Letter to an Absent Mum: How our daughter’s are shaped by how we mother them

Dear Pup,

Being a mummy is not learnt, although it does help to have a glowing point of reference! This one is for those mummy’s who are awesome mum’s nevertheless! Whether your mum was not there at all – or absent but present, this one’s for you.

Mistakes are normal and ultimately our aim is to create children who are whole – not broken.

Dear Mum,

I am not upset or angry, mum

I just feel it’s time you knew, 

What effect your unconscious actions had

On a little girl without a clue.

Ever the optimist, eager and young,

I waited anxiously to see

If I’d ever truly be good enough

If you’d  ever love me for me.

I used to watch you wow the crowds,

Giving strangers and your work their due,

And all I wanted honestly, mum

Was a little piece of you.

You say you’ve never had a mother either, 

The pain’s evident in your eyes.

But you carried your pain into my life

And I’m not sure if you really realise.

I was 13 when you read my diary

And labelled me fast and loose,

You made a big deal and told dad as well

Between my truth and yours, you made him choose.

When I was 16 you stole more promises,

And aired them out to dry,

You sold each teenage wish I had

You watched silently while my self confidence died.

At 18 I left and to Uni I ran away

To start new and fresh 

And still you didn’t believe I could

You often doubted my success.

I’ve tried in vain to win your love

To be your golden little girl,

The child I thought you wanted me to be

I tried to project to the world.

I stand before you now,  mum,

After huge leaps in love and life.

A successful woman finally proud of herself

A doting mother and wife.

You’ll  be proud to know I’ve  broken the curse,

I hold my daughter close and tight.

I’ve  never uttered an awful word

I’ll  protect her all my life.

I make sure I tell her everyday

The words I longed to hear,

I tell her I’m  her biggest fan

I’ll brush away her fear.

I’ll  teach her to love her little brother

Who’s actually 26 weeks on his way,

Not to compete for our love or affection

Our devotion is here to stay.

I’ll  teach them to honour relationships

To see good in strangers and in friends,

To not be angry and lash out at the world

When things come to an end.

I’ll  admit I’m  wrong when I am,

And never blame my kids for where I am in life

They will never be asked to explain or solve

My anger and my strife.

I’ll  be their mum with all that I am

I’ll  be their strength and their soft place to land,

And I will never make them feel

That I do not care or don’t  need to understand. 

I will never betray their trust

Or lay their secrets out to dry,

I’ll  never prioritise their woes above mine

Or purposefully make them cry.

We’ll show them what a family is actually  meant to be

We’ll  create those family bonds and make them strong

We’ll make them care about how they feel, and not care about what strangers see.

The Silent treatment is a weapon mum,

Which I choose not to use or repeat.

Writing this was emotional mum, it was not an easy feat.

Take the words as they are meant to be

Not a weapon or meant to hurt,

But my way to heal those open wounds

And to tell you what I’ve  learnt.

See, you really did teach me mum,

And now to share with you

Its not that tough to be a mum

It’s not in what you buy, it’s  in what you do.

No learning needed, no tests to pass

No multiple choice to ace.

Just joyous smiles and sticky kisses

Motherhood’s  a journey, not a race.



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