the cooking, the cleaning, the gardening, the driving, the homework, the entertaining, the tending, the listening, the watching, the helping, the every minute of every day mothering that exhausts you to your core, but that you do anyway; and for everything else in between.

Thank you for all of it. Thank you for all that you do.

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