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Inspiring Women
What We’ve Missed Most About Our Mums During Lockdown
Words by KATE LEAVER
Illustration by KATJA ALISSA MUELLER
What We’ve Missed Most About Our Mums During Lockdown
Words by KATE LEAVER
Illustration by KATJA ALISSA MUELLER
Who else just really wants to hug their mum? Since the world changed and we’ve all been inside waiting out the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the hardest things has been not being able to see our families.Here, nine women from all over the world share what they miss most about their mamas... 

Lorene Rhoomes, 39, Manchester 

The one thing I’ve missed most about my mum is her laugh

My mum lives in Ghana and my sister and I were due to visit her this summer with our children. There are so many things I miss about my mum, but if I had to choose one thing, it’s the laughter. When we are together, we get up to all sorts of mischief and we laugh, loudly, hard and uncontrollably until we are crying and short of breath. Every time I think of my mum I laugh. 

Gemma Perlin, 28, London

The one thing I’ve missed most about my mum is eating roast chicken in the kitchen and having First Dates on, but talking our way through it

My mum gave my dad a kidney last year, so she is shielding with him indefinitely as he is very high risk. We were meant to be going away together – they haven’t been able to travel since the transplant last summer – but then coronavirus hit and now of course I don’t know when lockdown will be over for them. She is an actual hero. A hero who wonders when she might be able to get her hair cut again. 

Lou Pollard, 53, Sydney

What I’ve missed most about my mum is her face lighting up when she sees me

My mum has advanced dementia and I’m worried she will forget who I am because I can’t visit her every day like I used to. We moved her a year ago to a facility near my place, but now I hardly see her. On two FaceTime calls recently she didn’t appear to have a clue who I was, she was confused and whatever neurons are working in her head couldn’t make sense of my short call, as I’d feared would be the case.  

I worry she’ll lose the small amount of cognitive ability she has left because the staff don’t have the time to sit down with a cup of tea to have a meaningful conversation with her one on one. 

I want to hug my mum and hold her hand. Nursing home staff are amazing, but I want to sit on her bed having a chat. One call that did work was when I rang her and sang Stevie Wonder I Just Called To Say I Love You and she smiled.

I miss her smile.

Heidi Krupp-Lisiten, 53, Maui and New York 

What I’ve missed most about my mum is being able to hug her

My mom is at an assisted living in Pittsburgh with my dad. I can’t go in and she can’t go out and at 81 doesn’t want to learn how to FaceTime, so I have to talk to her via my dad when I am able to get them together. 

My mom used to call me several times a day and when I travelled she would always know the weather where I am and check in often. She hasn’t been doing that. I almost crave the calls and the panic from her of not knowing where I am and what I am doing.

My mom has dementia. Recently diagnosed. As she continues to be confined I worry that her mind is drifting and her ability to connect is lessening. I can’t believe I am going to say this but I almost miss the feisty and would welcome the arguments and the banter. I miss the hugs. I miss being able to see her.

Cynthia Medel, 25, Southampton

What I’ve missed most about my mom is just her company

When it comes to my mom, it will always be the little things that I miss, like car journeys, where we talk about anything and everything. While I have FaceTime and Messenger to communicate with her, it isn’t the same. Right as lockdown started, I was supposed to fly over to Texas to see her; around that same time, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s been difficult not to be able to be there for her, but my mother is a strong person, she’s been positive throughout the entire process. All I hope is that soon it is safe enough to fly over to see her and give her the biggest hug. 

Sima Kotecha, 38, London

What I’ve missed most about my mum is her cuddles and cooking

Both show what an incredibly loving woman she is. One of the best things that has come out of lockdown for me is learning how to cook Mum’s epic dishes. It genuinely makes me feel closer to her at a time when we’re apart. Today I made her divine spinach pakoras.

Kathleen Brady, 33, Ireland 

What I’ve missed most about my mum is her constant and unquestioning support

In the past year I gave birth to a very premature baby (at 30 weeks) and not having my mum here to guide me through it was heartbreaking. She quickly made her way to Dublin from Sydney and got to meet her first grandchild. 

While she stayed for a whole month, he wasn’t discharged from hospital – so I missed the support when we came home. Having someone to ask about breastfeeding, someone to hold the baby while I showered, and Mum, of course, missed him growing. 

During lockdown, I have probably missed her even more. We were lucky enough to get a visit to Oz, arriving back in Ireland just before everything started to close. In a way being home has made it worse as I know what I am missing now and I know how invaluable free babysitting can be!

Not having parents close by while their first grandchild grows seems cruel and unnatural. Not having your mum when you embark on becoming a mother yourself is devastating. 

Thank goodness for FaceTime. 

Jess Leahy, 32, Sydney 

What I’ve missed most about my mum is the long cuddles 

While I’ve still been able to see my mum a few times during isolation, I miss long cuddles with her. I miss laying my head on her lap and pretending I don’t like her playing with my hair (don’t tell her because half the fun is me yanking my hair away and she gently pulls it back). No matter how old I get that’s always going to be comforting to me.

 

Aparna Balakumar, 24, New York

What I’ve missed most about my mum is being in the same place as her 

It is a uniquely strange experience to be living on the other side of the world to my aama [mother in Tamil] and best friend. I always went to sleep pre-pandemic knowing that in an emergency, so long as I had enough banked for a flight home, I could be in my mother’s arms within 24 hours. But now? I’d be disembarking to a mandatory two-week quarantine in a hotel room instead. She would not be allowed to come and comfort me. 

My mum runs a Bharatanatyam Indian Classical Dance School. Last month, needing to transition the lessons to Zoom, she sent me the link to test the sound quality. What she doesn’t know is I sat transfixed and muted on the call from midnight onwards, admiring her from my tiny Manhattan bedroom as she captivated students for several hours, barely breaking for air. Growing up, her passion for her craft, boundless zest for life and ability to captivate any audience she was in front of were qualities that blurred into the background. These are now the same characteristics I finally have the time to reflect on, consider how they shaped me – and so sorely miss being close to in the flesh. 

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