Every cloud has a silver lining…
And with all the storm clouds that rolled into 2020, we’ve been busy finding silver linings in all sorts of places. While Mother’s Day this year will look quite different for a lot of us, one silver lining is that the restrictions of the last few months have given us the opportunity to reassess our priorities.
For Natalia Muller, General Manager of MCM PR, working from home has allowed her the time to write a letter to her daughter, as her first birthday looms. She shares her snapshot of this time, in honour of Mother’s Day and her daughter’s first year of life, below.
My precious little Q,
The 10th of May 2020 is a unique milestone – it marks my first “proper” Mother’s Day (you were two days old for the last one so it didn’t feel quite real); and it’s also your first birthday. It also happens to be a remarkable time in history, amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
In a way, it’s serendipitous. Suddenly, I have spare time, which means I can pause to write this letter for you. The social distancing practices we currently abide by strip life back to the essentials, and with all distractions gone, these remain exactly as they always have been – family and friends are the centre of our universe.
I want to capture for you this moment in time and through this collection of thoughts, reflections, hopes and dreams, tell the story of who you are, who I am, our family values, and the world that we live in.
· Two weeks shy of your first birthday, your dad and I feel privileged to witness your personality blossom. You approached the milestones of your first year with nonchalance. It took us a while to get your sense of humour – we worked hard for a laugh in the early days. We know now you love the shower, eating power cords, doing laps with your walker; you like your toothbrush but are not great at brushing; you know how to wave, have always loved clapping. We are particularly proud you can now self-settle at bedtime and we adore your day care teachers. You’ve formed a special bond with your cousins (even though you used to be pretty wary of their “big love”). Recently you mastered “Dadda” – pronunciation and understanding – and often wait outside the bathroom door for him to finish in the shower.
· I’m constantly torn between oversharing pictures of you on social media and protecting your right to privacy. I desperately want to go to bed early, yet always find myself scrolling my phone to re-live every photo and video of you, the moment you go to sleep. I am very sentimental.
· Nothing can reinforce the power of women like going through childbirth. I am honoured to be raising a daughter and impatient for you to be able to comprehend the village of incredible women you are surrounded by – I am so grateful for the influence they will have in raising you.
· I love my job and feel best about myself when I am focused on a goal, using my brain, and being challenged. I am proud to be a working mum and the role model I can be for you. I am grateful that working from home currently means I can be with you the minute you get home from day care.
· The best gift my parents gave me was guidance to discover and shape my own morals and values. Religion played a big part of that, and I constantly debate the best way to share with you the positive influence religion had for me, whilst also being true to the form religion takes for me now, as its much more intrinsic than the traditional practices I grew up with.
· I try to make sustainable decisions for your future; and care for the world we live in. It feels good to be part of something bigger than us. I am not perfect, but I hope this moment in time marks a change for the better as society is forced to re-set bad habits and confront its disregard for mother nature.
· I often wonder about the future: what technology will be like, what we will have learned from your generation that our current world couldn’t possibly conceive. I worry about things too – will you like your name; when will my heart first break for you; will I get to see you become a mum?
· Mother’s Day will be 12 months since my blood transfusion, after a significant PPH, and means I can now give blood again. This is one of the most universal things you can do to give back, and it means so much when you have been personally affected.
· As your parents we want to teach you courage, perseverance, self-belief. I hope you experience the freedom that comes from knowing your own worth; you always have power; and change is not something to be feared. I hope you feel the passion that comes from knowing what you stand for, and find your voice to speak up for the things you believe in.
One day when you read this I hope it’s a time capsule of sorts that makes you smile, and a reassuring reminder that change is inevitable, but the essentials – love, kindness, self-worth – remain.
Love Mum xx