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In our effort to honour all the moments, not just the hype reel, we talk to Kate Thomson who mothers her two beautiful children while carrying the heavy loss of her own dear mum.


Like any commercial date on the calendar, 'Mother's Day' arrives loaded for many. Grief, wishing, hope, happiness, broken hearts and dreams, expectation, joy, disappointment and loss - a melting pot of messy emotion and experience.

Kate Thomson was blessed to enjoy a close relationship with her fun-loving mum, Lorrie, while she was earth-side and ahead of a day that is marked with complex emotion for so many, talks to us about her experience of mothering without her own…

Kate, you experience Mother’s Day as a much-loved mum to Daisy and Rocket, but also as a daughter who has lost her mum... Can you help us begin to understand how this possibly feels?

Mothering without my own mother here with me brings with it so many emotions of loss for both myself and my children, knowing that they are missing out on their brilliant Grandmother, and the presence I had expected her to be in their lives. I feel sad that they won’t feel the direct impact of her powerful influence in their lives, and guilty that I’m not doing more to compensate for her absence.

How does it make you feel about Mothers Day?

On Mother's Day itself, I have chosen to tackle the day a little selfishly I suppose and allow myself to be celebrated. My partner and the kids always take me out to a beautiful lunch, and I try to be present with my little family. I know if Mum was here, she would be there too, enjoying clinking a champagne with me, and us.

Tell us about your mum, Lorrie. How do you remember her?

My Mum was such an incredible woman. She was strong, intelligent, ambitious, deeply empathetic and the life of the party. She would collect daughters in all parts of her life. Women who were missing a motherly figure in their lives seemed to be drawn to Lorrie and she would become that person for them. She had a deep compassion and understanding for people and never turned anybody away.

Treasured moments captured: Lorrie and baby Kate.
"She would collect daughters in all parts of her life"

Do you pass on her mothering legacy to your own children today?

I believe that Mum is with me as I parent my own children and try to impart the values and life lessons that she instilled in me. The most important of them is her humanity. I remember how she engaged in profound conversations with our taxi drivers who were immigrants, genuinely curious about their experiences and perspectives on the world. My Mum never discriminated and I hope to be leading with example so that my kids know that everybody deserves your time and respect.

Do you feel supported on this day in your grief and reminiscing?

I am so lucky to have the most beautiful group of girlfriends in my life, who always reach out throughout the year to check in on me. This extends to my Mum's friends as well. Women are something special, and I feel so lucky to be one.

Lorrie with baby Daisy.

Tell us about your children, ages and unique personalities.

Daisy is 9 and will run the world. She is smart and creative, curious and strong-willed. The traits that I find the most challenging in her now, are the ones I know I will admire in her as she grows in the world. Rocket is 7 - he's a sensitive soul with an innate self-confidence. He's funny and loving and dances to his own beautiful beat.

Sleeping beauties.

What does being a mum mean to you?

Being Daisy and Rocket's mum is such a joy and an enormous privilege. When I'm given the space I crave, my heart aches to be with them. I hope I am nurturing them and filling them with confidence and self worth as they take on the world - knowing they are enough just as they are.

How does losing a parent impact you as a young mother?

I think that it's only now, almost 8 years after the fact, that I am truly grieving her loss. Having young kids was a beautiful distraction from losing my Mum. I definitely felt the impact of not having her there while I had my hands full with little kids but at the same time it was a period in my life where I felt so loved and so fulfilled making it feel somewhat easier to navigate.

In terms of celebrating or honouring Mother’s Day, do you think we do it right? For example, are we holding enough space for those who have lost or those who may yearn to be a mother? How can we become better at this?

I can't answer for those women yearning to be a mother. I think it would be the most difficult journey, and my heart aches for them. I think as a society, we have probably got it a little wrong. But I think if we create our own villages within that, as safe spaces where we can be open and honest in terms of the support we need, then we can make change. I think small gestures of love go a long way - a phone call, a text, or a handwritten card. If you're thinking about somebody, tell them.

Beautiful Daisy.
"Grief is a funny thing, we won't always feel it on the calendar dates we are meant to".

Describe being a mum in one sentence for us…

A transformative journey of unfathomable love, sacrifice and pure joy where beauty and overwhelm coexist.

Kate with her two children; Daisy and Rocket.

What is the one message you’d like to pass on to those of us who have yet to lose our mums or parent/mother figure?

Just enjoy the quality time you have with them. If I could change anything, I would have gone on an overseas adventure with my Mum as an adult, just her and I wandering around Southeast Asia.

How should we navigate this as your friend? What do you want to hear on this day? How do we best support you?

Grief is a funny thing; we won't always feel it on the calendar dates we are meant to. I love it when people share their own special memories of my Mum with me. Or bring her up in conversation. I never want to stop talking about my Mum, and remembering the wonderful woman she was.

Thank you for talking so openly with us, Kate. Anything else you want to add?

When my daughter Daisy was born, I have never seen my Mum happier. She was a doting Grandma and cherished every moment with her. She would have her sleep on her chest, or in her arms for hours and hours! I am so grateful for those 2 and a half years that my Mum got to be a grandma, and that Daisy got to feel the overwhelming love of her grandma. This will stay with me, and with Daisy, forever.

May we cherish what we have, and who we have, always. And, tell them we love them, while we can xx

Mother's Day

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