By Keshnie Kitti Mathi , an ex-pirate and proud momma of 2, who enjoys sharing the joyous, scary, usually hilarious ups and downs of parenthood and wifehood.  Click here to read her stories on her blog called  Letters to my baby-mummy’s life in words.

I woke up this morning to Pup (who’s 5, going on 16) staring me down. She was sitting on my bed in her doctor’s dress up outfit, with my new blue stilettos on her tiny feet, and tapping a notepad. Clearly annoyed that I had slept passed 6:15am, she brushed a curl away from her eyes and announced, “Mother, what would you like for Mothers Day? We need to plan you know!”.

With Mother’s Day swiftly approaching and Pup being the planner that she is (she unfortunately gets that from me), this conversation was expected. What was unexpected was how much the word “Mother” affected me. When did I go from “Mummy” to “Mother”, and why did this have me almost in tears?

I gulped down my coffee as I pondered what these words meant to me, and the significance of Mother’s Day as a whole. To me a mother is someone who has children, but a mummy is someone so much more. A mummy is the one who gives hugs that lasts forever, always accompanied by a back run….mmmmmm. A mummy keeps all your secrets, even the one about that time you broke dads sunglasses when you were 8. A mummy  is always in your corner – with pom poms and cheesy noodles (yes, that’s my favourite meal – extra cheese please). So why for goodness sake was I now Mother?


Now, Mothers Day was always huge in my house growing up. My mummy always got a handmade card and a pressie (never flowers, she doesn’t like to watch them die). My brother, 9 years my junior (the kid’s Uncle Bravo ) would make her coffee (with cold water of course), and she would diligently drink it without a single gag. In our house, Hunky Hubby isn’t the best present buyer ever (experiences win over pressies in his book), but he will always make sure I have my favourite meal (he’s a chef ladies!) and that he’s home early….so Pup (and now Tiger) will grow up celebrating the day as a pretty big deal. To me, Mothers Day isn’t about validating the world’s best mother, or even being overly gushy about all the good deeds that have been done. It’s a day of reflection, a day to be thankful simply that you had a mum – be it a mummy or a mother.

The relationship might have been a fairytale one or perhaps more like a horror movie or well cast drama series, but hey, life’s not perfect and people are people. So, on this day – reflect! Look back with gratitude that you lived the joy, or look back that you lived through it, but be grateful to the person who gave you the chance to experience it at all. 

I asked Pup if she could please call me Mummy again and she gave me a lopsided smile. “Of course….you are my mummy for always”. Such a sweet word from the one that made me a mother, and created a mummy in me.

Note: If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the uniquely detailed free weekly newsletter for parents in Gauteng – Jozikids – or KwaZulu-Natal – Kznkids.

Send this to a friend