Maybe it’s because it will soon be Mother’s day that I keep thinking at all the mums in my life. They are so different, and yet they all have something in common. Despite what happened in their lives, despite the wrong choices, and the adverse fortune, they all love their children, deeply and unconditionally, even if they’ve not always been able to show that.

Our foster daughter’s mum

When I first saw our foster daughter’s mum, it was just a couple of days after Holly moved in with us. She was a broken woman, tired and scared. She hugged Holly so tight, and for so long, that I thought she would never let her go. Sincere tears were running down her face, slowly and silently. I want to think that was the moment in which the gravity of the situation finally hit. I cross path with this woman three times a week, she is always on time, well presented and with a smile on her face. She talks to me kindly, and somehow she is able to find affection and appreciation for me. I can see a woman that is trying her hardest to put her life back together, a woman who is fighting to have her daughter back, a woman who doesn’t forget her mistakes, but who is asking for another chance in life and above all, a chance as a mum. I wish I could tell this woman to be strong, to carry on with what she is doing, to hold on thigh on the prospect of a future with her daughter.

Our adopted son’s mum

When we adopted our son Ben, I was terrified by the possibility of having to meet my his birth mum. How could she ever hand over her son to me, and be fine with it? I felt like I had to show her I could be a good mum, and prove myself to her. Ben’s birth mum is young and made many bad choices in her life. At times it looks like someone else made the wrong choices for her, someone failed to protect her as a child, or to remove her from an abusive and neglecting family. How can I blame her for not being a good enough mum, when she never had a positive model in her life, when mum to her was only a source of pain, when she never knew the safety of mum’s hugs growing up? I’m sure this woman is thinking about our son often, remembering him at every birthday, Christmas, and Mother’s day. I wish for this mum to find the strength to change her life, and the courage to make the right decisions, so that maybe one day her life will fill up with love and happiness that a child can bring.

My mum

I love my mum, but it hasn’t been easy growing up with her. I read about depression often, but always from the point of view of the person who suffers from it. I rarely hear how it is for the children to grow up with a depressed single parent. Let me tell you this: it’s hard, it changes you, it hurts you.
Every time I hear of someone who is depressed I cringe always a bit. It’s wrong and maybe insensible, but all the bad experiences I had come flashing back in mind and fill me with hostility. I had alway to fight that feeling growing up. I had to learn how to excuse my mum and forgive her. I had to learn not to care about the accusing words she kept spewing at me, all the dangerous situations she put me in, and all the financial implications of her actions. I tried hard not to blame my mother, but I often asked myself how I could make a good mum when I myself never had a model to follow. I worried I will get into the same dynamics, and push my son away. I wish for my mum to never remember our past together, and to live in the knowledge that her kids love her.

Me mum

I could have been any of the mums above, but I’ve been lucky enough to have in my life a wonderful man who helps me to be the better me. I make mistakes every day, I apologise and I try to learn from them. Parenthood is hard, it can fill you with love and kick you down on your knees, all at the same time. I just want for my son to grow up in the knowledge that he will always have a safe place where to come back, no matter what.

I could have been any of the mums above, but I want to be the one who broke the cycle. I want to keep believing that a woman can rise above the adversity of her own childhood and be a better parent for her children, but whether that is possible or not, I will have to prove it to myself first. And as much as I want to think I could do it all on my own, I know I can’t. I also know that, unlike all the other mums in my life, I can rely on a wonderful man by my side, who helps me find the better side of myself and helps me believe I can be a good mother, and at times even an excellent one.

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